Eastern Michigan University

Environmental Health & Safety

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Illicit Discharge Elimination Program


Any discharge that flows into a storm drain system that is not composed entirely of stormwater is commonly considered illicit discharge. The two exceptions include water from firefighting activities and discharges from facilities already under an NPDES permit.


Illicit discharges are a problem for stormwater because, unlike wastewater, which flows to a wastewater treatment plant, stormwater generally flows to waterways without any additional treatment. Because of its lack of filtration, discharge can be hazardous from an environmental and health perspective.


The EMU IDEP was developed to help identify and prevent illicit discharges from the Main campus, West campus & Eagle Crest Golf & Conference facilities from getting into the middle Huron water shed. The program is well rounded in that it's both reactive (addressing spills and other found discharges) and reactive (preventing and eliminating discharges) through education, training, and enforcement.


These discharges, such as: sewage, fertilizers, soaps, emulsifiers, industrial wastes, etc. often include...

  • Nutrients
  • Pathogens
  • Surfactants
  • Varying Toxic Pollutants