Established in 1998, the N.C. Department of Transportation’s Highway Stormwater Program is focused on protecting and improving water quality while providing and supporting a safe and integrated transportation system for the state of North Carolina.
Core objectives of the Highway Stormwater Program are to:
- Manage and reduce stormwater pollutants from roadways and industrial activities in compliance with NCDOT’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Statewide Stormwater Discharge Permit.
- Design sustainable programs that can be effectively managed, implemented and integrated into NCDOT.
- Develop proactive solutions that improve program delivery, form partnerships, have technical merit and are fiscally responsible.
What is Stormwater?
Stormwater runoff is the result of rain or melting snow that flow over land or surfaces – such as streets, parking lots and building rooftops – where water does not soak into the ground.
Between rain events, pollutants such as sediment, bacteria, litter and vehicle fluids can build up on streets and parking lots. During and after rain events, the stormwater runoff can wash these pollutants off into the storm sewer system and eventually carry them into local streams, lakes, rivers or estuaries.
If not properly managed, stormwater runoff can pollute these water bodies and impair their use for fishing, swimming or as a source for drinking water.
Prevention & Reporting
Public involvement is critical to the success of the Highway Stormwater Program. NCDOT depends on the public to not litter on North Carolina's roadways, to be on the lookout for potential stormwater problems and to help prevent stormwater pollution.
NCDOT has established the Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination Program, which allows NCDOT employees, contractors and the public to report any potential illicit discharge, spill or illegal dumping onto NCDOT roadways so that it can be addressed or eliminated.
By helping to report potential illicit discharges (e.g., illegal pipe connections to the drainage system) or abandoned containers along North Carolina’s roadways, the public is helping to protect waterways for current and future use.