- Public Education and Outreach
- Public Involvement and Participation
- Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination (IDDE)
- Construction Site Runoff Controls
- Post Construction Site Runoff Controls
- Pollution Prevention and Good Housekeeping for Municipal Operations
What is Stormwater?
Stormwater is the flow of water that results from precipitation which occurs immediately following rainfall or snow melt. Impervious (nonporous) surfaces like pavement (parking lots, roads and driveways) and rooftops prevent stormwater from naturally soaking into the ground and create runoff that can carry pollutants into our streams.
Why is stormwater runoff a problem?
Polluted stormwater runoff is the number one cause of water pollution in North Carolina. Stormwater either does not receive any treatment before it enters our waterways, and can pick up pollutants such as dirt, debris, and chemicals that flow into a storm sewer system or directly to a creek, river or lake. Anything that enters a storm drain is discharged untreated into waterbodies we use for fishing, swimming and providing drinking water.
How do urbanized areas affect water quality?
Natural landscapes like forests trap rainwater and snow melt and allows them to filter slowly into the ground, in contrast to impervious (nonporous) surfaces. Most rainfall and snow melt remain above the surface, where it runs off rapidly in unnaturally large amounts.
What can I do to reduce stormwater pollution?
- If you own a vehicle, maintain it so it does not leak oil or other fluids. Clean up spilled brake fluid, oil, grease and antifreeze; do not hose them into the street where they can eventually reach local streams.
- Be sure to wash vehicles on the grass, or at a car wash, so the dirt and soap do not flow down the driveway and into the nearest storm drain.
- Control soil erosion on your property by planting ground cover and stabilizing erosion-prone areas. If you have a yard, apply lawn and garden chemicals sparingly and according to directions, and never apply fertilizers or pesticides before a heavy rain; if fertilizer falls onto driveways or sidewalks, sweep it up instead of hosing it away.
- Turn your gutter downspouts away from hard surfaces and seed bare spots in your yard to avoid erosion.
- If you have a septic system maintain, it properly by having it pumped every three to five years; if it is an older system be sure it can still handle the volume placed on it today. Never put chemicals down septic systems: they can harm the system and seep into the groundwater.
- Pet owners should pick up after their pets and dispose of pet waste in the trash.
- Keep lawn and household chemicals tightly sealed and in a place where they cannot be reached by rainfall. Dispose of old or unwanted chemicals at a household hazardous waste collection facility.
- Never put anything into a storm drain.
- Don't litter.