Illicit Discharges

What is the problem?


​Pollutants that enter our local waterways through the storm drain system affect water quality, make swimming potentially unsafe, and impair fish habitat.  These pollutants can be absorbed by fish possibly making their consumption harmful.  Dumping anything, accidentally or purposely, into a gutter, ditch, or storm drain is illegal and violators can be issued civil penalties.  These illegal actions are known as Illicit Discharges.

Illicit Discharge Examples

  • Dumping household chemicals
  • Dumping leaves and yard waste
  • Dumping motor oil
  • Sanitary waste water (sewage)
  • Car wash waste waters
  • Litter and garbage 
  • Pet waste
  • Sediment from construction sites

What Can you do?

  • Dispose of paint cleaners and other household chemicals according to label directions
  • When at home, wash your car so that wastewater drains to grass, not the storm drain system
  • Promptly clean up after your pet
  • Recycle used motor oil at participating centers
  • Vegetate bare areas to reduce soil erosion
Illicit Discharge Example 1
Illicit Discharge Example 2

Illicit Discharge Detection And Elimination (IDDE)

To Improve our water quality and to stay in compliance with state and federal regulations, the City of Billings has adopted an Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination (IDDE) Ordinance.  This ordinance prohibits pollutants from entering our local waters, regulates connections to the storm sewer  systems, and outlines enforcement procedures and penalities.

To report an illicit discharge, please contact: 406-247-8517