Illicit Discharges & Connections

An illicit discharge is anything entering a storm drain system discharging to surface water that is not compossed entirely of storm water.  Oftentimes, illicit discharges are the result of illegal activity.  For example, dumping materials into storm drain or connecting wasterwater pipe into the storm drain system are illicit discharges.  The best way to prevent illicit discharges is to prevent material from entering the storm drain system.  This is done through educating our citizens, enforcing prohibitions on illicit discharges/dumping, and controlling spills.

An illicit discharge does not occur just during a rainstorm.  Illicit discharges can also occur during dry weather when pollutants are carried along with allowable flow such as irrigation water.  Sprinklers can wash pesticides, fertilizers and weed killers from our gardens and lawns.  Detergents, oils and grease from washing the car can contribute to dry-weather discharges.

Illicit discharges, espicially dry-weather flows discharging from storm drainage systems, can contribute significant pollutant loading to receiving water such as the Carson River and Clear Creek.  These dry-weather flows originate from many sources.  The most obvious  sources include sanitary wastewater or industrial and commercial pollutant discharges into storm drains and vehicle maintenance activities.