What is an Illicit Discharge?

Federal regulations define an illicit discharge as “…any discharge to a municipal sewer that is not composed entirely of stormwater…” with some exceptions. These exceptions include discharges from permitted industrial sources and discharges from fire-fighting activities. Illicit discharges are considered “illicit” because municipalities are not designed to accept, process, or discharge such non-stormwater wastes. These discharges can harm Individuals, Wildlife, and plant life.


Sources of Illicit Discharges


  • Sanitary wastewater
  • Concrete provider clean outs
  • Restaurant grease traps
  • Effluent from septic tanks
  • Car wash wastewaters
  • Improper oil disposal
  • Radiator flushing disposal
  • Pool backwash water
  • Laundry wastewaters
  • Spills from roadway accidents
  • Improper disposal of automotive fluids (mostly oils & coolants)
  • Household liquid wastes (cleaners, carpet cleaning wastewater)


How to report an Illicit Discharge?


Step 1: Observe from a safe distance.  DO NOT touch or smell the substance.

Step 2: Notify –

  • Weekdays: Monday – Friday, between 7:30 am-4:00 pm. Please get in touch with the Stormwater Program Coordinator at (585) 383-5604
  • Afterhours: e-mail the Stormwater Program Coordinator at

Step 3: Provide the following information –

  • Your Name
  • Phone Number
  • Location of Incident
  • Discovery / Incident Time, Date
  • Description of Material Observed
  • Extent of Problem (slow trickle vs significant flow)
  • If possible, a photograph of the incident

Why Report?

The sooner we learn about these incidents, the better our chances of finding the source and correcting the problem.