Illicit Discharge Detection & Elimination
Every year the City is charged with the task of detecting and eliminating any illicit discharges into the storm sewer system. An illicit discharge is the discharge of pollutants or non-storm water materials to storm water drainage systems via overland flow or direct discharge of materials into a storm drain. Only rain belongs down the drain! Illicit discharges can vary from the direct connection of a laundry machine into the storm sewer system to the blowing of grass clippings into a storm sewer inlet.
Dry Weather Screening
To help combat illicit discharges, the City performs "Dry Weather Screening" during the spring and summer months. The screening consists of randomly selecting 75 storm drainage structures. Once selected, technicians check these sites for flow. If detected, flows are sampled and tested for both quantitative and qualitative data.
|Quantitative Data||Qualitative Data|
|Copper concentration||Oil sheen|
|Concentration of detergents||Surface Scum|
|Flow rate||Surrounding vegetation|
|Temperature||Condition of the structure|
Following the initial detection and testing of flow, sites are rescreened the following day to confirm the first day's results. If any of these tests display results outside of standard operating parameters, then a sample is collected and sent to the Hampton Roads Sanitation District for more testing by a certified lab to confirm the in-field data. In total, the technician's main goal is to identify the source flow and address the problem accordingly. Residents are often our biggest eyes and ears so if you see an illicit discharge, report it at 757-393-8666.
Department Office Hours
Normal operating hours are Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m. To report an illicit discharge after hours, please contact the Department of Environmental Quality 24 hour hotline at 1-800-522-0206.