Drain Commissioner

Michael Rivard

Bay County Building
515 Center Avenue, Suite 601
Bay City MI 48708-5941
Voice: (989) 895-4290
Fax: (989) 895-4292

Illicit Discharge



What is an IllicitDischarge?


An illicitdischarge is an illegal connection or tie-in to a storm sewer. Municipal storm sewers are designed to conveystorm water runoff to nearby lakes and streams to prevent flooding, but theyare not designed to handle flow from sources such as gutter downspouts. Generally, there is no treatment to therunoff before it empties into a receiving stream. Dumping anything other than storm water intoa storm drain is illegal and considered an illicit discharge.

Examples of Illicit Discharges

  • Sanitarywastewater (sewage)

  • Septictank waste

  • Carwash, laundry and industrial wastewaters

  • Improperdisposal of auto and household toxics, such as motor oil and pesticides

  • Spillson roadways and other accidents

Why is an illicit dischargea problem?

Illicitdischarges allow pollutants to enter lakes and streams causing public healthconcerns, unpleasant odors/color, and harming aquatic and animal life. Pollution can also lead to excess growth ofvegetation.






How do I spot anillicit discharge?

Look for makeshift pipes or hoses that lead to a 

catch basin, road ditch, county drain or body of water.

Watch for stains, unusual odors, and structural

damage to streets or gutters and abnormal

vegetative growth in nearby lakes and streams.



Report anillicit discharge or spill

To report aspill or an illicit discharge please contact the Bay County Drain Commissioneroffice at 989-895-4290 or afterhours call 911, or to call the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes & Energy (EGLE), the 24-hour toll-free number is 1-800-292-4706. The PEAShotline should be used to report environmental pollution emergencies such astanker accidents, pipeline breaks and releases of reportable quantities ofhazardous substances.

How can I help reducepolluted storm water runoff?

  • Neverdump anything down a storm sewer or drain

  • Takeused oil to your local quick lube or auto shop

  • Disposeof pet waste in a trash can

  • Washyour car on your lawn so excess water, chemicals and dirt are filtered throughgrass and vegetation