Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Programs

What is an Illicit Discharge?

An illicit discharge to a Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) is any discharge not composed entirely of storm water.

See below a chapter from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) on illicit discharges.

For the full manual click below:

Typical sources of illicit discharges:

  • Dumping of oil, paint, solvents, etc.
  • Failing septic system discharges.
  • Floor drain or sump pump connections with cleanup, laundry or other grey water discharges.
  • Draining chlorinated swimming pools.
  • Dumpster drains.


The storm sewers or ditches that pollutants discharge to DO NOT treat the pollutants and they flow directly to the nearest stream.

Signs of an Illicit Discharge

A flowing discharge into or from a ditch or storm sewer pipe during dry weather (3 days or more of no rainfall).

Signs That a Discharge May be an Illicit Discharge


Floatables (i.c., toilet paper, etc.)

Dead Plants, Animals, or Fish

Oily Sheen


What To Do

If you see a discharge you suspect is an illicit discharge, PLEASE inform the

Wayne County Emergency Management Agency at

(330) 262-9817

OR inform the

Wayne Soil and Water Conservation District at

(330) 263-5376.