Stormwater Violation

Illicit Discharges Into Storm Drains, Ditches, Streets, Culverts, Rivers, etc.

An illicit discharge is anything that drains to a storm drain or directly to a river, stream, etc. that is not stormwater. The wastewater and sewage that drains from inside your house is treated and cleaned before it enters surface waters, but the storm drains in the street outside your home flow directly to surfaces waters without any treatment. It is therefore very important that no one dump waste of any kind onto street surfaces, drainage pipes and ditches, or into storm drains - they are only for rainwater.  An illicit discharge can be an illegal pipe draining directly to a river, a failing on-site septic system, or even a spill that goes into a storm drain. As a community member, you play a large role in identifying and reducing illicit discharges in your community. 
Illicit Discharges

​What can you do about illicit discharges?

You can help keep our lakes, rivers, streams, wetlands, and groundwater clean by applying the following tips:

  • Sweep it - Do you have extra fertilizer, grass clippings, or dirt in your driveway or sidewalk? Sweep it back onto your lawn. Hosing your driveway or sidewalk sends these pollutants into storm drains and ditches that can lead directly to our lakes and rivers.
  • Keep it clean - Whether in the street or in your yard, remember to keep leaves, grass clippings, trash, and fertilizers away from storm drains.
  • Only rain in the drain - Never dump motor oil, chemicals, pet waste, dirty or soapy water, or anything else down a storm drain. All these materials can pollute our lakes and rivers.
  • Scoop the poop - Clean up after your pet to reduce pet waste traveling to local waterways.
  • Report it - If you see someone dumping anything onto street surfaces, into storm drains, or into any other device built to contain rainfall or runoff in the town of Windham, please report it immediately by filling out and submitting the form below. 
A stormwater violation form can be filled out to report an illicit discharge.
*Personal contact information blank can be left blank to remain anonymous*

To report an emergency, call County Dispatch at 892-2525

Photo and Content Credit: Meridian Township

The Importance of Cleaning Up After Your Pet

While typically considered a dirty job, proper pet waste disposal is one that responsible pet owners have to do. Aside from being a common courtesy for the community in which one lives, safe pet waste disposal  can even contribute to a healthier and more robust environment. Combined with simple cleaning practices, effective pet waste disposal for animals of all types makes residences and communities safer places in which to live.

Pet Waste Can Affect Water Quality

Despite ensuring that your pets don’t defecate directly into water sources, their waste can still affect community and natural bodies of water. Some pet owners may erroneously assume that depositing excrement into a storm sewer is a viable disposal method. Storm sewers, however, empty into lakes and streams. Along with polluting the water with bacteria and parasites, pet waste that finds its way to natural bodies of water promotes the flowering of unwanted algae and weeds. Chemical reactions that take place in the water after coming into contact with pet waste can also negatively affect wildlife and contribute to the reduction of fish populations.

How to Properly Dispose of Pet Waste

While there are several methods that pet owners employ to dispose of their animals’ excrement, some are better than others in terms of effectiveness, safety, and legality. Burying waste is one of the most natural and safest ways to get rid of excrement. A hole with a depth of about six inches can keep waste safely out of sight and reduce the chances that it will attract other animals. Flushing pet waste is also an acceptable option for individuals who prefer to stay within a home but would appreciate a fast and easy way to dispose of waste. When removing waste and cleaning surface areas, all pet owners should wear disposable gloves to protect their health. After handling waste, wash your hands with soap and water to keep your body free from bacteria and disease.

Remove all remnants of waste from areas near water. This includes drains, ditches, and wells. Avoid attempting to compost pet waste in a garden, as the excrement will not naturally break down and can pose a health hazard to vegetable beds. And think twice about throwing pet waste into your trash can: Local laws may prohibit this activity and classify it as a form of pollution.

Content Credit: JCS, New York Inc.