Illicit Discharge Detection & Elimination

Minimum Control Measure (MCM) 3


The third MCM is a program to enforce detection and elimination of all illicit discharges and connections to the stormwater system. As part of the requirement of MCM 3, the town has inventoried all stormwater drainage features within Apex corporate limits.

Federal Definition of Illicit Discharge


Federal regulations define an illicit discharge as “any discharge to a Municipally Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) that is not composed entirely of stormwater.
Illicit Discharge Example

Pollutants


Illicit discharges result in untreated flows to the stormwater system that contribute high levels of pollutants to receiving bodies of water, including:
  • Bacteria
  • Heavy metals
  • Nutrients
  • Oil and Grease
  • Solvents
  • Toxins
  • Viruses
Pollutant levels from these illicit discharges can significantly degrade receiving water quality and threaten aquatic, wildlife, and human health.

Difference in Stormwater and Sanitary Sewer Systems


The stormwater system is often confused with the sanitary sewer system. In Apex, these are 2 distinctly separate systems.
  • Flows to the sanitary sewer system (e.g., flushing toilets, shower drains, kitchen sink drains, etc.) are treated at a wastewater treatment plant.
  • Flows to the stormwater system (through curbs on the edge of the street and all stormwater inlets) usually go to the nearest creek or stream and do not receive treatment at a plant.

Ordinance & Program


In 2008, the Town of Apex adopted an ordinance to establish an Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination (IDDE) program including a provision for assessing civil penalties on violators. Town staff investigate illicit connections and improper disposals to the stormwater system. Examples include:
  • A spill of a hazardous material that enters the stormwater system
  • Someone dumping paint or yard debris into a storm drain or creek

Report Polluters


Only rain belongs in the storm drain.  Contact James Misciagno at 919-372-7470 or via email to report illicit discharge violators. Many environmental problems can be resolved as a result of these investigations. You can make a difference by calling.

Information Required for Reporting


Please have the following information ready when you call:
  • Your name and contact information (only required if you would like a follow-up call)
  • Location of the incident
  • Date and time you witnessed the incident
  • What materials were involved

More Information


Check out the town’s IDDE brochure (PDF) for more information. Thank you for helping to keep the surface waters of Apex clean!