Stormwater Management

What's Allowed to go in a Storm Drain?

In Norfolk, there are approximately1,794 inlets, which are the drains along the streets. It's important to know what's allowed in a storm drain. 

Anything that is not permitted to go into a separate storm sewer is known as an illicit discharge. They are illicit because these sewers are not designed to receive and treat contaminated water before releasing it back to the environment. Examples of things that end up in storm sewers illicitly are septic wastewater, carwash wastewater, auto fluids like used oil and radiator flushing, laundry drain water, household toxics, and chemicals, leaking waste containers, pool and hot tub water, and even garbage, grass clippings, and pet waste.

Illicit discharges all result in high levels of pollution including heavy metals, toxics, oil & grease, viruses & bacteria, and sometimes unknown agents that degrade water quality and water supplies.

As a community member, you can help protect water quality. The most important thing is to not use storm drains and ditches as waste receptacles.

This means keeping drains free of yard debris, and not pouring or dumping wastes directly into these drains or into streets, driveways, and lots that will ultimately wash into drains during the next rain. You should also use proper waste containers with lids to store your trash and participate in your community garbage pick-up service or haul your garbage to a proper drop-off location. You can also wash your car over grass instead of in the street, properly maintain your septic system, clean up after windblown trash cans, drain your pool water to a vegetated area where it can soak into the ground instead of draining to the storm sewer system, properly dispose of pet waste, and maintain your car to prevent leaks.

Remember, a storm sewer is not a trash can or a sink drain. It's a direct pathway to your local creeks and rivers and only meant to carry clean water!

Information Courtesy: What's Allowed to go in a Storm Drain? (What's Allowed to go in a Storm Drain?