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Public Education and Outreach

The City of Henderson is a designated NPDES MS4 Phase II community. Under this permit, the City of Henderson Engineering Department is entrusted with working with residents, city employees, businesses, and developers to keep the stormwater runoff in Henderson as clean as possible before it enters our streams and lakes. The City’s jurisdiction is within the city limits, which does include the ETJ (Extra Territorial Jurisdiction) but only in the Tar Pamlico Basin.

If you need to report pollution or sediment off-site please to go to our Illicit Discharge and Elimination Page.

What Is Stormwater and Why Does It Matter?


Stormwater is defined as surface water in abnormal quantity resulting from heavy precipitation of rain or snow. For our planet’s natural water cycle, this stormwater is a critical component to replenish ground and surface waters for the environment around us.

Water CycleNASA states, “The water cycle describes how water evaporates from the surface of the earth, rises into the atmosphere, cools and condenses into rain or snow in clouds, and falls again to the surface as precipitation.” When land is undeveloped land, surface water or runoff has a greater chance of being absorbed by the soil to replenish ground water. However, this cycle becomes altered as more land is developed. Typically, with land development impervious surfaces increases. Rooftops, driveways, sidewalks, streets, and other impervious surfaces prevent stormwater runoff from naturally soaking into the ground. Increased stormwater runoff can erode stream channels, increase pollutant loading in surface waters, cause downstream flooding. Anything that enters a storm sewer system is discharged untreated into surface waters such as Kerr Lake, Red Bud Creek, and Sandy Creek. Our community uses these waters for swimming, fishing and even providing drinking water to the region.

What Stormwater Discharges Are Allowed?

Not all liquids or solids may be allowable discharges into the stormwater conveyance systems.Here are some of the following activities that are allowed provided that they do not significantly impact water quality:

  • Filter backwash and draining associated with swimming pools;
  • Filter backwash and draining associated with raw water intake screening and filtering devices;
  • Condensate from residential or commercial air conditioning;
  • Residential vehicle washing;
  • Flushing and hydrostatic testing water associated with utility distribution systems;
  • Discharges associated with emergency removal and treatment activities, for hazardous materials, authorized by the federal, state or local government on scene coordinator;
  • Uncontaminated ground water (including the collection or pumping of springs, wells, or rising ground water and ground water generated by well construction or other construction activities);
  • Collected infiltrated stormwater from foundation or footing drains;
  • Collected ground water and infiltrated stormwater from basement or crawl space pumps;
  • Irrigation water;
  • Street wash water;
  • Flows from fire fighting;
  • Discharges for the pumping or draining of natural watercourse or waterbodies;
  • Flushing and cleaning of stormwater conveyances with unmodified potable water;
  • Wash water from the cleaning of the exterior of buildings, including gutters, provided that the discharge does nor pose an environmental or health threat; and
  • Other non-stormwater discharges for which a valid NPDES discharge permit has been approved and issued by DEQ, and provided that any such discharges to the municipal separate storm sewer system shall also be authorized by the city.
No person shall discharge or cause to be discharged into the municipal storm drain system or watercourses any materials, pollutants, waters, or other substance containing any pollutants that cause or contribute to a violation of applicable water quality standards, other than storm water. Examples of illegal discharges include, but shall not be limited to:

  • Dumping of oil, anti-freeze, paint or cleaning fluids;
  • Commercial car wash washwater;
  • Industrial discharges;
  • Contaminated fountain drains;
  • Cooling waters, unless no chemicals added and has valid NPDES permit;
  • Wash waters from commercial and industrial activities;
  • Chlorinated backwash and drainage associated with swimming pools;
  • Domestic wastewater;
  • Septic system effluent;
  • Washing machine discharges; and
  • Sanitary sewer discharges.

Stormwater Resources:

Environmental Protection Agency Protecting Water Quality from Urban Runoff
Environmental Protection Agency 10 Steps to Stormwater Pollution Prevention on Small Residential Construction Sites
NC STATE Cooperative Extension Backyard Stream Repair
NC STATE Cooperative Extension Gardener’s Guide to Protecting Water Quality
North Carolina Flood Risk Information System
North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality Surface Water Classifications
10 Things You Can Do to Prevent Stormwater Runoff Pollution