Illicit Discharge into Storm Water System

Even though we live in a small, rural town, we are regulated by state mandates. An ordinance entitled “Illicit Discharge” was adopted at the May 2015 City council meeting.   This ordinance was required by the MN Pollution Control Agency in order to be in compliance with the City’s Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems Permit.  Illicit discharge is the direct or indirect discharge of pollutants into the stormwater system.  Any run-off from our yards, driveways and street eventually ends up in our ponds and lakes. Pollutants can be almost anything except stormwater.  It can be the over-use of fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides and the dumping of chemicals such as drain oil, cleaning solvents and antifreeze. Yard waste such as lawn clippings and weeds should be composted and not put in the wetlands and ponds.  Animal waste on your yard and public lands is also a pollutant.

Protecting our own land and waterways should be a priority for our own health and welfare.   People caught in violation of this ordinance will be responsible for cleanup expenses and possible penalty.  In the event that you observe a direct violation of the ordinance, the following steps should be taken: 
1. Call the Washington County Sheriff’s non-emergency number:   651-439-9381  
2. Call the Duty Officer for the Dept. of Public Safety:  1-800-422-0798

Link to Ordinance 22 (PDF). 

Guidelines for limiting storm water runoff during construction projects are available from the Environmental Protection Agency and can be found on the following link: