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Don't Dump Paint

Help prevent water pollution

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Before You Paint Cleaning Up Disposal Tips

Don't dump paint down the storm drain when you're done painting. Paint waste will pollute streams and creeks!

If you observe stormwater pollution, call the Stormwater Helpline at 919-996-3940 or send an email to

Before You Paint

Follow these tips before you start painting to protect our waterways:

  • Read manufacturers disposal and clean up instructions.
  • Cover storm drains or divert water around them when pressure washing. 
  • Use a tarp to collect sanding dust, and paint chips when removing old paint. Old paint can contain lead, which can harm the ecosystem in our streams, lakes and rivers. 

Cleaning Up

Latex Paint

Use a bucket to wash off latex paint with soap and water. Do not dump paint into the:

  • Sink;
  • Grass;
  • Street;
  • Driveway; 
  • Storm drain;
  • Streams, lakes, and rivers; or,
  • Anywhere else that could reach the storm drain.

All wastewater used to clean brushes and containers should be disposed of down a drain attached to the sanitary sewer system. 

Oil-Base Paint

  • Follow all manufactures disposal and clean up instructions.
  • Do not dispose of oil-based paint or paint cleaner into the sanitary sewer system.

Disposal Tips

Professional painters - Oil based paint and aerosol cans are hazardous waste and cannot be disposed of with regular trash. Take equipment back to your facility and dispose of your materials properly. 

Extra paint

If you have leftover latex paint after a project: 

  • Add kitty litter or sand to the can; 
  • Let the paint dry until it is completely solid; and, 
  • Throw it away in the trash. 



Zachary Poole
Illegal Discharge Coordinator

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