The illicit stormwater discharge often lurks out of sight under a city’s buildings and streets. The challenge for cities, regulated under the state’s Municipal Stormwater Permit, is to locate and eliminate this pollution source.
In every city across the nation, mistakes happen during construction. After all, when you are connecting pipes underground they all pretty much look the same. But it is important to make sure the drains from sinks and toilets lead to the sanitary sewer and not the stormwater sewer. A misconnection could mean raw sewage going directly to a stream without treatment. An illicit discharge is any discharge to a stormwater system that is not composed entirely of stormwater.
City crews working on an infrastructure replacement project in Pullman’s downtown business district noticed “suspicious material”. The obviously illicit connection was traced back to a historic office building. A true team effort of private contractors and public staff was required to fully unravel the mystery.
- To learn more about this illicit discharge, read this full story online
- Story written by Elaine Snouwaert, Ecology Eastern Regional Office
Telling our success stories
Water quality success stories provide a wealth of information associated with novel project designs, funding ideas, and useful resource suggestions. Some are clear successes; others supply valuable lessons to help us grow in our understanding of water quality protection and restoration. Stories illustrate successes gained from cooperation among Washington’s citizens and organizations.
Read some of our catalog of water quality success stories.