What is an Illicit Discharge?
An illicit discharge is defined in the federal regulations as:
"Any discharge to an Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4) that is not composed entirely of stormwater."
Types of Illicit Discharges:
- Transitory illicit discharge is a one-time event resulting from an accident, a spill, dumping or leakage. Because it is a one-time event, it is often difficult to identify, trace and clean up or remove this type of discharge. It can be reduced by public education, tracking of discharge locations and enforcement of an illicit ordinance.
- Intermittent illicit discharge occurs over a short period of time such as several hours per day, or a few days per year. This type of discharge is as a result of activities such as illegal discharge of waste into water bodies or land, or drum washing of exterior areas. These discharges are more likely to be discovered and traced. Is can cause small to large impacts on water bodies depending on the amount of pollutant discharged and the size of the receiving water body.
- Continuous illicit discharge occurs as a result of an illegal connection from a commercial or industrial facility, a direct connection from a sanitary sewer, inflow from a nearby subsurface sanitary sewer that is malfunctioning or overflow from a malfunctioning septic system. This type of discharge is the easiest to discover and trace. It can have the greatest pollutant load.
- Water from car washing in driveways or pavement
- Gas and motor oil
- Kitchen grease/oil
- Household cleansers
- Solvents or vehicle related spills
- Weed Killers
When these pollutants find the way into the storm sewer system, even unintentionally, they cause serious health and water quality problems, such as destruction of the natural habitat.
Some Indications of Illicit Discharges Include:
- Unusual color or cloudiness
- Strong pungent or musty odor
- Floating debris
- Surface scum or foam
- Oil sheen
What You Can Do:
- Used oil, antifreeze and batteries can be recycled at an auto parts store or at the County Hazardous Waste Facility.
- Do not use a hose to clean up any spills. Use kitty litter or sawdust to absorb the spill, then sweep it up and dispose of it properly.
- Wash your car on the grass so that the water, detergent, and dirt will be filtered by the soil. Or take your car to a commercial car wash, where the dirty water is sent to a wastewater treatment plant.
- Household cleansers, pesticides, and weed killer, including the empty bottles, should be disposed of according to label directions.
- Cooking grease or oil should be put into a disposable container, sealed, then placed in the trash.
- Many household products, including paints, paint thinner and solvents can be taken to the County Hazardous Waste Facility.
- Paint brushes used with water-based paint can be rinsed in the sink. If you have a small amount of leftover paint in a can, stuff it loosely with newspaper, let the paint dry out completely, and put it in the trash.
- Be sure that washing machines drain into the sanitary sewer system. Laundry wastewater should not be piped into the yard or ditch, where soapy water can pollute waterways.
Illicit Discharge Reporting:
To protect the quality of our creeks, rivers and public health, please report sources of pollution you witness along the roadside or in your neighborhood including:
You can do this anonymously by calling the Public Works Hotline: (321) 952-3438 (daytime) or (321) 952-3456 Non-Emergency Police (after-hours).