Stormwater/ MS4 Information

Stormwater Management
The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection issued a "General Permit for the Discharge of Storm water from Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems"  (MS4 Permit), which took effect on July 1, 2017.  This permit regulates the discharge of storm water from all Town-owned and Town maintained drainage systems, including new requirements related to illicit discharge, detection and elimination and increased inspection and maintenance requirements for public and private storm water infrastructure. 
To view the General Permit for the Discharge of Stormwater from Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems from the State of Connecticut DEEP  
click here
For additional information about stormwater, click Factsheet:Town of Cromwell Water Quality and Stormwater Summary, or by visiting the State of Connecticut DEEP site by clicking here.

Annual Reports
The reporting of an annual report is required under the DEEP MS4 General Permit, the requirement of publishing of annual reports includes the progress towards the goals that are set in the Stormwater Management Plan.  Below are both the Town of Cromwell's Annual Reports and the Pollution Prevention Plans.

2021 Annual MS4 Report
2020 Annual MS4 Report
2019 Annual MS4 Report
2018 Annual MS4 Report
2017 Annual MS4 Report

Stormwater Management Plans
Stormwater Management Plan
Pollution Prevention Plan (Town Garage)
Pollution Prevention Plan (Transfer Station)

Illicit Discharge Facts:
Illicit discharges cause water pollution by sending pollutants right into streams and ponds. Be sure you know what illicit discharges are, so you can help prevent water pollution and keep our streams clean!  Illicit discharges are non-stormwater flows that discharge into the stormwater drainage system. Failing septic systems, wastewater connections to the storm drain system, and illegal dumping are among the types of illicit discharges that can occur. Depending on the source, an illicit discharge may contain a variety of pollutants that can impact both human health and the aquatic environment. Identifying and eliminating these discharges is an important means of pollution source control in a stormwater drainage system. This section provides a brief description of several common types of illicit discharges, techniques for illicit discharge detection, and public education and regulatory measures for preventing illicit discharges.

Reporting Illicit Discharges:
To help prevent water pollution, if you believe you have seen an illicit discharge email the Engineering Department  to report a suspected illicit discharge or any type of water pollution in our streams or stormwater inlets. In case of emergencies, call 911.

Here are answers to some common questions about illicit discharges:
1. What is an illicit discharge?

An illicit discharge is an unlawful act of disposing, dumping, spilling, emitting, or other discharge of any substance other than stormwater into the stormwater drainage system. The stormwater drainage system includes streets, ditches, catch basins, yard inlets, ponds, and streams. Below are some examples of illicit discharges:
               1. Paint being poured into or near the storm drainage system
               2. Changing oil or antifreeze over or near a storm structure
               3. Washing vehicles where the runoff could drain into the storm drainage system.  
Washing dumpster pads and allowing the runoff to drain into the storm drainage system

2. What information should be reported when reporting an illicit discharge?
What time did you see the discharge? It is important that illicit discharges are reported immediately so the person(s) responsible can be found and the discharge can be cleaned up and corrected as soon as possible. We want to respond as quickly as possible to prevent pollution to our environment.
Where did you see the discharge? Please give us an address, intersection, business name, or landmark to help us quickly find the illicit discharge.
What do you think the discharge is? Please let us know if you think it was a paint spill, oil spill, sewer leak, or another type of illicit discharge.
Was there a business involved? Please tell us the name of the business involved to help us eliminate the discharge as quickly as possible and provide enforcement action when needed. 

3. Is yard waste considered an illicit discharge?
Large amounts of yard waste can actually become harmful to our streams and creeks. Dumping yard waste into the storm drainage system can be considered a violation of Cromwell's Illicit Discharge Ordinance. However, if residents are collecting leaves together along their curb line for the seasonal leaf collection program, this is an exception. 

4. Where can used motor oil be thrown away?
When residents change their motor oil and perform other maintenance on their vehicles, none of that waste should be dumped into a storm drain because that is an illicit discharge and causes water pollution. Used motor oil can be taken to any auto parts store and their staff will take care of the used motor oil for you. The auto parts stores can accept motor oil in containers holding up to five gallons of motor oil. Cromwell resident's can also bring their used motor oil to the Cromwell Transfer Station. Please go to the Solid Waste Department for complete rules and hours.

5. Is water from swimming pools considered an illicit discharge?
Backwash and discharges from swimming pools are listed as exceptions from the Illicit Discharge Ordinance, provided the water does not have a harmful impact on the environment. If the swimming pool water has chlorine in it (e.g. if it was recently "shocked" before draining), then that water can be extremely harmful to aquatic life in Cromwell's streams and this will be considered an illicit discharge. Violators discharging chlorinated pool water that has a harmful affect on the environment will be held responsible for their actions.

6. Are there some things that aren't illicit discharges?
There are some exceptions to the Illicit Discharge Ordinance.  Below are examples of exceptions:
        1. Air conditioning condensate
        2. Fire fighting runoff
        3. Nonprofit car washing, including charity car washes and residential car washing
        4. Groundwater discharges from sump pumps

7. What is an illicit connection?
An illicit connection is an unlawful connection from the sanitary sewer system into the stormwater drainage system or directly into lakes and streams. Below are some examples of Illicit Connections:
       1. Floor drains from inside a building going into the storm drain system instead of the sanitary sewer              system
       2. Providing a washing machine connection into a ditch or storm drain structure instead of the                       sanitary sewer system. 
       3. Installing a new plumbing line from a toilet into a stormwater drainage structure instead of the                   sanitary sewer system

                                  Illicit Discharge Poster

Informative Fact Sheets everyone should know:
A homeowner's Guide to Septic Systems, A Series for Clean Water

Storm Drain Stenciling Fact Sheet
Car Care for Cleaner Water Fact Sheet

Better Homes and Groundwater - A Homeowner's Guide
When it Rains, It Pollutes
Protecting Ground Water from Urban Runoff
Clean Water Starts With You
Lawn Care

Pet Waste and Water Quality
Cleaning Up Stormwater Runoff
Do Not Feed Waterfowl