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Water Pollution

Howard County is man­dated by Fed­eral law to estab­lish an illicit dis­charge pro­gram. An illicit dis­charge is a dis­charge into a munic­i­pal sep­a­rate storm sewer, which is not com­posed entirely of storm water. The Depart­ment of Pub­lic Work’s Storm Water Man­age­ment Divi­sion is respon­si­ble for the program.

While the waste­water that leaves your home is piped to a treat­ment facil­ity that cleans it before it is released into water­ways, waste that goes into storm drains is untreated and goes into local rivers or streams that flow into the Chesa­peake Bay. Waste should not be allowed to enter storm drains and should be dis­posed of at a land­fill. Liq­uid waste, includ­ing swim­ming pool water, runoff from wash­ing your car, paint, and pave­ment seal­ers should also be diverted from the storm drain and be treated at the waste­water treat­ment plant to avoid harm to fish and plants in the nearby stream. Fats, oils and grease (FOG) should never be poured down any drain — storm or sink.

Help pro­tect your local water­ways and the Chesa­peake Bay – do not dump any­thing down the storm drain. If you see any­thing other than stormwa­ter going onto street sur­faces or into the storm drains in the County, please report it imme­di­ately by call­ing the Howard County Storm Water Man­age­ment Divi­sion, Angela Morales at (410) 313‑6586 amorales@howardcountymd.gov.
To report in-stream water pol­lu­tion prob­lems, con­tact the Mary­land Depart­ment of the Envi­ron­ment.

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