Illicit Discharge

An illicit discharge is anything that goes down the storm drain that is not stormwater. Some discharges are considered cleaner, such as tap water from leaking water pipes and irrigation, groundwater, and spring water. Other discharges are more dangerous, such as wash water from laundry, car or shop floor cleaning, sewage from pipes and septic systems, and liquid wastes such as oil, paint, and any automotive fluids.

Illicit discharges may be intentional or unintentional. Intentional dumping of waste into storm drains by a business or/and individual has legal consequences, as local, state, and federal laws protect the streams and water bodies into which they flow.

Unintentional illicit discharges occur daily, because many people do not realize the ways in which their daily activities contribute to the polluting of our waters. Soapy water from car washing, pet feces that are not picked up, waste water from household appliances that drain directly to the outside, pesticide and fertilizer use, and improper disposal of motor oil, paint, and other household chemicals are some of the ways in which an individual may unwittingly be damaging our ecosystem. Other illicit discharges occur when sewer pipes are connected directly to storm water pipes, or when sewer pipes or septic systems leak.

One simple way you can help prevent illicit discharge is by properly disposing of your used or leftover oil, antifreeze, or paint. Hanover County has convenience centers that town residents can use to safely dispose of oil, oil filters, antifreeze, gasoline, solvents, and automobile fluids. Elmont Convenience Center is the closest convenience center and is located at 11045 Lewistown Road in Ashland.