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We all live in a river basin! 
A river basin is an area of land that drains into a common stream or waterway. Cary lies within two river basins, the Neuse and Cape Fear River basins. What we do in our river basins can affect the quality of our water. Learn about the river basin you live in and take action to help prevent stormwater pollution and protect our water quality.

Report it!
Call (919) 469-4030 or use our online form to report suspicious substances in a storm drain or waterway, or if you witness someone or a business dumping material into a storm drain or waterway. Other than rain and allowable substances listed in the Town’s stormwater permit, no other substances should go down the drain.


Allowable Stormwater Discharges

Residential and charity car-washing
Dechlorinated swimming pool discharges 
Air conditioning condensate 
 Street wash water
Flows from firefighting activities
Waterline and fire hydrant flushing
 Footing drains
Foundation drains
Water from crawl space pumps
Rising groundwaters
Landscape irrigation 



Keep our storm drains clean and clear. Prevent water pollution by following the tips in our video and recommendations below.



Landscape using best-management practices
  • Install a rain garden or wet-loving plants and trees in poorly drained areas.
  • Install a rainwater harvesting system; citizens can purchase a rain barrel during our seasonal sale.
  • Use fertilizer according to instructions and have your soil tested. Pick up a soil test kit at the Stevens Nature Center.
  • If you fertilize, hold off before a rainstorm and always sweep excess fertilizer back on the lawn.
  • Blow grass clippings back onto the lawn or compost them. Take tips from The Sodfather.
  • Set sprinklers to water the landscape only, not hardscapes such as driveways, sidewalks and streets.
  • Prevent streambank and backyard erosion.
Keep storm drains clean and clear Mind your pet Visit Maintain your septic tank
  • Only flush items that will decompose naturally.
  • Never pour grease down the drain.
  • Conserve water use.
  • Pump the tank out regularly by a licensed contractor.

See North Carolina State University’s Septic System Owners Guide for more information. 

Practice good business
Work in one of these businesses? Take these steps to help prevent stormwater pollution.

Preserving the quality of our streams and waterways is a regional effort. The Town of Cary is a founding partner of the Clean Water Education Partnership (CWEP), which is administered by the Triangle J Council of Governments and provides additional outreach and education for all ages. 


Water Resources
(919) 469-4030