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With the Phase II Storm Water Regulations imminent, many communities will be faced with the responsibility of developing and implementing Illicit Discharge Elimination Plans (IDEP). The Village of Romeo, a small community located north of Detroit, Michigan, initiated an investigation of its storm sewer system in response to local health department reports of high bacteria levels and sanitary debris in the East Pond Creek at the Village's storm outlet.

Sleuthing illicit connections is challenging, particularly in older communities where the original infrastructure and modifications are not well documented. Employing a combination of investigative techniques, which individually would have proven only moderately successful, the Village detected eleven illicit connections to the storm sewer. By eliminating eight illicit connections - with elimination of the remaining three planned for the near future - the Village has already documented a dramatic reduction of bacteria concentrations in its storm outlet.

The techniques employed, experiences and lessons learned by the Village of Romeo may guide other communities in their own illicit discharge detective work.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2002

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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