An illicit discharge is defined as any release into the drainage system (MS4) of contaminated water, or any non-stormwater discharge that contributes pollutants to receiving waters.
Public Works conducts inspections of stormwater outfalls throughout the city as part of ongoing compliance with our Phase II permit. A city by-law (Article V, Section 26) provides enforcement and fining procedures for illicit discharges found within the city's MS4. Any discharge deemed a threat to public safety, public health, or the environment is in violation of this by-law and thus subject to a removal order and/or fines by the Conservation Commission, Board of Health, or Inspectional Services.
Examples of illicit discharges:
Sanitary wastewater from crushed or collapsed pipes or surcharges
Direct septic connections into the storm drain system
Overflow from septic tanks, car wash wastewater
Improper disposal of automobile and household products
Bagged pet waste
Leaves and other debris dumped into open drainage and stream channels