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Checking for Illicit Discharges
April 12, 2007

Checking for Illicit Discharges

Water Pollution Control employees, with help from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), again this spring and summer, will be walking Independence streams and tributaries looking for illegal dumping and illicit discharges. Spring Branch, Crackerneck Creek, Adair Creek, Mill Creek, Sugar Creek, and Rock Creek watersheds are scheduled to be checked at least every two years. Less developed watersheds in eastern Independence are sampled on a rotating basis.

The teams will look for illicit discharges carried by the storm sewer system to local streams. Illicit discharges are discharges that are not entirely storm water and can be detected when the storm drains carry measurable flow during dry weather.

They will investigate dry weather discharges by sampling for pollutants using field testing equipment. They will also look for illegal dumping of trash and other debris in the storm sewer system. Pictures are taken and GPS (global positioning system) technology will be used to document any suspected illegal dumping or illicit discharges.

City ordinance prohibits illicit discharges. Detecting and eliminating illicit discharges helps to protect our local waterways and the fish and wildlife they support.

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