Illicit Discharge Detection & Elimination

Town of Baldwin

Illicit Discharge Detection & Elimination


What You Need to Know.


Definition An illicit discharge is defined as any discharge into a stormwater drainage system that is not composed entirely of stormwater. There are a few allowable discharge exceptions such as firefighting activities, residential car washing and lawn watering. An illicit discharge is an illegal activity which causes water pollution and degrades water quality.


Listed below are some examples of illicit discharges:


  1. Sewage discharges into stormwater structures
  2. Improper industrial runoff management
  3. Trash, debris, leaves or yard wastes along waterways
  4. Dumping used chemicals/motor oil down storm drains
  5. Pouring paint into or near the storm drainage system
  6. Improper connections into ponds or ditches
  7. Cooking grease or oil leaking from commercial dumpsters 


How to Identify an Illicit Discharge


Several signs can indicate that an illegal discharge has occurred.


  1. Is there a change in the appearance of the pond, river or stream? The water might be discolored, cloudy or have a soapy or oily sheen. There may be a foul odor, excessive algae growth or even dead fish, plants or animals.


  1. Look for suspicious pipes emptying onto the ground or directly into storm drains or waterbodies. These pipes may be coming from sinks, dishwashers, washing machines, floor drains or other sources of wastewater in buildings or homes.


  1. Take note of any pipe connected to a stream or pond that has running water when there has been no rain in the past several days. This most likely indicates suspicious activity. These connections are usually unauthorized.


  1. An indication of industrial contamination is damage to outfall structures. Cracking, deterioration of concrete or peeling of surface paint occurring at an outfall is usually caused by severely contaminated discharges. These contaminated discharges are usually of industrial origin.


  1. In the road look for stains, dirt, debris or traces of dumping or leaking fluids.

    How to Report An Illicit Discharge

    If you see an illicit discharge, illegal dumping or an illicit connection violation,

    Call Town of Baldwin 904 266 5031. Try to call as soon as possible. Be prepared to give the address and details about the evidence at the scene.

    If possible report:



    1.      What is being illegally discharged or dumped

    2.      The date

    3.      The time of day

    4.      The location of the illicit discharge violation

    5.      Take photos at the scene

    6.      A license plate number of a vehicle if possible

    7.      Any other information that would help the investigation

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