Coastal Waccamaw Stormwater Education Consortium
Helping local governments meet requirements for stormwater education and public involvement

What is an illicit discharge?

The United States Environmental Protection Agency defines an illicit discharge as, “any discharge into a storm drain system that is not composed entirely of stormwater.” This means that anything other than simply the water that falls from the sky is an illicit discharge. There are many hazardous household products, yardcare products, fertilizers, dog waste, car soaps and automotive fluids that turn what should only be stormwater into an illicit discharge that pollutes and degrades local water quality.

Phase II Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4s), or municipalities, are now required to develop and implement programs to “detect and eliminate” illicit discharges. This is important becuase what goes down your storm sewer drain does not go to a water treatment facility. It goes directly into your local waters where people swim, participate in other water recreational activities and fish. If a gallon of a particular pollutant goes down the storm drain, than a gallon of that particular pollutant washes into the waters that people are using for fun and food.

Please be cautious about what washes off of your property and notify your local stormwater hotline if you detect any illicit discharge in your area. They are illegal and can directly affect you!

Stormwater Hotlines:

Myrtle Beach – 843.918.2000
N. Myrtle Beach – 843.280.5500
Georgetown County – 843.545.3524
Horry County – 843.381.8000
Conway – 843.248.1730
Atlantic Beach 843.381.8000
Surfside Beach 843.913.6360
Briarcliffe Acres – 843.381.8000

See also “Frequently Asked Questions – I Can’t Control the Rain” to better understand how an illicit discharge may affect you
Resource: National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System