Illicit Discharge

What is an illicit discharge?  An illicit discharge is a discharge into a municipal separate storm sewer, which is not composed entirely of storm water.

The goal of the illicit discharge detection and elimination program is to remove illicit connections and discharges from the municipal separate storm sewer system.  Through awareness and understanding of the storm sewer system, the public can assist the Village with locating problem areas, finding the source, and eliminating the discharge. 

Potential sources of illicit discharge include failing septic systems, illegal business discharges, improper disposal of marina and campground sewage, overflows from sanitary sewer systems, illegal plumbing connections, illegal dumping of waste materials, and spills associated with roadway accidents and industrial activity.  Illicit discharges can contribute high levels of pollutants, toxins, oil, grease, solvents, nutrients, viruses, and bacteria to receiving water bodies.  Pollutant levels from illicit discharges are concentrated and may be high enough to significantly degrade receiving water quality and threaten aquatic, wildlife, and human health.

Non-discharges or flows that are not considered illicit discharges include water line flushing, landscape irrigation, diverted stream flows, uncontaminated groundwater infiltration, uncontaminated pumped groundwater, discharges from potable water sources, foundation drains, air conditioning condensation, irrigation water, lawn watering, individual residential car washing, flows from riparian habitats and wetlands, fire fighting, and discharges authorized under a WPDES (Wisconsin Pollutant Discharge Elimination System) permit unless identified by the Village as a significant source of pollutants to water of the state.

The Village adopted an illicit discharge detection and elimination ordinance on December 19, 2007.  Forfeitures and fines for illicit discharge were also established to encourage compliance with the ordinance.  The Village also created a dedicated funding source or utility fee to financially support the illicit detection and elimination program.  

The ordinance requires the following:

  • No discharging, spilling, or dumping of non-storm water substances and materials into water of the state or the MS4 system.
  • Identifies non-storm water discharges or flows that are not considered illicit discharges.
  • Establishes inspection, monitoring, sampling and enforcement authority.

The Village has developed policies and procedures to assist with the implementation of the illicit discharge detection and elimination program.  The policies and procedures include the following:

  1. Initial Field Screening.
  2. On-Going Field Screeing & Routine Inspections.
  3. Responding to Illicit Discharges.
  4. Enforcement Actions.
  5. Information Submitted by the Public.