Illicit Discharge Ordinance

Town Code Sections (PDF Format)



(Amend. 5/03/2022)

Section 5-30.  Purpose

The purpose of this article is to regulate illicit discharges into and connections to the storm sewer system in order to comply with the requirements of the town’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permit.

Section 5-31.  Definitions

Unless otherwise specifically provided, or unless otherwise clearly indicated by the context, the words and phrases defined in this section shall have the meaning indicated when used in this article.

  1. Administrator. The person assigned by the manager to enforce or otherwise perform any duties required under this article.
  2. Discharge. To put, place, dump, spill, pump, pour, or otherwise deposit any solid or liquid material.
  3. Illicit connection. Any drain, pipe, or other constructed or manufactured conveyance through which or by which any liquids, other than stormwater or those liquids listed in subsection 15-32(b), are conveyed and discharged directly into the storm sewer system or a surface water.
  4. Illicit discharge.  A discharge that violates Subsection 5-32 (a)
  5. Pollutant. Anything which causes or contributes to pollution. Pollutants may include, but are not limited to: paints, varnishes, and solvents; soaps and cleaning solutions; kerosene, gasoline, oil and other automotive fluids; liquid and solid wastes and yard wastes; refuse, rubbish, garbage, litter, or other discarded or abandoned objects or accumulations, to the extent that the same may cause or contribute to pollution; pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers; hazardous substances and wastes; sewage, sewage sludge, fecal coliform and pathogens; dissolved and particulate metals; animal wastes; dredged spoil; filter backwash; salt; chemical wastes; biological materials; toxic materials; radioactive materials; wrecked or discarded equipment; sand; dirt; ashes and incinerator residue; wastes and residues that result from constructing a building or structure; and noxious or offensive matter of any kind. This includes any chemical additive to water potentially causing or contributing to pollution. (Amend. 5/3/22)
  6. Pollution. The alteration of the physical, thermal, chemical, or biological quality of, or the contamination of, any water of the State or of the United States, that renders the water harmful, detrimental, or injurious to humans, animal life, vegetation, or property, or to the public health, safety, or welfare, or impairs the usefulness or the public enjoyment of the water for any lawful or reasonable purpose.
  7. Storm sewer system. A system of man-made structures owned by the Town of Carrboro or the North Carolina Department of Transportation or another State agency that is designed to collect or convey stormwater, including but not limited to streets (including associated curbs, gutters, drainage ditches, or swales), inlets, culverts, drainage pipes, detention or retention basins, and other drainage structures and facilities.
  8. Stormwater. Any  surface   flow,  runoff,  or   drainage  that  occurs during  or following any form of natural precipitation and that results from such precipitation.
  9. Surface waters. All, streams, lakes, and ponds that appear as surface waters on either the most recent version of the soil survey map prepared by the Natural Resources Conservation Service of the United States Department of Agriculture or the most recent version of the 1:24,000 scale (7.5 minute) quadrangle topographic maps prepared by the United States Geologic Survey (USGS) as well as Town regulated streams. (Amend. 5/3/22)

Section 5-32.  Illicit Discharges Prohibited.

  1.  No person may discharge or cause to be discharged, or allow to be discharged from property under such person’s control, any pollutant directly or indirectly into the storm sewer system or into surface waters.
    1. A direct discharge occurs when a pollutant is discharged within the physical limits of the storm sewer system or within the banks of a stream or inside the mean high water level of a pond or lake.
    2. An indirect discharge occurs when a pollutant is discharged outside the physical limits of the storm sewer system or outside the banks of a stream or beyond the mean high water level of a pond or lake but takes place in such a manner or location that the pollutant is carried into the storm sewer system or surface water in some way other than by action of the wind or stormwater. By way of illustration without limitation, an indirect discharge would occur if water from a commercial car wash is discharged onto the area where the cars are washed and allowed to drain into a public street.
    3. An indirect discharge also occurs when a pollutant is discharged (i) outside the physical limits of the storm sewer system or outside the banks of a stream or beyond the mean high water level of a pond or lake, but (ii) with the specific intent that the pollutant be disposed of by being carried (by the wind or stormwater or otherwise) into the storm sewer system or a surface water, and (iii) the pollutant or some part or portion thereof does reach the storm sewer system or surface water. By way of illustration without limitation, dumping used oil near the edge of a stream with the intent that the  next rain carry the oil into the stream constitutes an indirect discharge within the meaning of this subsection
  2. Notwithstanding the other provisions of this article, the following shall not be regarded as constituting an illicit discharge:
    1. Water line or hydrant flushing;
    2. Landscape or garden irrigation or lawn watering;
    3. Diverted stream flows;
    4. Rising ground waters;
    5. Uncontaminated ground water infiltration (as defined at 40 CFR 35.2005(20));
    6. Uncontaminated pumped ground water;
    7. Discharges from potable water sources;
    8. Foundation drains;
    9. Air conditioning condensation;
    10. Springs;
    11. Water from crawl space pumps;
    12. Footing drains;
    13. Individual residential car washing or charity car washing that does not allow water to directly enter the stormwater system; (Amend. 5/3/22)
    14. Flows from riparian habitats and wetlands;
    15. Dechlorinated swimming pool discharges that discharge across ground in a diffuse and non-erosive manner outside the stream buffer; (Amend. 5/3/22)
    16. Street wash water;
    17. Flows from fighting fires
    18. Other non-stormwater discharges for which a valid NPDES discharge permit has been approved and issued by the State of North Carolina;
    19. Runoff from residential properties that is discharged as diffuse flow in a non-erosive manner outside the stream buffer. (Amend. 5/3/22)

Section 5-33.  Illicit Connections Prohibited

  1. No person may cause, suffer, or permit on property under such person’s control any illicit connection to the storm sewer system, including without limitation connections of drains or lines that convey sewage, process wastewater, wastewater from washing machines, wash water from commercial vehicle washing or steam cleaning, or water from indoor sinks or floor drains.
  2. Subject to subsection (c), if, on the effective date of this article, an illicit connection as defined in this article exists, then such situation shall not be considered a violation of this article until ninety (90) days after the town mails by first class mail written notice to the owner (according to the most recent property records) of the property where the condition exists, informing such owner of the nature of the violation and what must be done to correct it.
  3. The ninety day grace period provided for in subsection (b) of this section shall not apply if the administrator concludes that an illicit connection:
  1. Is likely to result in the discharge of hazardous materials or otherwise pose an immediate threat to health or safety, or is likely to result in immediate injury to real or personal property, natural resources, wildlife, or habitat; or
  2. Was made in violation of any applicable statute, regulation, or ordinance.

Section 5-34 Inspections

  1. Upon the presentation of proper credentials, town officers, agents, and employees engaged in the enforcement of this article shall have a right to enter on any premises within the town at all reasonable hours for the purpose of making inspections, collecting samples or carrying out other enforcement actions under this article. (Amend. 5/3/22)
  2. No person may obstruct or interfere with any town officer, agent, or employee of the town engaged in the lawful performance of any task authorized or required by this article.

Section 5-35 Enforcement

The Administrator is authorized to enforce the provisions of this article through the penalties and remedies available for enforcement as set forth in Section 5-21 of this chapter. (Amend. 5/3/22) In addition, nothing in this article is intended to preclude  the town from resorting in appropriate circumstances to the procedures set forth in Chapter 11, Article V, Part 2 of the Town Code dealing with the summary abatement of conditions dangerous or prejudicial to the public health.