Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination

Illicit discharges are generally any discharge into a storm drain system this is not composed entirely of stormwater. The exceptions include water from fire fighting activities and discharges from facilities already under an NPDES permit. Illicit discharges are a problem because, unlike wastewater which flows to a wastewater treatment plant, stormwater generally flows to waterways without any additional treatment. Illicit discharges often include pathogens, nutrients, surfactants, and various toxic pollutants. The detection and elimination of illicit discharges is important to protect and restore urban waterways. Investigation methods are based on Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (VDEQ) guidelines. VDEQ's Civil Enforcement Manual provides guidance to DEQ staff when evaluating, processing and adjudicating a violation of an environmental law or regulation.

The following are just a few of the City's actions currently underway:

  • Currently training City shop employees to recognize spill, illicit discharge, and dumping.
  • Developing a storm sewer network map to identify receiving waterways and outfalls.