When is Water Pollution Illegal?

Learn about Illicit Discharges


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About Example Exceptions Penalties What to Report

About

Illicit discharge - Illegally throwing away or dumping litter into the stormwater system. The system includes streets, ditches, storm drains and pipes, lakes, streams, and rivers.

Example

  • Pouring paint into or near a storm drain; 
  • Changing oil or antifreeze over or near a storm drain; 
  • Washing your car or dumpster pads in an area where stormwater could flow into a storm drain; 
  • Illegally connecting from the sanitary sewer system to the stormwater system; and,
  • Putting a lot of trash or debris in a creek. 

Exceptions

  • Condensation from air conditioners; 
  • Water from a hydrant used by firefighters; 
  • Pool water (if the water was not chlorinated before draining); 
  • Charity and residential car washes; and,
  • Groundwater from a sump pump. 

Penalties

Timeframe Fine
One-time $5,000 a day until the issue is resolved
More than once  $25,000 a day 

Money collected from an illegal discharge goes to the Wake County Public School System. 

What to Report

When you see water pollution or someone dumping litter - collect this information: 

  • Time (It's best to let us know immediately); 
  • Location - address, intersection, business name, or landmark; 
  • What was dumped; and, 
  • Who was involved. 

See water pollution? Email or call us at 919-996-3940.

Contact

 

Pete Duffy
Illicit Discharge Coordinator 
919-996-3940

Department:
Engineering Services
Service Categories:
Stormwater
Related Services:
Report Water PollutionLearn About Stormwater

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