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201 4th Street SE, Room 108
Rochester, MN  55904

Phone:  507-328-2440

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Illicit Discharge to Cascade Lake
Sweeping grass clippings
illcit discharge entering storm drain
picking up dog poop

Illicit Discharges

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What is an illicit discharge?

Anything that goes into the storm sewer system that is not storm water is considered an illicit discharge. This includes but is not limited to

  • Paint
  • Grass clippings and leaves
  • Pet waste
  • Motor oils
  • Lawn chemicals
  • Sidewalk deicers
  • Runoff from washing a car at home

When pollutants like these enter storm drains, they are carried through ditches and storm sewers into our streams and rivers where they can harm aquatic life. In addition, these contaminants can soak into our groundwater - the source of our drinking water. Eliminating illicit discharges protects the water we drink.

How do I report a suspected of known illicit discharge?

Step 1: Observe from a safe distance.  DO NOT touch or smell the substance.

Step 2: Notify

Weekdays between 8am-5pm please call the Storm Water Customer Service Line: 507-328-2440

Evenings or weekends, please call the Non-Emergency Police Dispatch: 507-328-6800

In case of emergency call 911

Step 3: Provide information the following information

  • your name
  • phone number
  • discovery/incident time, date, and location
  • description of material, source if known
  • estimate extent of problem (slow trickle vs significant flow)
  • take photographs of the scene and send them to

The sooner we learn about these incidents, the better our chance of finding the source and correcting the problem!

How can I prevent pollution?

Be aware of what you're putting on the ground outside. Ask yourself if that could be a source of pollution.

  • Direct grass clippings and leaves away from hard surfaces like driveways and sidewalks
  • Install native plants and rain gardens
  • Use phosphorus free fertilizer and follow all instructions
  • Pick up after your pets
  • Pick up litter when you happen upon it
  • Cover garbage cans, recycling bins, and truck loads to prevent unintentional litter
  • Minimize deicing salt use in the winter
  • Fix vehicle leaks and catch drips with cardboard
  • Never dump anything down the storm drain!

Continue to explore around this website. Visit our actions for clean water page.