What is an Illicit Discharge?
By definition, an illicit discharge is an unlawful act of disposing (or dumping, spilling, emitting or other discharge) of any substance other than stormwater into the streets, gutters, ditches and ponds that make up our stormwater drainage system, or directly into streams or lakes themselves.
What we do at home and at work affects our local water resources, because our storm drains and ditches are connected to nearby lakes, rivers and streams. Even some fairly common activities could be considered illicit discharge, like dumping leaves, grass clippings, motor oil, paint or other household hazard wastes into a storm drain, allowing discharge from failing septic systems, and improper disposal of sewage from boating or camping. The result is untreated garbage and filth that contribute high levels of pollutants, like heavy metals, toxics, oil and grease, solvents, nutrients, viruses, and bacteria to our lakes and streams - so we all need to be aware of what goes into our storm drains.
Who do I contact if I find a potential illicit discharge?
If you see anyone discharging any substance other than stormwater in roadside ditches and storm drains, please report it to the City Engineer at 612-360-1289. For potentially hazardous materials and petroleum spills, call 9-1-1 FIRST when there is an immediate threat to life or property.