Illicit Discharge Detection & Elimination

Outfall Screening Program

The Department of the Environment (DoE) Inspectors are tasked with conducting inspections of the storm drainage outfall structures throughout the County. These outfalls discharge water runoff from the roadway and surrounding properties into the County’s stream channels. Inspections are performed to identify structural damage on the outfall itself and surrounding stream channels. Inspectors check for possible pollutant sources as well. Inspections are conducted no less than 48 hours after the last rain event. When inspecting the outfalls, inspectors look to see if water is flowing from the pipe. If water is observed, it is tested to determine if there are chemical contaminates in the water from a possible illegal discharge into the storm drain system. If a chemical contaminant is found in the water, inspectors try to locate the source to prevent it from entering our streams.

Discoloration/Toxic Discharge

Should you see any discoloration in the water flowing from an outfall or think the water has toxic chemicals in it, please contact the County’s PGC311 Call Center by dialing 3-1-1. If the water pollution problem is an emergency, promptly call 9-1-1.

Water Quality Complaints

Inspectors investigate complaints we receive from concerned residents about property owners dumping or discharging fluids into the county’s storm drain systems and stream channels. Residential and commercial property owners use our drainage systems and streams to dispose of their automotive fluids, hazardous chemicals, detergents and other toxic fluids. Some of these property owners do not understand that pollutants dumped in the drainage systems are directly discharged into our streams, and ultimately the Chesapeake Bay. However, there are property owners that do dump and discharge pollutants into our streams knowing it is illegal and it affects the ecology of the stream.

Pollutant Dumping/Unusual Fluids

Should you see someone dumping pollutants into the drainage systems or streams, if you see any discoloration in the stream water, or if you see any unusual fluids flowing from a property, please contact the County's call center by dialing 3-1-1. If the water pollution problem is an emergency, promptly call 9-1-1.