Report an Illicit Discharge

Illicit Discharge Detection & Elimination

Illicit discharges are the intentional dumping or accidentally spilling of materials into the storm sewer, gutters, drainageways, waterways, and ditches. It is any unauthorized substance entering into the storm sewer system excluding rain water. Some examples that harm our water supply are: 

  1. Homeowners and landscapers staging compost and topsoil piles in the street for future landscaping activities. This causes decreased flood control volume of drainage structures, and the organic materials decompose, creating algae blooms and consuming oxygen in ponds and waterways. Over-application of fertilizer and grass clippings are also nutrients that reduce oxygen levels impacting aquatic life.
  2. A swimming pool owner sandblasts paint off the pool walls and releases the paint residue and pool water onto the street, flowing into a storm sewer inlet and entering a creek.
  3. Restaurant worker dumps used cooking oil into a parking lot drain that connects to a reservoir used for drinking water.
  4. Homeowner washes paint brushes off in the street where the colored paint travels to a storm sewer inlet and discharges to the neighborhood waterway along a bike path.
  5. A contractor pressure washes a dirty parking lot, washing trash, oil, grease, metals, salts and sand into the adjacent creek.
  6. A resident walks his dog in a neighborhood park and picks up after his dog but tosses the bags of pet waste into the storm sewer inlet.
  7. A concrete truck at a construction site dumps the remaining concrete liquid on a lot that drains to a creek. Concrete waste is similar to Drano and is harmful to animals and people that come in contact with the water.

Reporting Procedures

  • Next day reporting, please call the Adams County at 720.523.6400 or e-mail
  • Also call Tri-County Health Department at 303.220.9200.
  • Call 911 if you believe this is of urgent water quality concern: something unusual in a ditch or waterway (colored water, the appearance of a fuel slick or a suspicious material on the land) that could wash in to the storm drain system.