Pollutants of Concern (POC)

The Stormwater division identifies pollutants of concern, POCS, based on illicit discharges that we receive. When a citizen calls in an illicit discharge the Stormwater Technicians investigate the cause and issue notices of violation, including fines, when necessary. We use this data to identify areas that have a high number of illicit discharges for our targeted educational outreach.

For more information about Illicit Discharges, visit our Code of Ordinances below:

Code of Ordinances

Here are the current POCs for commercial and residential areas.

Commercial:

Sediment: Erosion happens when water, wind or debris moves soil, gravel and natural resources. This creates unstable ground leading to mudslides, channels and sink holes. Sediment is the number one pollutant in North Carolina. 

Please visit our Erosion Control page here to read about ordinances, permits and more! 

An easy option for helping control erosion and create a stable soil bed is planting native plants. Not only do native plants help stabilize the soil they also provide a beautiful backdrop that is beneficial to wildlife and easy to maintain. Another great option is a rain barrel. Rain barrels collect rain from your roof into a container that can be used to water your garden.

For more information about best management practices visit our links below:

DEQ Erosion Control

DEQ FAQ for Erosion Control

EPA Best Mangement Practices

For information about native planting for erosion control visit our links below:

Native Plant List 

Erosion Control with Native Plants

Rain Barrel DIY

Natural Yard Care

Fats, Oils and Grease: Fats, oils, and grease (FOG) are a common commercial pollutant. Accidental oil spills or improper handling of cooking grease can end up in our storm drain, which ends up in our creeks. FOGs also clog pipes causing costly repairs and overflows.

If you experience a grease spill at your location, use an absorbent material to soak it up and then sweep the dried oil into a trash can. Oil that is dried can be placed into the trash, never pour hot oil into the trash can. 

 

For more information about how you can battle the "Grease Goblin", visit our fact sheet below:

FOGs Best Practices


Residential:


Motor Oil: Changing your oil at home can help save you cash, but what do you do with your used oil? Easy! Take it to 3RC. 3RC is a free recycling program for Forsyth County residents. They take used oil, filters, antifreeze, brake fluid and more! 

3RC can be located at:
1401 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive 
Winston-Salem, NC 27101

Phone:
336-784-4300

Hours:
Wednesday - Saturday 9 a.m.- 3 p.m.
Closed Sunday - Tuesday, holidays and select holiday weekends.

For more information about 3RC and what else they accept visit our webpage here: 3RC list of accepted items

Motor Oil PSA

Yard Waste: Kick your leaves to the curb! Yard waste can be an overwhelming problem in the fall but yard waste, while natural, doesn't belong in our waterways. Yard waste can have fertilizers, pesticides and animal waste on it and when these enter our creeks, they disturb the delicate ecosystem that aquatic animals need to survive.
 

The result of excess yard waste is decreased oxygen in the water, increased nitrogen which leads to algae blooms, and increased fecal coliforms. Use your green yard cart, mulch your leaves in or leave them - the insects will thank you! 

Additionally, storm drains that are blocked with yard waste can present a safety risk. Drivers may not be able to gauge the depth of the water and unknowingly drive into dangerous flood waters. Just 12 inches of rushing water can carry a car away. Turn around, don't drown.