MDOT's Illicit Discharge Elimination Program

As part of MDOT's Illicit Discharge Elimination Program IDEP, MDOT employees are trained and educated to identify illicit connections or discharges to MDOT's drainage system. The most common warning signs of illicit discharges are dry weather flow, suds, sewage, oil and gas. MDOT also has field crews investigating point source discharges (PSDs) as part of their dry weather screening component of IDEP. A PSD is an outfall from a drainage system to waters of the state, or a point where a storm water drainage system discharges into a system operated by another public body.  MDOT maps the locations of their known PSDs. These maps can be viewed by clicking on the 'Outfall Maps' graphic below.

Map of MDOT Statewide Outfall
Illicit-Wrong, illegal, needs correction
Discharge-Someone may swim in it
Elimination-Let's get rid of it
Program-Solutions

Definitions

Illicit Discharge Warning Signs

Dry Weather Flow

Sanitary Sewage

Dry Weather Flow is noted when it has not rained for at least 72 hours and the storm drain has flow or the drain shows signs of intermittent flow (staining, odor).

Sanitary Sewage may be present if there is black staining inside the drainage pipe; visible evidence of sanitary waste, such as toilet paper; or opaque or gray water.  Sewage may originate from septic tank overflow pipes or improperly dumped travel trailer waste. 

Suds

Oil Gas

Suds may be harmful to fish because suds deplete oxygen levels in the water.  Suds often enter lakes and streams as a result of improperly connected car washes or  washing machines. 

Oil/Gas is recognized as a sheen on the water. Natural sheens may be differentiated from an oil/gas sheen by swirling the sheen around in the water. If it re-attaches, the sheen is oil/gas. Natural sheens will remain separated. Oil/Gas enters waterbodies via storm water runoff (spills while topping off at gas stations, oil leaks on pavement, etc.) and illegal dumping.



Illicit Discharge Interactive Demonstration Click one of the buttons below to view an interactive illicit discharge demonstration.

Demo of what to do Demo of what NOT to do

(Opens in a new window)

Illicit Discharge Reporting

To protect the quality of our streams and public health, please report sources of pollution you witness along the roadside or at rest areas and roadside parks, including:
  • Dumping waste/oil or other vehicle fluids
  • Suspicious pipes outletting to ditches

You can do this anonymously by calling the Pollution Emergency Alerting System (PEAS) hotline at:

(800) 292-4706
Report Illegal Discharges!