845 S Hanover St
Pottstown, Pa 19465

How to Report An Illicit Discharge

What is an illicit discharge? An illicit discharge is defined as any discharge to an MS4 (Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System) that is not composed entirely of stormwater (with some exceptions). Illicit discharges are considered “illicit” because MS4s are not designed to accept, process, or discharge such non–storm water wastes. Sources of illicit discharges can include sanitary wastewater, effluent from septic tanks, improper oil disposal, laundry wastewater, spills from roadway accidents, or improper disposal of auto and household toxins. Illicit discharges enter the system through either direct connection, (wastewater piping either mistakenly or deliberately connected to the storm drains) or indirect connections (infiltration into the MS4 from sanitary systems, spills collected by drain outlets, paint or used oil dumped directly into a drain). The result is untreated discharges that contribute high levels of pollutants, including heavy metals, toxins, oil and grease, solvents, nutrients, viruses, and bacteria to receiving water bodies. Pollutant levels from these illicit discharges have been shown in EPA studies to be high enough to significantly degrade receiving water quality and threaten aquatic, wildlife, and human health. Not all discharges are illicit, including water line flushing, foundation drains, springs, air conditioning condensation, flows from wetlands, etc. For more information on illicit discharges and report potential discharges please refer to the Township’s Report Form for Illicit Discharges below.


Stormwater pollution from point sources and nonpoint sources is a challenging water quality problem. Unlike pollution from industry or sewage treatment facilities, which is caused by a discrete number of sources, stormwater pollution is caused by the daily activities of people everywhere. Rainwater and snowmelt run off streets, lawns, farms, and construction and industrial sites and pick up fertilizers, dirt, pesticides, oil and grease, and many other pollutants on the way to our rivers, lakes, and coastal waters. Stormwater runoff is our most common cause of water pollution. Because stormwater pollution is caused by so many different activities, traditional regulatory controls will only go so far. Education and outreach are key components to any successful stormwater program.images-2


The National Menu of Best Management Practices for Stormwater Phase II was first released in October 2000. EPA has renamed, reorganized, updated, and enhanced the features of the website. These revisions include the addition of new fact sheets and revisions of existing fact sheets. Because the field of stormwater is constantly changing, EPA expects to update this menu as new information and technologies become available. Therefore EPA invites you to submit comments on the existing fact sheets and suggest additional fact sheet subjects.


In 2003, the Pennsylvania State Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP) began a stormwater management program called the MS4 in urbanized and developing areas of the state so that the Townships could better monitor and manage the pollutants that enter our waterways as a result of stormwater runoff. South Coventry Township was selected to participate in this program because of our proximity to Pottstown, which is an urbanized area, as well as the fact that it is a developing community and has exceptional value streams. As a result, the Township has created this portion of the website to educate our residents about this issue. We hope that you not only find the information contained in these links as informative, but that you also utilize the information to help us keep our local bodies of water of exceptional value.




Citizen involvement is an important part of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit program. Citizen involvement occurs at the time of the initial State NPDES authorization process, through submission of public comments and participation at public hearings, and may occur during any substantial program revision. Citizens may also participate in the Federal rule making process where NPDES program requirements are established. Citizen participation helps to ensure the NPDES permit program is working effectively in every community.


Did you know it can benefit your lawn, too? It’s true! Just pull your car onto the grass and wash it there. Your lawn will gladly soak up the water. Plus the grass will break down the soap and absorb any phosphates for use as fertilizer.

Keeping soapy water out of storm drains and ditches protects water quality. That’s because anything that enters storm drains or ditches is headed straight for your local lake or river. No filters, no treatment. If you can’t wash your car on the lawn, use a commercial car wash. Regulations require commercial car washes to collect and treat the wash water.

Want to learn more, click on link below or visit the EPA web site

Links to More Info…

  • The DEP homepage is www.dep.pa.gov.  On the homepage, selecting “Site Map” from the right side margin will cause many topic links to appear.  This appears to be the closest approximation to the former “A-Z” menu option.  Users can always use the “Search” option to find information.  On the Site Map, Stormwater/MS4 information is located about 2/3 the way down.


  • Stormwater information can be located by selecting the “Businesses” tab along the top of the homepage, then the “Water” tab, then the “Bureau of Point and Non-Point Source Management” tab, then the “Stormwater Management” tab, and the Municipal Stormwater tab.



  • For access to DEP GIS tools such as eMapPA, select “Data and Tools” from the DEP homepage, then “GIS” (eMapPA is also available by selecting “Tools”).



  • MS4s can use the above information to revise their stormwater websites to provide accurate links.  Please also review any links you may have for EPA Stormwater/MS4 information.  EPA revised their links in 2014 and many MS4s still have inoperative EPA links.  Please refer to my 8-1-14 email for EPA links that work.  In addition, the EPA Nonpoint Source Outreach Toolbox provides an abundance of examples of educational/outreach and survey/evaluation materials from across the country.  The StormwaterPA site provides useful information about stormwater runoff and management, including videos and information on stormwater best practices.  The Temple – Villanova Sustainable Stormwater Initiative maintains a regional Stormwater BMP database.