Illicit Discharge

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      Reporting Spills

      Reporting Spills and Illegal Dumping (Illicit Discharge)

      When reporting a spill or potential environmental code violation, please provide the following:

      • Your name, address, phone number, and email address
      • Location of the spill such as property address, intersection, waterway
      • Material that has been spilled, if known
      • Date and time of the spill
      • Person/entity responsible for the spill

      Non-Emergency Spill Reporting

      Examples of Non-Emergency Spills

      • Residential spills and illegal dumping of yard waste, etc.
      • Spills less than 5 gallons that do not reach inlets
      • Stormwater discharges from construction sites
      • Non-hazardous wastes deposited in streets
      • Concrete wash water

      Emergency Spill Reporting

      • 911 for life threatening emergency, Dispatch for all other: 719-444-7000

      Examples of Emergency Spills:

      • Involves a vehicle accident
      • Unknown liquids reach inlet/creek
      • Involves a fire
      • Any spill that has or may impact Waters of the State*
      • Releases from storage tanks
      • Sewage
      • Illicit connections
      • Grease interceptor overflows
      • Chemical spills

      Other Spill Reporting

      Spills that reach Waters of the State*

      *Waters of the State include: surface water, ground water, dry gullies, storm sewers leading directly to surface water. 

      • Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE): 1-877-518-5608

      Accidental Discharges to Sanitary Sewer

      • Colorado Springs Utilities: 719-448-4800

      Petroleum Releases from Storage Tanks

      • Colorado Springs Fire Department Dispatch: 719-444-7000
      • State Oil Inspector:1-303-318-8525
      • After hours contact CDPHE: 1-877-518-5608

      Releases from Oil Pipeline

      • 911 for life threatening emergency, Dispatch for all other: 719-444-7000
      • US Department of Transportation Office of Pipeline Safety:  1-202-366-4595
      • National Response Center (NRC): 1-800-424-8802
      • If spill reaches Waters of the State contact CDPHE: 1-877-518-5608

      Radiological Accidents, Incidents and Events

      • Business hours contact Laboratory and Radiation Services Division: 1-303-692-3300
      • After hours contact CDPHE: 1-877-518-5608

      For additional guidance for industrial facilities based on spill type, visit CDPHE's website.

      What is Illicit Discharge?

      Illicit Discharge

      An illicit discharge is defined as any discharge to the city’s stormwater system that is not composed entirely of stormwater. Common illicit discharges include:

      • Improper disposal of vehicle fluids including radiator fluid, motor oil, and gasoline
      • Improper disposal of household chemicals including paint and detergents
      • Cross connections: Sanitary sewer lines that are tied to the storm sewer system
      • Illegal dumping into the storm drain system including residential waste and industrial facility discharges
      • Wash out from concrete trucks
      • Leaking grease traps at restaurant facilities
      • Grease from household cooking

      Allowable Discharge

      The following sources of non stormwater discharges are excluded from the definition illicit discharge:

      • Landscape irrigation water & lawn watering
      • Diverted stream flows
      • Uncontaminated ground water
      • Foundation drains, footing drains, and underdrain systems
      • Air conditioning condensation
      • Springs
      • Water from crawl space pumps
      • Individual residential car washing
      • Individual residential swimming pool and hot tub discharges
      • Water-line flushing
      • Water incidental to street sweeping that is not associated with construction

      Proper Use and Disposal

      Use and Dispose of Chemicals Properly


      graphic for clean sweep event

      You can dispose of your hazardous household waste during El Paso County's Clean Sweep events. They events are free for residents of El Paso County, but you do need to register. You can find a list of upcoming Clean Sweep events on our calendar.

      • Recycle! The county's Household Hazardous Waste Facility accepts numerous materials for FREE! Call 719-520-7878
      • Dispose Properly: Keep paint and chemicals out of street or storm drain.
      • Check Your Car: Leaking oil and car fluids pollute our water
      • Use a Commercial Car Wash: Keep soap and wax out of our waterways


      Learn How to Properly Dispose of Waste

      Stormwater | Grease Safety

      Stormwater | Grease Safety


      Other Resources

      More Information

      • Colorado Springs Utilities, Xeriscape Office (pesticide/plant alternatives): 719-448-4555
      • Colorado Springs Utilities, Industrial Pretreatment: 719-448-4360
      • Colorado State University Cooperative Extension (pesticide alternatives): 719-636-8921