Stormwater Quality Improvement Program

Last updated Oct. 26, 2018 - 2:25 pm

The Stormwater Management Quality Improvement Section manages programs and projects with a common goal to improve surface water quality in streams and lakes throughout Raleigh. In Raleigh, more than 20 different major streams connect to Walnut Creek or Crabtree Creek and in turn flow into the Neuse River.

Hear what the Sodfather has to say about keeping our waterways clean.

NPDES Program

NPDES Program

The City of Raleigh's stormwater is regulated by a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) General Stormwater Permit. This permit includes many different measures the City must undertake to improve water quality in its streams and prevent water pollution to the maximum extent practical. Stormwater Quality Improvement staff ensure the City is meeting all of its permit requirements, many of which are described below.

Eliminating Illicit Discharges

Illicit discharge in creek

An illicit discharge is an unlawful act of disposing, dumping, or spilling of any substance other than stormwater into the drainage system. Illicit discharges cause water pollution by sending pollutants directly into creeks, streams, ponds, and lakes. Stormwater Quality Improvement staff work diligently to respond quickly to illicit discharge complaints so they can be eliminated before posing a serious threat to the environment.

Illicit Discharge Ordinance

Learn more about Eliminating Illicit Discharges

Stormwater and Stream Monitoring

Samping water quality in a wetland

Stormwater Quality Improvement staff manage three programs to monitor stormwater pollution and stream conditions in Raleigh. Water samples are collected at 18 stream locations to measure levels of pollution across the city. Benthic macroinvertebrate surveys are performed at 22 stream locations as a measure of stream health. Individual stormwater projects are monitored throughout the year to measure their effectiveness.

Learn more about Stormwater and Stream Monitoring

Stream Restoration and Stormwater Retrofit Projects

Fletcher Park wetland

Stormwater Quality Improvement staff specialize in the design and construction of projects improving surface water quality in Raleigh's streams. Such projects include stream restoration, enhancement, and daylighting; constructed wetlands and rain gardens; and installing cisterns, green roofs, or other retrofits onto existing properties to reduce stormwater pollution.

Volunteer Programs

stream monitoring volunteers

Stormwater Quality Improvement staff manage three volunteer programs as opportunities for residents to protect the environment and improve the health of Raleigh's streams. Adopt-a-Stream volunteers organize stream walks and clean-ups each year. Foster-a-Stream, is a drop in stream clean-up held twice a year. Storm drain marking volunteers glue colorful discs onto storm drain inlets to discourage illegal dumping. Stream monitoring volunteers measure various water quality parameters to determine a stream's health.

Public Education Programs

Enviroscape watershed model

Stormwater Quality Improvement staff deliver presentations ranging from general stormwater pollution awareness with our watershed model, to identifying and preventing illicit discharges and learning about aquatic life and how they are used as a way to measure stream health. Staff can tailor presentations and activities to meet the needs of each group.

Learn more about Public Education Programs

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