Notice: Ordinance revisions to Article 9 were adopted October 2019 including the requirement for downstream impact analysis and an illicit discharge ordinance.

Notice: The SNAP (Stormwater Nitrogen and Phosphorus) v4.1 is now required for all residential and commercial site development for Nitrogen and Phosphorus loading. Please see N.C. Department of Environmental Quality information regarding the SNAP Tool here.


Online Permitting Now Active

All permit submittals will be made online through the Permit Portal.
You will submit the same application, fees, construction drawing, calculations and maps as always but DIGITALLY and through the PERMIT PORTAL. You will upload documents and be invoiced once the application and fees due are verified. You will be able to track the progress of your permit through the portal.
First, you will need to create a Login account. Engineering firms should consider creating an account for the firm rather than individuals.
Print out the document below for instructions on how to apply online.

The Stormwater Management Program within Watershed Management addresses the adverse effects of stormwater runoff associated with new development. Proper management of stormwater runoff will protect property, control stream erosion, reduce flooding, protect floodplain and wetlands, water resources, riparian and aquatic ecosystems. Wake County administers stormwater regulations for all unincorporated areas as well as Wendell, Rolesville and Zebulon through interlocal agreements.

The proper management of stormwater runoff is essential to maintaining the integrity of our watersheds and our environment. Wake County's Stormwater program monitors compliance with stormwater regulations for the unincorporated areas in Wake County. One purpose of the Stormwater program is to protect water supplies in Wake County and surrounding municipalities by minimizing the amount of nitrogen and other pollutants that stormwater carries.

Hazardous material spills and discharges pose a threat to water quality and are a potential health concern.  If you observe a spill, please report using the guidance below.

Report a Spill

  • Call 911 if life, safety, health, or property is in immediate danger.
  • Observed spills to surface waters should be reported to the Raleigh Regional Office’s general phone line, 919-791-4200, during normal working hours and to the State’s Emergency Operations Center line at 800-858-0368 after hours, weekends and on holidays. Get more specifics here about reporting environmental emergencies.

Illicit Discharges 

  • Wake County Stormwater Ordinance prohibits illicit discharges with the potential to significantly impact surface waters. Illicit discharges are flows to a stormwater conveyance that are not associated with stormwater runoff or an allowable discharge.  Examples of illicit discharges include, but are not limited to, oil, antifreeze, animal waste, chemicals and septic tank discharges. To report an illicit discharge, please contact Customer Service at 919-856-7400.

For information about Household Hazardous Waste, visit the Wake County Household Hazardous Waste page.



Stormwater runoff is the leading cause of water pollution in North Carolina. As land is developed, impervious surfaces created increase runoff from rainfall or snowmelt events. Impervious surfaces such as rooftops, driveways, sidewalks and streets prevent stormwater runoff from naturally soaking into the ground. Stormwater can pick up debris, chemicals, dirt and other pollutants and flow directly to a stream, river, lake, wetland, or into a storm sewer system. Anything that enters a storm sewer system is discharged untreated into the water bodies we use for swimming, fishing and providing drinking water.
While awareness and interest in environmental protection exists at the local government and citizen level, the County’s water resources continue to experience degradation. The length and number of streams on the State’s 303(d) list of impaired waters has increased since the list was first published in 1998. Also, a 2003 assessment of the County’s 82 watersheds as part of the Wake County Watershed Management Plan rated nearly 63% of the watersheds as impacted or degraded. In recent years, an average of 27 acres of land in Wake County is converted from a natural to a developing stage every day. If not managed properly, development in Wake County could result in the further impairment of these water resources, having a pronounced impact on the quality of life in Wake County.
Increased stormwater runoff can erode stream channels, increase pollutant loading in surface waters, cause downstream flooding and prevent groundwater recharge. Protecting our water resources is vital for a variety of reasons, including ensuring an adequate supply of safe drinking water, protection of fish and wildlife habitat, human health and recreation.


Rules Forms Contacts Fees Single Lot Stormwater FAQs