Illicit Discharge Detection & Elimination

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Illicit Discharge Detection & Elimination (IDD&E)

As per Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) regulations, Lower Macungie Township is required to implement and administer a program for the detection, elimination, and prevention of illicit discharges into our regulated municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4). Examples of illicit substances include (among other things):

  • Automobile oil
  • Chlorinated pool water
  • Grease from restaurant grease traps
  • Household chemical products
  • Laundry wash water
  • Paint
  • Sanitary waste
  • Septic system drainage
  • Yard waste (including grass clippings)

Illicit discharges enter the system through either direct connections (e.g. wastewater piping either mistakenly or deliberately connected to the storm drains) or indirect connections (e.g. infiltration into the MS4 from cracked sanitary systems, spills collected by drain outlets, or paint or used oil dumped directly into a drain). The result is untreated discharges that contribute high levels of pollutants to receiving waterbodies, including:

  • Bacteria
  • Heavy metals
  • Nutrients
  • Oil and grease
  • Solvents
  • Toxics
  • Viruses

Pollutant levels from these illicit discharges have been shown in Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) studies to be high enough to significantly degrade receiving water quality and threaten aquatic, wildlife, and human health.