Illicit Discharge Detection & Elimination

What is an illicit discharge?

The City of Arroyo Grande's Municipal Code defines an illicit discharge as: "Illegal discharge" shall mean any direct or indirect non-stormwater discharge to the storm drain system including discharges from commercial and non-profit car washes, mobile cleaning services, pressure washing operations and non-stormwater runoff from irrigated areas that is not considered incidental runoff except as exempted in Section 13.25.060. Illegal discharges are also any discharge that may cause or threaten to cause or contributes to an exceedance of any water quality standard in a Statewide Water Quality Control Plan, the California Toxics Rule, or the Basin Plan.

(AGMC Section 13.25.040)

What are common violations?

Common violations include construction site discharges (cement slurry, paint, etc.), commercial washing (power washing buildings and patios, car washing, dumping of mop water), and litter/illegal dumping.

There are instances of discharges that are not considered violations, including:

  • Uncontaminated incidental runoff from landscape irrigation
  • Water line flushing
  • Foundation drains/crawl space pumps
  • Air conditioning condensate
  • Individual residential automobile washing.

See AGMC Section 13.25.060 for a full list of non-storm water discharges allowed provided there are appropriate control measures.

Illicit Discharge Enforcement

In the event the violation constitutes an immediate danger to public health or public safety, the City is authorized to enter upon the subject private property, without giving prior notice, to take any and all measures necessary to abate the violation and/or restore the property.

The City may take the following actions in the event of a violation:

  • Warning Notice requesting immediate investigation and resolution
  • Notice of Violation ordering compliance and outlining remedial measures
  • Penalties in the event that the violator fails to comply with the remedial measures set forth in the notice of violation
  • Compensatory Action for alternative options to enforcement proceedings, penalties, and remedial actions

For more information on violations see AGMC Section 13.25.080.