Illicit Discharge


Illicit Discharge

What is an Illicit Discharge and Illegal Connection?

An illicit discharge is any discharge to the storm sewer system that is not composed entirely of rain water or groundwater. Examples include, dumping of motor vehicle fluids, household hazardous wastes, grass clippings, leaf litter, industrial waste, restaurant wastes, or any other non-stormwater waste into a storm sewer system.

An illicit connection is the discharge of pollutants or non-stormwater material into a storm sewer system via a pipe or other direct connection that is non-permitted. Some sources of illicit connections include illegal sewer taps, wash water pipes from homes, and shop floor drains into the storm sewer system.


Why are finding, fixing, and preventing illicit discharges & illegal connections important?

Illicit discharges enter our streams, creeks and rivers contributing to high levels of pollutants (e.g., heavy metals, toxins, solvents, nutrients, and bacteria) that have been shown to significantly degrade water quality and threaten aquatic wildlife and human health.They also cause maintenance issues by clogging storm drains and pipes.

How do I spot an Illicit Discharge or Illegal Connection?

  • Look for makeshift pipes or hoses that lead to a storm drain or body of water.
  • Watch for stains, unusual odors and colors, structural damage to streets or gutters, and abnormal vegetative growth in nearby creeks and streams.

· During dry weather, stormwater flows should be non-present or minimal. Look for suspicious liquids flowing from pipe outfalls during these times. With the exception of irrigation water, it's often an illicit discharge coming from an illegal connection.

  • Keeps an eye out for anyone dumping anything into the storm sewer system or drainage ditches. Even yard waste is a pollutant.
  • Get involved! Report suspicious activity by filling out and submitting online a Citizen's Action Report or calling 317-246-2856. Your information will remain anonymous.

What is allowed in Speedway?
Lawn irrigation discharges
Agricultural irrigation
Air conditioning condensation
NPDES permitted discharges
Water line flushing by Government/Fire Fighting
Building cosmetic cleaning (no hazardous chemicals)
Car washings
(Do not dump wash water into the storm drainage system)

What Is Not Allowed in Speedway (Illicit Discharges)?
Dumping of all automotive liquids
All substances associated with paint
Industrial discharges with no NPDES permit
Washing machine discharges
Sewage discharges
Floor drain discharges
Chlorinated backwash from pools

Leaves and grass clippings


  • News
  • Useful

News and Notices

Related Pages

Contact Us

4251 W Vermont St
Indianapolis, IN 46222
Get Directions

In This Department

More Information