Surface Water Quality

​​Illegal Discharges​

​​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 paint brushes 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. Please click on the titles below to find out more. ​​
​Questions about CMSWS Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination Program? 

Kristen O’Reilly​
City of Charlotte Water Quality Specialist

Ryan Spidel​
Mecklenburg County Envir​onmental Supervisor