Illicit Discharge

Illicit Discharge No Dumping

Illicit Discharge is any discharge (or seepage) to the separate storm water drainage system that is not composed entirely of storm water or uncontaminated groundwater.

Illicit Connection is a physical connection to a separate storm water drainage system that primarily conveys illicit discharges into the system and/or is not authorized or permitted by the local authority (where a local authority requires such).

Illicit Discharge Warning Signs

  • Dry Weather Flow is noted when it has not rained for at least 72 hours and the storm drain has flow or the drain shows signs of intermittent flow (staining, odor).
  • Sanitary Sewage may be present if there is black staining inside the drainage pipe; visible evidence of sanitary waste, such as toilet paper; or opaque or gray water.  Sewage may originate from septic tank overflow pipes or improperly dumped travel trailer waste. 
  • Suds may be harmful to fish because suds deplete oxygen levels in the water.  Suds often enter lakes and streams as a result of improperly connected car washes or washing machines. 
  • Oil/Gas is recognized as a sheen on the water. Natural sheens may be differentiated from an oil/gas sheen by swirling the sheen around in the water. If it re-attaches, the sheen is oil/gas. Natural sheens will remain separated. Oil/Gas enters waterbodies via storm water runoff (spills while topping off at gas stations, oil leaks on pavement, etc.) and illegal dumping.

Illicit Discharge Reporting

To protect the quality of our streams and public health, please report sources of pollution you witness along the roadside or at rest areas and roadside parks, including:

  • Dumping waste/oil or other vehicle fluids
  • Suspicious pipes outletting to ditches
You can do this anonymously by calling the pollution emergency alerting system (PEAS) hotline at: 800-292-4706 or for community specific reporting click here

Please, Report Illegal Discharges!

The information on this page was originally from Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) and can be found here.

Only Rain in the Drain