An illicit discharge is an illegal connection into the storm drain system. This could include washing machine connections or connections into the system from floor drains of older buildings. If an illicit discharge is discovered, then a series of tests is done to try to determine what type of chemical, if any, has been introduced into the system. These tests include chemical indicators for ammonia, chlorine, copper, detergents, and phenols. Other data that may be collected include pH, odor, oil sheen, surface scum, flow rate, color, and turbidity. Once the major constituent is determined, the main source can be identified so that the City can take the appropriate steps to correct the problem. If there is standing water with no flow, then the site will be monitored again, usually within a week, to make sure it is not an illicit discharge.
If you see a company or citizen dumping an illicit discharge down a catch basin, in a ditch, etc. please report it by calling 757-382-CITY (2489). Provide as much information as possible (license plate of car, what they appear to be dumping, etc.) and a stormwater employee will be dispatched to investigate the situation.
Download the presentation on Illicit Discharges (PDF).