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What is an Illicit Discharge? 
An illicit discharge is any illegal disposal of any substance other than stormwater into the stormwater system.  An illicit connection is any connection of wastewater into the stormwater system.  An example of this might be a connection from a bathroom or a washing machine.  The accidental spill or leak of an unsafe substance is also an illicit discharge.

Difference in Stormwater and Sanitary Sewer Systems
The stormwater system is often confused with the sanitary sewer system.  These are 2 distinctly separate systems.
 Flows to the sanitary sewer system (e.g., flushing toilets, shower drains, kitchen sink drains, etc.) are treated at a wastewater treatment plant.
 Flows to the stormwater system (through curbs on the edge of the street and all stormwater inlets) usually go to the nearest creek or stream and do not receive treatment at a plant.

How Does Illicit Discharge Cause Water Pollution? 
The stormwater system collects all the rainwater that runs over hard surfaces, like pavement and rooftops.  This stormwater runs along the curb and gutter and then drains into a basin or an inlet.  The stormwater and any pollutants it has picked up go to the nearest body of water.  Anything that enters the stormwater system besides rainfall is considered an illicit discharge.  This violates the Town of China Grove stormwater ordinance.  Water pollution can damage aquatic life and wildlife.  It can also make activities such as swimming and fishing unsafe.  Keeping pollution out of stormwater protects public health and the environment. 
Examples of Illicit Discharges:
• Paint Spills
• Soapy Wash Water
• Gasoline or Oil Spills
• Sewage
• Grease
• Sediment
• Yard Waste
Flows from Firefighting Activities are an exception to the rule of discharges that are not considered violations of China Grove’s stormwater ordinance.

Report Polluters
Only rain belongs in the storm drain.  Contact us at 704-857-2466 ext. 106 or email to report illicit discharge violators.  Many environmental problems can be resolved as a result of these investigations.  You can make a difference by calling.

Information Required for Reporting
Please have the following information ready when you call:
• Your name and contact information (only required if you would like a follow-up call)
• Location of the incident
• Date and time you witnessed the incident
• What materials were involved