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​Illegal Dumping

Illegal dumping is against the law!

Illicit Discharges and Illegal dumping like trash, grass clippings, fertilizer, pet waste, paint products, motor oil, and other chemicals can be picked up by rainwater flow and deposited into the storm drain system. 

What You Should Do if You See Illegal Dumping or an Illicit Discharge

Illegal dumping and illicit discharges are a major cause of stormwater pollution. Public witness complaints provide the most common source of information. For questions pertaining to illicit discharges, please call 720-977-6256. To report Illegal Dumping or Illicit Discharges during business hours please fill out the Code Violation Form at the City Development Department (9500 Civic Center Dr., Thornton, CO). You may also send an email to or call 303-538-7517. To report Illigal Dumping or Illicit Discharges on the weekends or after regular business hours call 720-977-5150. When a complaint is received, Code Compliance investigates the claim, and when possible, assembles evidence for prosecution. The case is then released to the appropriate city, county, or federal authorities.

Federal, state, and local laws prohibit certain non-stormwater discharges to the storm drain system. The purpose of these regulations is to protect the quality of the nation's surface water resources by minimizing contamination associated with urban activities.

Recognizing Illegal Dumping or Illicit Discharges

Indications of Possible Illegal Dumping or Illicit Discharges

  • Unusual color or cloudiness
  • Algae
  • Strong pungent or musty odor
  • Dead vegetation or inhibited growth
  • Floating debris
  • Pipe corrosion
  • Surface scum or foam
  • Stains on channel bottom or sides
  • Oil sheen
  • Dead animals