Illicit Discharge Laws

What is an illicit discharge?

The EPA defines an illicit (or illegal) discharge as any discharge into a storm drain system this is not composed entirely of stormwater. Thisimage includes: pollutants poured on the ground then carried by stormwater runoff; pollutants poured into a storm drain, ditch, or stream; or a physical connection (like a pipe) installed to carry pollutants from a source into a storm sewer system without a permit.

Why are illicit discharges a problem?

Storm drain systems empty directly into natural waterways (streams, rivers, and wetlands), and do not go to a water treatment plant. So, any pollution that makes its way into storm drains can damage the environment and pose risks to human health. Rain water can easily carry pollution from parking lots, streets, and lawns, such as litter, oil, or fertilizer into storm drains and from there into waterways that we use for drinking water, fishing, swimming and so on.

Other things that may not be disposed into storm sewers or the environment:

  • Mop water
  • Sediment from construction sites
  • Litter, trash, or debris
  • Recreation vehicle sanitary discharges

What is NOT considered Illicit Discharge?

The following discharges are allowed in Sumter County and the City of Sumter:

  • Water line flushing
  • Discharges from potable water sources
  • Landscape irrigation or lawn watering
  • Non-commercial washing of vehicles
  • Dechlorinated swimming pools water
  • Air conditioning condensation
  • Diverted stream flows
  • Rinsing, infiltration or pumping of uncontaminated ground water
  • Foundation or footing drains and crawl space pumps (not including active groundwater dewatering systems)
  • Springs
  • Fire fighting activities