What is an Illicit Discharge?
An Illicit Discharge is the result of an illegal and/or improper waste discharge into storm drain and ultimately a detention pond, a tributary, and the DuPage River. We like to use the saying “Only Rain Goes Down the Drain.” This is important because all of our storm drains empty directly into a detention pond or stream, they DO NOT go to a treatment plan to be cleaned. Illicit discharges may result from the connections of non-stormwater conveyance facilities (such as sanitary sewers) to the stormwater system or may be the result of a waste spill flowing over land and into a storm sewer.
Illicit discharges include illegal sanitary sewer connections to the storm sewer, failing septic systems, water from car washes or laundromats, dumping oil, paint or other wastes in or near a storm drain, An example of an illicit connection might be the connection of a floor drain in a restaurant or automotive repair garage to a storm sewer. This results in non-stormwater wastes being flushed into the storm sewer system when the floors are washed in either facility. These illicit discharges contaminate stormwater as stormwater has now been mixed and inter-dispersed with waste.
Why Be Concerned about Illicit Discharges?
Illicit discharges have the potential to introduce harmful pollutants into our rivers and streams like bacteria, chemicals and excess nutrients. These pollutants can harm wildlife and impact recreational opportunties.