Drain illustration

Only rain down the drain

What goes down the drain or into the street ends up in the storm drain and into waterbodies. Storm water runoff is one of the leading causes of water pollution.

What is called “illicit discharge” happens when pollutants are put into stormwater systems. With a few exceptions, such as water from washing a car (individual residential only) or chlorine-free pool water, only clean rainwater is allowed to go into storm sewers. Everything else is considered illicit discharge. There are obvious examples, like paint or motor oil, but more often illicit discharge may be something less obvious, like muddy water or grass clippings from mowing the lawn. While it may seem like a non-issue, even small things, like dumping grass clippings and leaves on the road, can have a big impact of water quality.

Properly dispose of paint, oil and other common pollutants. Bring them to the Hennepin Recycling and Problem Waste Drop-Off Center, 1400 West 96th Street, 612-348-3777. And remember, going to a car wash is better for the environment than doing it yourself.

If you see paint, oil or other material that could be getting into stormwater, contact the Engineering Division by calling 952-563-4870 or email engineering@BloomingtonMN.gov.