Illicit Discharge Detection & Elimination


Illicit Discharge 

An illicit discharge is defined by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as any discharge into to a storm sewer system that is not composed entirely of rain water. Illicit discharges occur when pollutants are directly poured into a storm sewer, ditch or stream, as well as when pollutants are picked up by rain water and carried to stormwater infrastructure. Please see our Illicit Discharge Ordinance, section six (6) for exceptions.

Examples of Illicit Discharges:

  • Connections from washing machines, dishwasher, toilets, floor drains, or sinks
  • Paint, cleaners, or chemicals
  • Overflowing sanitary sewers
  • Leaking septic tanks and failing septic tanks
  • Oil, gas and car fluids
  • Cooking oil and grease
  • Litter and illegal dumping
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Incorrect Connection
Correct Connection

Illicit Connections

When a sanitary lateral in connected to the stormwater sewer pipe, it is called an illicit connection. These are problems because stormwater is not treated before going to our water.

How We Find Illicit Connections

There are 105 outfalls in Barberton. Every year the Summit County Health Department will dry weather screen a number of our outfalls. Dry weather screening is performed when there has been at least 48 hours without rainfall. If flow is observed from the outfall during dry weather screening, it will be sampled and taken to a lab for analysis.

Once a dry weather flow has been determined to be an illicit discharge, the next step is to work ”upstream” from the location of the outfall - that is moving up the drainage system to the first manhole. The manhole is checked to see if there is evidence of flow. If flow is observed, a sample is taken and we move to the next manhole upstream. We continue until little or no flow is observed.