Protecting Our Waterways

Only Rain Goes Down Storm Drains!

Grass Going Into Stormdrain

Grass Clipping in Storm Drain = Illicit Discharge

Only rainwater is allowed in storm drains, everything else is considered an illicit discharge and is not allowed in any public drainage system. One of the greatest sources of water pollution is caused by illicit discharges. Illicit discharges are not allowed in storm drains, roads, or waterbodies. Litter, grass clippings, cigarette butts, pet waste and other debris can flow into storm drains and into roads. Eventually the debris ends up in our waterways causing pollution and even flooding. Illicit discharges can clog storm drains obstructing the flow of water which can result in flooding.

An illicit discharge is illegally discharging anything but clean water into a storm drain. Placing anything but clean water in a storm drain such as leaves is illegal. Also when it rains pollutants on lawns, roads, and paved surfaces can be washed into storm drains. Eventually theses pollutants end up in our waterways. It is important to properly dispose of trash and debris in waste containers not in storm drains, roads, or waterways. For example, grass clipping should never be blown into the road or down a storm drain.

The Stormwater Management Division enforces the County’s ordinance (PDF) which prohibits illicit discharges entering into the County’s storm drainage system. If an illicit discharge is found it is subject to a $500 fine per day, per incident, plus possible cleanup costs.

 ONLY rain is allowed by law to go into storm drains, everything else is illegal and can cause stormwater pollution!

What You Can Do!

  • Properly dispose of trash and wastes in trash containers.
  • Report to the County any illicit discharges or dumping into storm drains, roads, or waterways.
  • Sweep up grass clippings and dispose in the trash or blow it back onto the lawn, not into the road or a storm drain.
  • Place extinguished cigarettes in an ashtray. Do not throw them out the car window onto the road.
  • Maintain vehicles and make sure no oil leaks onto the road.
  • After giving a vehicle an oil change, dispose of the dirty oil in a container and take it to a hazardous waste collection site. Don't place the oil down a storm drain, waterway or in the road.
  • Clean paint brushes properly and do not rinse the brushes off in the road, storm drains, or waterways.
  • Pick up after your pets. Don’t leave the waste on the ground.
  • Wash your car at a car wash facility that does not generate runoff.
  • Use fertilizer sparingly and not before a rain event.
  • Keep storm drains, ditches, and roads free of any material that should not be there.

Report illicit discharges/illegal dumping to
Pasco County’s Stormwater Management Division
CALL 727-834-3611 


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