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Illicit Discharge

What is Illicit Discharge?

In Butler County, storm drains carry stormwater to nearby local waterways, including ponds, streams, and rivers. When it rains any precipitation that does not infiltrate into the ground runs off of impervious surfaces, such as parking lots and streets, flowing into storm drains. Storm drains are designed solely to transport stormwater to waterways. Any other discharge that enters waterways not solely comprised of stormwater is known as illicit discharge. This includes pollutants such as:

  • Trash

  • Automotive fluids such as oils, greases, or antifreeze

  • Household hazardous products like paints and detergents

  • Fertilizers and pesticides

  • Soaps from washing vehicles

  • Yard and pet waste

  • Chlorinated pool water


Impacts and Signs of Illicit Discharge

Pollutants that enter waterways from stormwater can impair water quality and can cause harm to drinking water supplies. Toxins from these pollutants can impact biological communities, such as fish and amphibians, causing a loss in biological diversity. Sediments and trash can also smother important habitat for fish and bug communities. While you may not see direct evidence of storm drain dumping there are a few indirect signs, including:

  • Strange odors

  • Odd residues such as oily sheens or foam

  • Discoloration of waters colors

  • Materials such as tissue paper, sanitary products, etc.

  • Stains on storm drains or storm sewer outfalls

  • Discharges from storm drains during dry weather periods

Illicit Discharge Regulations

Under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Phase II permit and required by the Butler County Storm Water Management Plan, any illegal discharge to the storm drainage system is prohibited. Illicit or illegal discharge refers to “any direct or indirect discharge to the storm drainage system that is not entirely composed of stormwater” (though there are some exemptions). Failure to comply with the rules and regulations of illicit discharge can result in enforcement and potentially criminal prosecution. The Butler County Storm Water District regulates illicit discharge detection and elimination in Butler County. Any reporting or concerns with illicit discharge and storm drainage systems can be directed to them at 513-785-4120.

Directly dumping pollutants and trash into storm drains not only harms the environment, but is also illegal. Please report at the following numbers:

  • If you are witnessing an illegal dumping in progress, please call 911

  • If you suspect that the illegally dumped material is hazardous, contact Ohio EPA’s 24-hour Emergency Response Hotline at 1-800-282-9378

  • For non-hazardous material, contact Butler County Storm Water District at        513-785-4120

  • For jurisdictions outside of Butler County, call the Stormwater Collaborative Hotline at 513-946-3999

  • For information on proper waste disposal, contact Butler County Recycling & Solid Waste District at 513-887-3653

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