A stream and paved greenway path at Apollo Heights Park

Water Pollution

Spot it - Report it - Stop it!


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Types of Pollution Report Pollution What can You do to Prevent Stormwater Pollution? 

Stormwater pollution is the biggest challenge for our clean streams, rivers, and lakes. In fact, it is the number one source of pollution to our waterways.

How? Seemingly small amounts of pollution transported by the City’s stormwater system accumulate into large amounts and end up in our drainage system, and our local streams, rivers and lakes.  They add up fast! 

You can help by reducing your contribution of pollutants!

Types of Pollution

These are the most common types of pollution found in our waterways. 

  • Sediment is the scientific term for mud, dirt, and soil. While it is a natural part of the environment, too much of it in one place can pollute our streams, lakes, and rivers.
A close-up image of a pond with green algae, grass clippings, and other vegetation floating on top of the water.
  • Nutrient pollution is when there are too many nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus in the water. When this happens, it can cause too much algae to grow, killing fish and other aquatic life.
Bottles, paper, and other trash in a stream at Apollo Heights Park
  • Trash and Debris that is not thrown away or recycled go in our storm drains and in then into our streams, creeks and rivers.
  • Heavy Metals in our waterways come from sources such as industrial processes, old equipment and vehicles, sewage sludge, metal piping and materials. Heavy metals in our water can cause problems for humans, wildlife and aquatic life.
  • Chemicals can be found in some everyday items we use such as paints, insecticides, pesticides, food processing waste, cleaning detergents, soaps, solvents, acids, bleaching powers, chlorine.
  • Fats, Oil and Grease (FOG) cause problems for our stormwater and sewer systems and create pollution in our streams, creeks and Rivers.
  • Pathogens include things like sewer overflows, pet waste, transient camps, dead animals, and livestock.

Report Pollution

Pollution is illegal! Throwing away or dumping litter into the stormwater system is against the law. Our stormwater system includes street, ditches, storm drains and pipes lakes, streams, and rivers. If you see pollution or someone illegally dumping litter into the stormwater system, call the Stormwater Helpline at 919-996-3940 or send an email to IllegalDischarge@raleighnc.gov.

Learn more about what to report and how to report it.

See a clogged stormwater drain or pipe? Contact stormwater maintenance

What can You do to Prevent Stormwater Pollution? 

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