What is an Illicit Discharge?

An illicit discharge occurs when a pollutant is released into the storm sewer system or surface waters.

Pollutants include:

  • Paints, varnishes and solvents
  • Soaps and cleaning solutions
  • Kerosene, gasoline, oil and other automotive fluids
  • Liquid and solid wastes and yard wastes
  • Refuse, rubbish, garbage, litter, or other discarded or abandoned objects or accumulations
  • Pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers
  • Hazardous substances and wastes
  • Sewage, sewage sludge, fecal coliform and pathogens
  • Dissolved and particulate metals
  • Animal wastes
  • Dredged spoil
  • Filter backwash
  • Chemical wastes
  • Biological materials
  • Toxic or radioactive materials
  • Wrecked or discarded equipment
  • Sand or dirt
  • Ashes and incinerator residue
  • Wastes and residues that result from constructing a building or structure
  • Noxious or offensive matter of any kind

The storm sewer system includes:

  • Streets and their associated curbs, gutters, drainage ditches or swales
  • Inlets
  • Culverts
  • Drainage pipes
  • Detention or retention basins
  • Other drainage structures and facilities

Surface waters include:

  • Streams
  • Lakes
  • Ponds
  • Creeks
  • Rivers

What is NOT Considered an Illicit Discharge?

  • Water line or hydrant flushing;
  • Landscape or garden irrigation or lawn watering;
  • Diverted stream flows;
  • Rising ground waters;
  • Uncontaminated ground water infiltration;
  • Uncontaminated pumped ground water;
  • Discharges from potable water sources;
  • Foundation drains;
  • Air conditioning condensation;
  • Springs;
  • Water from crawl space pumps;
  • Footing drains;
  • Individual residential car washing or charity car washing;
  • Flows from riparian habitats and wetlands;
  • Dechlorinated swimming pool discharges;
  • Street wash water;
  • Flows from fighting fires
  • Other non-stormwater discharges for which a valid NPDES discharge permit has been approved and issued by the State of North Carolina.

What is Considered an Illicit Connection?

An illicit connection is when a drain or pipe conveying sewage, process wastewater, wastewater from washing machines, wash water from commercial vehicle washing or steam cleaning, or water from indoor sinks or floor drains, is connected to the storm sewer system.