Surface Water Quality

​​Illegal Discharges​

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services is a joint municipal/county stormwater utility that includes the City of Charlotte, the surrounding towns of Cornelius, Davidson, Huntersville, Matthews, Mint Hill and Pineville and Mecklenburg County.

​​Illegal discharges are almost any pollutant that enters stormwater and drains into surface waters like streams, ponds and lakes. Illegal discharges are also called Illicit Discharges.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services has an Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination Program that finds, responds to, reduces and corrects pollution sources for surface waters throughout Charlotte and Mecklenburg County.

A few common examples of pollution sources include:

  • Muddy water from a construction site 
  • Contaminated stormwater from exposed oily motor parts 
  • Contaminated runoff from washing activities 
  • Water from rinsing paintbrushes over a storm drain
  • Sewage overflows 
  • Oil or antifreeze from leaky automobiles 

​​​​​The range of what is considered an illicit discharge is too large to provide a comprehensive list. It can be any kind of pollutant on the ground that eventually washes off into stormwater or surface water like streams or lakes. The following activities are NOT considered illicit discharges by federal regulations: runoff from firefighting activities, lawn irrigation, air conditioning condensate, or water that has infiltrated into a basement.​

As part of the Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination Program, staff performs the following activities. 


Andrew DeCristofaro​

City of Charlotte Water Quality Specialist

Ryan Spidel

Mecklenburg County Envir​onmental Supervisor

Report Pollution

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