As stormwater flows across impervious surfaces or exposed soil, it picks up various pollutants, such as oil & grease, excess nutrients, bacteria, trash and sediment. Polluted stormwater flows down our storm drains and through our ditches where it is discharged, UNTREATED, into our streams, rivers, and lakes. Stormwater runoff pollution can adversely impact aquatic ecosystems and our drinking water supplies.
Dumping, discharging, disposing or placing ANY substance other than stormwater into this system is not only bad for the environment, it is ILLEGAL!
It is also illegal to connect pipes to the stormwater system without approval. This includes piping non-stormwater discharges into catch basins, storm drains, or even ditches. As part of its stormwater management program, the Borough is looking for illicit discharges and connections so that they can be eliminated. If found, the property owner will be notified and if it is not corrected, the owner could face civil penalties up to $5,000!
What is an Illicit Discharge or Connection?
Illicit discharges into the stormwater system essentially means placing any substance into the system that may be toxic to human, animal or plant life; or something that is flammable, explosive or corrosive; or more simply, any discharge that adversely affects the water system into which the discharge flows.
Illicit or illegal discharge may include but are not limited to the following:
- Dumping of oil, anti-freeze, chemicals, garbage, paint or cleaning fluids;
- Untreated animal waste;
- Commercial car washes;
- Industrial discharges;
- Contaminated foundation drains;
- Wash waters from commercial and industrial activities;
- Sanitary sewer discharges;
- Septic tank discharges;
- Washing machine discharges;
- Chlorinated backwash or draining swimming pools;
An illicit connection is ANY connection to the stormwater collection system which allows the discharge of non-stormwater (as described above), even if the connection existed previously.
You Can Help!
If you think you’ve found an illicit discharge or see indications of illicit discharges in stormwater runoff such as:
- Unusual color or cloudiness;
- Strong pungent or musty odor;
- Floating debris;
- Surface scum or foam;
- Oil sheen;
- Excessive algae;
- Storm pipes flowing in dry weather;
then please contact the Borough of Mechanicsburg. To report a suspected illicit discharge into our storm drainage system call (717)-691-3310.