Protect our Waterways

Sea turtle swimming in the ocean

Did you know that putting grass clippings into a storm drain is not allowed?

Only rainwater is allowed in storm drains. Anything else is considered an "illicit discharge," and is not allowed in any public drainage system. One of the greatest sources of water pollution is caused by illicit discharges. Litter, grass clippings, leaves, cigarette butts, pet waste, and other debris can flow into storm drains after a rain. Eventually the debris ends up in our waterways, causing pollution, clogged drains, and even flooding. 

Also, when it rains - pollutants on lawns, roads, and paved surfaces can be washed into storm drains. Eventually theses pollutants end up in our waterways. It is important to properly dispose of trash and debris in waste containers not in storm drains, roads, or waterways. For example, grass clipping should never be blown into the road or down a storm drain.

Stormwater Management enforces the Pasco County’s Ordinance (PDF), which prohibits illicit discharges from entering into the county’s storm drainage system. If an illicit discharge is found, it is subject to a $500 fine per day, per incident, plus possible cleanup costs.

What you can do to help protect our waterways

  • Properly dispose of trash and waste in appropriate containers.
  • Report any illicit discharges or dumping into storm drains, roads, or waterways to the county.
  • Sweep up grass clippings and dispose in the trash or blow it back onto the lawn. Do not put grass clippings into the road or a storm drain.
  • Place extinguished cigarettes in an ashtray. Do not throw them onto the road.
  • Maintain vehicles and ensure oil does not leak onto the ground.
  • After performing oil changes on vehicles, dispose of the used oil in a container and take it to a hazardous waste collection site. Do not put oil down a storm drain, waterway, or onto the road.
  • Clean paint brushes properly and do not rinse the brushes off in the road, storm drains, or waterways.
  • Pick up after your pets and place waste into trash receptacles. Do not leave pet waste on the ground.
  • Wash vehicles at a car wash facility that does not generate runoff.
  • Use fertilizer sparingly and not before a rain event.
  • Keep storm drains, ditches, and roads free of debris.

Want to learn more?

To learn more about how you can prevent and reduce stormwater pollution, view Preserving our Waterways.

Report illicit discharges/illegal dumping to Pasco County: 727-834-3611