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 and has mapped all stormwater outfalls within Apex corporate limits.


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


Illicit discharges result in untreated flows to the stormwater system that contribute high levels of pollutants to receiving bodies of water, including:

  • Heavy metals
  • Nutrients
  • Oil and Grease
  • Solvents
  • Toxins

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 two 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 curb inlets on streets, etc.) 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. Email James Misciagno or call 919-362-8166 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