Illicit Discharge & Illegal Dumping

Illicit Discharge & Illegal Dumping

What is an Illicit Discharge?

Have you noticed the new markings on stormwater inlets and catch basins in the City? Our City of New Port Richey Stormwater Utility personnel have installed these markers to discourage illegal dumping or “illicit discharges” to the City stormwater system. An “Illicit Discharge” is any activity or event which results in a release, leak, flow, escape or the placement of any material other than rain water, including liquids or solids into the storm drain system. Illicit discharges are prohibited by City ordinance. However, certain exemptions to the ordinance do exist, such as landscape irrigation runoff and emergency fire fighting activities.

Many years of educating the public about illicit discharges in the storm system such oil, and antifreeze from vehicles, paints, and household poisons have helped reduce these type of contaminates into our waterways but many seemly harmless household activities, such a dumping yard waste or draining swimming pools and household waste water from washing machines, dishwashers or water softening devices into ditches, storm drains and canals are also classified as illicit discharges. These activities can cause severe pollution in our waterways. Ditches and storm drains are not connected to the sewer system. In New port Richey, our stormwater collection system ultimately discharges to the Pithlachascotee River and Gulf of Mexico!

Proper Disposal of Toxic Chemicals

Many people think stormwater goes to the City of New Port Richey’s Treatment Plant and so they dump trash, yard debris, paint and other chemicals down the storm drain. It is important that every one know that what goes down the storm drain ends up in a pond or our Pithlachascotee River!

Never pour toxic chemicals down any drain – this includes the drains inside your house as well as storm drains or gutters that lead to storm drains. Also never pour toxic chemicals on the ground where they can seep into the water table nd eventually the aquifer or a stream. Some household chemicals that need to be disposed of properly include:

  • Metal Polish Solvent
  • Kitchen and Bathroom Cleaners
  • Furniture Polish
  • Battery Acid (or Batteries)
  • Automatic Transmission Fluid
  • Brake Fluid
  • Car Wax with solvent
  • Paint Brush cleaner with solvent
  • Paint (Oil Based)
  • Paint Thinner
  • Turpentine and Varnish

Illicit Discharge Ordinance

As per the requirements of the City National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permit, the New Port Richey City Council adopted an ordinance prohibiting illicit discharges to the stormwater system in October of 1999. The following language is include in the City ordinance:

ILLICIT DISCHARGE – Any discharge to a Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System or to waters of the U.S. that is not composed entirely of stormwater, with the exception of discharges which are exempt pursuant to Section 6-1 of this NPDES permit shall constitute an illicit discharge.

Section 6-1 Exemptions:
The following activities shall be exempt from the requirements of this Ordinance:
Water line flushing, landscape irrigation, uncontaminated ground water infiltration, uncontaminated pumped ground water, discharges from potable water sources, air conditioning condensate, irrigation water, springs, lawn watering, individual residential car washing, street was waters, and discharges or flows from emergency fire fighting activities.