creek week
Creek Week 2024 is March 16 - 23rd! For events, visit CWEP's Creek Week Page

The Town of Wendell is designated as a regulated public entity subject to the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) by the Environmental Management Commission of the NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources and has adopted a stormwater management program and received a permit to discharge stormwater under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES).

Stormwater runoff is the water that flows off impervious surfaces or is not fully absorbed by natural surfaces during rain events. This water drains into catch basins, storm sewers and ditches, eventually ending up in lakes and rivers. Stormwater runoff can cause flooding and erosion. Stormwater runoff can pick up harmful chemicals and debris causing polluted bodies of water and destroying natural habitats.

Illicit Discharge and Spills: Illegally throwing away or dumping hazardous waste into the stormwater system. The system includes streets, ditches, storm drains and pipes, lakes, streams, and rivers. 

Examples of Illicit Discharge and Spills:

  • Anything other than rainwater quality that goes into or on a body of water. 
  • Pouring paint into or near a storm drain. 
  • Changing oil or antifreeze over or near a storm drain. 
  • Port-o-lets that are leaking where fluids could reach a storm drain. 
  • Any spill within 100 feet of surface water. 
  • Any fluids discharged from a crash that could impact/leak into a water source and/or the stormwater drainage system. 
  • Washing your car or dumpster pads in an area where stormwater could flow into a storm drain. 
  • Illegally connecting from the sanitary sewer system to the stormwater system. 
  • Putting any trash or debris in a creek. 


  • Condensation from air conditioners. 
  • Water from a hydrant used by firefighters. 
  • Pool water (if the water was not chlorinated before draining.) 
  • Charity and residential car washes. 
  • Groundwater from a sump pump. 

There are six focus areas under the permit requirements:

  1. Public education and outreach on stormwater impacts
  2. Provide opportunities for residents to participate in activities related to reducing stormwater runoff and pollution
  3. Detect illicit discharges of stormwater
  4. Control construction site stormwater runoff
  5. Manage post-construction stormwater in developments and re-developments
  6. Stormwater pollution prevention and maintenance for municipal operations

As a part of our public education and outreach efforts, the Town of Wendell has joined the Clean Water Education Partnership.  Anyone wishing to volunteer for a citizens stormwater group may sign up by contacting Wendell Public Works at (919) 365-4822

While the Town of Wendell will continue to maintain the public-owned stormwater system, there are also private and state owned structures throughout town. For all questions and concerns regarding the stormwater program, please call Wendell Public Works at (919) 365-4822.  Statewide Stormwater information is available here.

What to Report 

When you see water pollution or someone dumping hazardous waste, follow these questions to collect relevant information: 

  • What is the date and time of the spill (it's best to let us know immediately)? 
  • What is the location of the spill (address, intersection, business name, or any points of interest that are easily identifiable)? 
  • What has been spilled/discharged? 
  • Are you able to identify who is responsible for the spill/discharge? 
  • Is there an odor or color? 
  • Has the spill or discharge reached a storm drain or stream? 
  • Can you provide an estimated quantity of the spill or discharge? 
  • Are you able to take any pictures and provide to staff via email? Photo evidence goes a long way with enforcing our illicit discharge ordinance. 
  • You can always remain anonymous when reporting; however, it's always great for Stormwater staff to have the opportunity to contact you if additional information is needed. 

If you see pollution or someone illegally dumping litter into the stormwater system, call the Stormwater Helpline. 

The Town maintains an automated Illicit Discharge & Spill hotline that can be used 24/7 to report spills, discharges, or illegal dumping into the Town's storm drain system. When reporting an illicit discharge, be sure to include as much information as possible to help assist staff with our follow-up investigation. 

Street Sweeping

Street Sweeping is an integral part of our Storm Water Plan to reduce pollutants and sediment from entering our storm drainage system which eventually drains to surrounding creeks and rivers. Main thoroughfares, collector and all residential streets are scheduled to be swept at least once per quarter. The downtown business district is scheduled to be swept twice each month (typically early mornings due to traffic). Seasonal weather conditions or special town events may temporally increase or decrease the actual street sweeping frequency.