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How do I report pollution?

​​To report any type of pollution in a Charlotte-Mecklenburg creek, lake, or storm drain to Storm Water Services:

            Dial 311, or

            Use our online form, or

            Download the Water Watchers app.  

Be a Water Watcher!   Eyeglasses from Water Watchers logo

This Water Watchers video shows you how to spot water pollution and report it.

You should also call 311 if you suspect a sanitary sewer problem.

If you are calling from outside of Mecklenburg County or calling from a cell phone, you may need to dial 704-336-7600 to reach a 311 operator.

Why be concerned about pollution?

Our creeks--and any pollution in the creek water--flow into rivers and lakes. Charlotte-Mecklenburg and a half-dozen communities rely on Lake Norman, Mountain Island Lake, and Lake Wylie for drinking water. The water that comes from your faucet has been thoroughly treated to remove contaminants. However, polluted water often costs more to treat and can result in higher water bills.

Sediment is a major contaminant in Mecklenburg County streams
Sediment is a major contaminant
in Mecklenburg County streams

Sanitary sewer overflows are one source of unhealthy bacteria in our streams
Sanitary sewer overflows are
one source of unhealthy 
bacteria in our streams

The major pollutants in Mecklenburg County waterways are sediment and bacteria. The major source of sediment is runoff from construction sites. One major source of bacteria is overflows from sanitary sewer systems, often caused by improper grease disposal or tree roots that clog pipes.

You can't see or smell every type of pollution.  But here are some warning signs: 

  • Muddy creek
  • Foam or excessive bubbles
  • Unusual color, or chalky or milky appearance
  • Unusual odor

Report erosion problems

Report debris or trash blocking storm drains or creek

Where water pollution comes from