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Illegal Discharge Information and Reporting

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Spotting Illegal/Illicit Discharge

Federal and State laws prohibit the discharge of certain types of non-stormwater related materials into the storm drain system. These laws help to protect the quality of our water resources and the natural environment around them. The information below is designed to help citizens recognize legal and illicit discharges into storm drains and provide a system for reporting these incidents to the proper authorities. If you are not sure if an activity is allowed or prohibited, please contact the Department of Public Works.

It is a violation of State and Federal laws to discharge anything that is not a permissible substance into the storm sewer systems without a permit. The dumping of paint, motor oil, grease, lawn chemicals, trash and other materials into the storm drain system is strictly prohibited. When washed into storm sewers, these, and other foreign matter, can damage or kill plants, animals, and marine life and make humans ill. Debris can also cause storm drains to become blocked, causing them to overflow onto adjacent streets and properties. Below are links to information to help you know what types of activities are considered to be prohibited discharges or dumping:

If you witness questionable discharge into storm drains, you are encouraged to report this activity. Please report such suspected activity to the Public Works Department at 703-771-2790. You may also e-mail Public Works with information on suspected illicit discharge activities or use this link to access the online reporting form. You may remain anonymous but if you would like to be updated on the status of the issue please be sure to provide an email address or phone number.

If you witness suspected illicit discharge or dumping activity after normal business hours, please contact the Town of Leesburg Police Department by calling 703-771-4500.


What to Do

If you witness suspected illicit discharge or observe water pollution which could indicate the presence of illicit discharge, please contact the Department of Public Works. 

Prohibited Discharges

  • Industrial process water
  • Commercial car wash wastewater
  • Sanitary sewer flows
  • Wash-down of loading areas
  • Wastewater treatment plant effluent
  • Dumping of liquid waste
  • Chlorinated pool water
  • Water softener brine backwash

 Permitted Discharges

  • Water utility line flushing
  • Runoff from firefighting
  • Landscape irrigation
  • Ground water recharge
  • Discharges from potable water sources
  • Dechlorinated pool water
  • Street wash water from cleaning/maintenance 
  • Residential and fund-raiser car washing

 Possible Signs of Illicit Discharge

  • Unusual color or cloudiness
  • Strong pungent or musty odors
  • Floating debris
  • Surface scum or foam
  • Oil sheen
  • Algae
  • Dead vegetation or inhibited growth
  • Dead animals
  • Stains on channel bottoms or sides
  • Pipe corrosion



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