Illicit Discharge

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The City of Eden Prairie is committed to eliminating illegal dumping — illicit discharge — into its storm sewer system.

 

Public waters are sources of drinking water and provide recreational opportunities such as swimming, boating and fishing, which can all be negatively affected by the pollutants stormwater carries.

Illicit discharge is any discharge to the storm sewer system that is harmful to the health or welfare of people, the environment, wildlife or surface waters.

Illicit discharges include items such as:

  • Sediment washing from construction sites
  • Chemical or oil spills
  • Sewage from broken sewer lines or overflow from private septic systems
  • Pesticides, herbicides, wash water from cleaning up paint and household cleaners

Illicit discharges could be intermittent — only occurring a few minutes per day or a few days per year, continuous — occurring almost daily or transitory — only occurring once.

Which activities are not considered illicit discharges?
Water line flushing, residential car washing or draining swimming pools that are dechlorinated (left to rest for seven or more days after treatment), firefighting and lawn watering are not considered illicit.

How Does a Small Amount Affect the Environment?
It only takes a very small amount of many types of chemicals to harm fish, plants and other aquatic organisms. Most contractors know that rinsing concrete equipment into a lake or stream can cause a fish kill. This is because the liquid can dramatically change the pH of water, making it very alkaline.

Another example, just 1 teaspoon of mercury is enough to contaminate more than 13 Olympic-sized swimming pools of drinking water. Most of these chemicals enter our water systems through improper or accidental disposal outside.

What Should I Do if I Suspect an Illicit Discharge is Present?
If you notice illegal or suspicious dumping into a storm sewer inlet or curb ditch, you should report the problem in one of the following ways:

  • Call the City’s Engineering Division at 952-949-8330
  • Call 911 if you suspect the issue requires immediate attention
  • Use the EP SEE CLICK FIX app that is downloadable to your mobile device or visit edenprairie.org/EPSEECLICKFIX

Illicit Discharge Plan [PDF]

To learn about proper disposal methods for liquids such as paint, visit hennepin.us/greendisposalguide.

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