STORMWATER STRAIGHT TALK: Reporting Illicit Discharges

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  • Robins Public Affairs

An illicit discharge is a discharge into a storm sewer system that is not composed entirely of storm water. Illicit discharges degrade the quality of our downstream water bodies by contributing to elevated levels of pollutants such as oil and grease, heavy metals, solvents, nutrients, viruses and bacteria. They are also prohibited under the base’s stormwater permits.

Generally, if it has not rained recently, flow through storm drain pipes, inlets and catch basins should not be occurring. Therefore, issues related to illicit discharges may include seeing flow in storm drain infrastructure during dry weather.

Examples of illicit discharges can include:
- Improper waste oil disposal/auto fluids flushing
- Home improvement or construction waste, like concrete and paint
- Pesticides and fertilizers
- Pet waste
- Wash water with detergents, such as from laundry or car washing
- Broken sanitary sewer lines
- Septic tank seepage or illegal sanitary connections
- Household hazardous wastes

As part of the base’s storm water management program, storm water outfalls are routinely inspected for illicit discharges; however, discharges may occur in between these inspections. Base personnel can report a suspected illicit discharge using the Organization 24 Hour Incident Notification Form available on the Robins AFB SharePoint Site. The form requests detailed information, including: date/time of observation; location of observation; description of complaint; estimated materials and quantities related to the complaint, etc. Upon completion, personnel can email the form to the Spills Program manager at or the Water Quality Program manager at, or fax the form to 478-926-5698. If the issue appears to be an emergency and response is not received within 24 hours, personnel can contact the 78th Civil Engineering Customer Service Desk at 478-327-8941.

Following the report, Robins Air Force Base personnel will conduct an investigation, identify the source of the discharge, and evaluate the appropriate response action to eliminate the illicit discharge. With your help, Robins AFB can protect the quality of our stormwater and local water bodies

For more information, call 478-926-9645.

Editor's note: Stormwater Straight Talk is a quarterly column intended to educate and inform base personnel and families about stormwater management.