Surface Water Quality

Pollution Control​ Program​

The Pollution Control Program installs, retrofits, and maintains stormwater control measures (SCMs) to reduce pollution and the volume and velocity of stormwater in developed watersheds where streams are degraded. This degradation has largely resulted from the impacts of historical stormwater management practices prior to current water quality rules and practices, and the impacts from urbanization. The Pollution Control Program aims to improve these watersheds by installing new SCMs where they will remove the most pollution or increasing the efficiency of previously installed SCMs so they remove more pollution than originally designed.

An example of new SCMs that were installed to reduce pollution in a developed watershed is the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) South Park Project. This project installed five SCMs that reduce stormwater pollution coming from a 71-acre campus containing three schools. At the time the schools were built, regulations did not require SCMs. The newly installed SCMs are expected to annually prevent approximately 14,500 pounds of sediment, 292 pounds of Total Nitrogen, and 46 pounds of Total Phosphorus from entering a tributary to Briar Creek. SCMs will also help reduce stormwater volume and peak flows that will reduce stream bank erosion. More details can be found at CMS South Park Project.

Examples of SCM retrofit projects include wet ponds. When stormwater enters a pond, it slows down and nutrients and sediment settle out before the water enters a local stream. Every year, the Pollution Control Program evaluates and ranks existing wet ponds within the City of Charlotte to determine how much stormwater pollution could be reduced if they were retrofitted and maintained by the City. Ponds are ranked based on a number of parameters including dam condition, capacity for removing pollutants, cost-effectiveness and willingness of a landowner(s) to donate easements.

A pond that is selected for inclusion in the Pollution Control Program requires a landowner(s) to donate an easement(s) and sign a maintenance agreement. A maintenance agreement requires the landowner(s) to mow the dam and areas around it at least three times during the growing season, ensure that trees do not grow near or on the dam, and report any problems with the dam or pond for evaluation by the City. Please see our Tips for Pond Maintenance that can help improve the quality of a pond. For more information about requirements for the Pollution Control Program to evaluate a pond, please see the Pond and Dam Policy

More information about Pollution Control projects can be found atPilot Stormwater Control MeasuresPollution Control Projects.

Pollution Control Program Questions?

Kyle Hall

City of Charlotte Senior Water Resources Engineer