An illicit discharge is defined as any release into the drainage system (MS4) of contaminated water, or any non-stormwater discharge that contributes pollutants to receiving waters.
Public Works conducts inspections of stormwater outfalls throughout the city as part of ongoing compliance with our Phase II permit. A city by-law (Article V, Section 26 (PDF)) provides enforcement and fining procedures for illicit discharges found within the city's MS4. Any discharge deemed a threat to public safety, public health, or the environment is in violation of this by-law and thus subject to a removal order and/or fines by the Conservation Commission, Board of Health, or Inspectional Services.
Examples of Illicit Discharges
- Bagged pet waste
- Direct septic connections into the storm drain system
- Improper disposal of automobile and household products
- Laundry wastewater
- Leaves and other debris dumped into open drainage and stream channels
- Overflow from septic tanks, car wash wastewater
- Sanitary wastewater from crushed or collapsed pipes or surcharges
Exceptions (not considered illicit discharges)
- Dechlorinated swimming pool discharges
- Diverted stream flows
- Foundation drains
- Landscape irrigation
- Potable water source discharges
- Rising or out-breaking groundwater
- Stormwater runoff from streets and sidewalks
- Uncontaminated pumped groundwater (includes clean sump pump discharges)
- Water line flushing
For more information regarding the Phase II Stormwater Management Program, email stormwater management or call 508-532-6010.