Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination Program
The Village of Oswego is required to comply with the Phase II regulations of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) under the Clean Water Act. These regulations are designed to ensure that surface waters are free of pollutants. The program targets homeowners and small businesses in an effort to stop them from disposing of pollutants improperly by releasing them directly into the environment or into a storm sewer. Storm sewers, unlike sanitary sewers, go directly into the nearest river without being treated. When enough household chemicals, such as used motor oil and antifreeze, make their way into our waterways, they can kill fish and plants living in or near the water.
As part of the NPDES, Oswego conducts an illicit discharge detection program. The program involves inspecting the Village’s storm sewers when they should by dry, such as during a summer dry spell. If liquid is found in the storm sewers, the liquid is evaluated to determine its contents. In the event that the liquid contains anything other than stormwater, the Village traces the liquid to its source to determine the responsible party. The responsible party is required to take corrective action to eliminate the discharge. In some cases, the party may be fined.
The Village adopted an Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination Ordinance in 2007. The ordinance prohibits any direct or indirect non-stormwater discharge to the storm drain system, except as exempted. Exemptions include:
- water line flushing or other potable water sources
- landscape irrigation or lawn watering
- diverted stream flows, rising ground water, ground water infiltration to storm drains
- uncontaminated pumped ground water, foundation or footing drains (not including active groundwater dewatering systems), crawl space pumps, air conditioning condensation,
- non-commercial washing of vehicles
- natural riparian habitat or wetland flows
- swimming pools (if de-chlorinated - typically less than one PPM chlorine)
- firefighting activities, and
- any other water source not containing Pollutants
- Discharges specified in writing by the authorized enforcement agency as being necessary
If you would like to report a case of illegal dumping or have any other water quality concerns, call the village at 630.554.3618 or report it online at Oswego Click 'n Fix. Remember, only rain water should be placed into storm sewers.