Target Pollutants in Our Area

There are six things we can all do to prevent stormwater pollution. At the same time, it’s important to know what your own "target pollutants" are.

Businesses That Serve Food

Cleaning supplies, grease, and "dumpster juice" can all affect your sanitation score if not disposed of properly, and if they happen to go down a storm drain, they may harm aquatic life and water quality. Keep dumpster lids and doors closed, close lids and clean up spills, clean mats and dispose of wash water in a mop sink or can wash basin. View the UNC Institute for the Environment website for more information.


Household hazardous waste (HHW), are products around your home that contain volatile chemicals, such as chloride. Examples of HHW include:

  • Car batteries
  • Gasoline
  • Motor oil
  • Oil-based paint
  • Pesticides

Any bottle in your house that says "warning", "danger" or "caution" is hazardous and may end up in stormwater and our local rivers or contaminate landfills by putting toxic materials into the soil and groundwater. And remember, sewer treatment plants are not able to treat HHW, so chemicals that are dumped down the sink can end up untreated in our rivers. View disposal guidelines in your area here.

Businesses & Residents near Creeks, Rivers & Streams

Protect our waters by letting the plants grow! A vegetated buffer is a combination of plants that grow along a river, stream or lake and reduce the amount of pollution entering the water. Establish a "no mow" area along your stream bank, lakefront or ditch. Plant trees, shrubs, and bunch grasses in your buffer zone. Native plants have deeper roots, which secure stream banks and prevent erosion. When roots die off, they leave tunnels in the soil, which help water soak into the ground. Periodically pick up litter that gets caught in the plants. Pick up pet waste and fertilizers in clear weather to reduce nutrients entering the water.

Car Owners & Commercial Car Washes

The stuff we wash off our cars contains major water pollutants like oil, grease and heavy metals, while detergents contain surfactants. If the water enters a storm drain, it will get into our streams and rivers. Wash your car on the grass, use biodegradable detergents, or use a commercial car wash.

Pet Owners

When it rains, dog waste runs into storm drains and then into lakes, streams and rivers. Dog waste contains roundworms, E coli, and Giardia. Excess nutrients found in dog waste cause algal blooms, which reduce oxygen in the water and can cause fish and other aquatic life to die. Remember to always scoop the poop!

Landscapers & Homeowners Who Maintain Lawns

Lawn chemicals like pesticides and fertilizers pollute our streams and lakes. Yard wastes, such as leaves, grass clippings, sticks and limbs, can block underground drainage pipes and culverts, cause flooding and add more nutrients to the water. Apply chemicals to lawn when the forecast calls for sunny weather, and/or increase your use of compost and native plants. Never sweep or blow anything into the storm drain. Learn more and print a landscaping brochure.

Developers & Homeowners

Low Impact Development (LID) is development that reduces its impact on the environment. By working with natural hills and landscape features, developers minimize the amount of pollution that leaves the site. LID saves developers money by conserving water, reducing the need for fertilizers and reduces the cost of grading. In addition, developers see a 10% cost savings by not using gutters, piping and storm drains. Lastly, LID minimizes disturbance to the land, reducing soil compaction and remediation costs. LID for you yard can be achieved with permeable pavers and downspout disconnection. Learn more and print brochures here.


You can make a big difference in your neighborhood by picking up litter. Even very small pieces of waste like cigarette butts can hurt the ecosystems of your local streams, harming turtles, fish, and other aquatic life. Other common pollutants, like empty cans and food wrappers, become "floatable" pollutants in the creeks and streams near your home or school. View NCDOT Safety Rules and Guidelines (PDF).

In addition the Compliance Audit Team required the removal of the "NCDENR" logo on the Certificate of Approval with Performance Reservations issued for all sites over 10,000 square feet. This is the first time the for the document has been changed in the City of Archdale.

Certificate of Plan Approval