Report Illicit Discharge

A major part of pollution prevention is the detection and elimination of illicit discharges. An illicit discharge is any substance discharged into the storm water drainage system (which includes waterbodies) that is not composed entirely of storm water and is not specifically exempted by the City of Memphis Storm Water Ordinances. Illicit discharges can be trash, sediment, sewage, oil, grease, or any non-storm water substance that enters the storm water drainage system. Take action in preventing storm water pollution by reporting illicit discharges.

Types of Illicit Discharge

Yard Waste 

Yard waste, such as leaves and grass, can be detrimental to water quality by altering the physical substrate of watercourses and by impacting dissolved oxygen levels as it decomposes. Dissolved oxygen is necessary for aquatic life to survive. Yard waste also impedes the flow of storm water by clogging our storm water drainage system. Please report businesses or residents that dispose of yard waste directly into streets, storm drains, ditches, or waterways.

Whenever possible, provide people an opportunity to clean up yard waste before reporting a yard waste discharge.

Include as many of the following details as possible:

  • Type of yard waste
    (e.g., tree limbs, grass, leaves)
  • Manner of improper disposal
    (e.g., manually blown into a street or storm drain, placed directly into a ditch or waterway)
  • Identify if it is a resident or business exercising improper disposal.
    (If it is a business, include the company name and any other contact details if possible.)

Trash

Trash is an obvious storm water concern as it is detrimental to water quality, clogs the storm water drainage system, and harms wildlife. Report when you see trash put directly into streets, storm drains, ditches, or waterways. Improper trash disposal can be reported but may involve other City Departments.

Include as many of the following details as possible:

  • Type of trash
    (e.g., tires, paper/plastic, construction debris, household items)
  • Manner of improper disposal
    (e.g., manually blown into a street or storm drain, placed directly into a ditch or waterway)
  • Identify if it is a resident or business exercising improper disposal.
    (If it is a business, include the company name and any other contact details if possible.)

Sediment/ Soil

Sediment is soil that is in suspension or in transport from its site of origin by the process of erosion. Sedimentation is a leading source of storm water and waterbody impairment. It alters watercourses physically, chemically, and biologically. Please report discharges of sediment-laden water entering into streets, storm drains, ditches, or waterways.                                            

Include as many of the following details as possible:

  • Source of discharge
    (e.g., land clearing activity, construction activity, landscaping activity, soil stock pile)
  • Discharge end point
    (e.g., street, storm drain, watercourse)
  • Identify if the discharge is from a resident or business.
    (If it is a business, include company name and any other contact details if possible.)

CHEMICALS

(Oil, Paint, Pesticides, Concrete Washout, Grease)                

Any chemical discharged into a street, storm drain, ditch, or waterway impairs water quality and adversely impacts aquatic life. Please report these discharges.

Include as many of the following details as possible:

  • Type of chemical
    (e.g., oil, paint, grease, pesticide, concrete washout, unknown chemical)
  • Characteristics of chemical
    (e.g., color, odor, consistency)
  • Source of discharge
    (e.g., point of origin, pipe, grease trap)
  • Discharge end point
    (e.g., street, storm drain, waterway)
  • Identify if the discharge is from a resident or business.
    (If it is a business, include company name and any other contact details if possible.)

Pet Waste

Pet waste contains multiple types of bacteria. E.Coli is a common and hazardous bacteria found in fecal waste. Storm water picks up bacteria from pet waste and carries it to our storm water drainage system and our waterways. The bacteria in fecal waste can make water unsafe by contaminating it. Owners are required to pick up after their pets on public property and within right-of-ways. Please report violations and do not pick up the waste before our inspectors arrive.

Include as many of the following details as possible:

  • Specific location of pet waste
    (e.g., front yard, sidewalks, parks, storm drains)
  • Source of pet waste
    (e.g., pets, stray animals)

Sewage

Sewage is not only detrimental to waterbodies and wildlife, but it is also a major health concern. Please report sewage discharged into streets, storm drains, ditches, and waterways.

Include as many of the following details as possible:

  • Source of discharge
    (e.g., point of origin, pipe, manhole)
  • Discharge end point
    (e.g., street, storm drain, ditch, or waterway)
  • Duration of discharge
    (e.g., length of time discharge has occurred)
  •  Identify if the discharge is from a resident or business.
    (If it is a business, include company name and any other contact details if possible.)

Other/Unknown

Anything aside of storm water should not be discharged into streets, storm drains, ditches, or waterways unless exempted by City Ordinance(s). If you see something suspicious that you cannot identify or that doesn’t fit one of the categories above, report it!

Include as many of the following details as possible:

  • Characteristics of the unknown substance
    (e.g., color, odor, consistency)
  • Source of discharge
    (e.g., point of origin)
  • Discharge end point
    (e.g., street, storm drain, waterway)
  • Weather during discharge
    (e.g., dry weather, wet weather)
  • Identify if the discharge is the result of a resident or business.
    (If it is a business, include company name and any other contact details if possible.)

Report Illicit Discharge

Multiple discharges will need to be reported separately.
Choose from the options below.
Date Activity Was Observed *
Date Activity Was Observed
Enter details found for illicit discharge category to left
Name
Name
Phone
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Some violations may involve another or more than one City department. Your Storm Water Program can only enforce the Storm Water Ordinances. You can read the ordinances in our Regulatory section.