The following four parts work together to explain Illicit Discharges as defined by the EPA
1. Illicit discharges are defined as a storm drain that has measurable flow during dry weather containing pollutants and/or pathogens. A storm drain with measurable flow but containing no pollutants is simply considered a discharge. 140 CFR 122.26(b)(2) defines an illicit discharge as any discharge to an MS4 that is not composed entirely of storm water, except allowable discharges pursuant to an NPDES permit, including those resulting from fire fighting activities.
2. Each illicit discharge has a unique frequency, composition and mode of entry in the storm drain system.
3. Illicit discharges are frequently caused when the sewage disposal system interacts with the storm drain system. A variety of monitoring techniques is used to locate and eliminate illegal sewage connections. These techniques trace sewage flows from the stream or outfall, and go back up the pipes or conveyances to reach the problem connection.
4. Illicit discharges of other pollutants are produced from specific source areas and operations known as “generating sites.” Knowledge about these generating sites can be helpful to locate and prevent non-sewage illicit discharges. Depending on the regulatory status of specific “generating sites,” education, enforcement and other pollution prevention techniques can be used to manage this class of illicit discharges.