Illicit Discharge Detection & Elimination

sde Civil Environmental Engineering logoSDE Civil and Environmental Engineering is an engineering firm working for the Town of Milton's Engineering Department. SDE is currently conducting investigations of sanitary sewer and storm drain piping in Milton. As part of the ongoing stormwater compliance efforts the Town of Milton is conducting an Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination (IDDE) catchment investigation program to find and remove illicit discharges in the Town's stormwater drainage system. Illicit connections to the stormwater system allow untreated sewage to discharge to local waterbodies. As part of this effort, the Town's stormwater consultant, SDE, Inc. is conducting catchment investigations in various areas across town. The catchment investigations involve opening storm drain manholes and if flow is observed taking water quality samples. The crews work systematically through the system in an effort to determine the origin of any contamination. When issues are isolated, additional investigations are conducted to verify the potential sources. One of the additional method involves dye testing. The testing involves putting a non-toxic tracing dye into a toilet or sink, running the water, and observing if the dye appears in the storm drain or sanitary sewer. If a dye test is needed you will receive a notification with additional information and instructions on how to schedule a dye test.

Crews from SDE, Inc. will be working out of decaled vehicles and will carry photo identification.

Underground SystemWhat is an Illicit Discharge?

An illicit discharge is the discharge of pollutants or non-stormwater material entering the stormwater drainage system. Illicit discharges are a problem because the water entering our drainage system flows directly to our local waterways without any treatment. This results in untreated water containing pollutants, bacteria, heavy metals, toxins, oils and grease, solvents following into our rivers, streams and brooks. The many beautiful waterways we have here and near the Town of Milton flow into the Neponset River and eventually to the sea via the Boston Harbor Watershed.

Some examples of illicit discharges include pet waste, direct septic connections to storm drains, leaky septic systems, laundry wastewater,  oil or grease, paint, and soap from washing vehicles and equipment. Here are some examples of what illicit discharges may look like.

Illicit Discharge examples