March 20, 2024

What are legal discharges?

Some discharges are not considered illegal under the City of Indian Rocks Beach’s Ordinance. These include:

  • Flows from firefighting
  • Landscape irrigation and lawn watering
  • Irrigation water
  • Diverted stream flows
  • Rising ground waters
  • Water line flushing and other contributions from potable water sources
  • Uncontaminated pumped groundwater
  • Foundation and footing drains
  • Water from crawl space pumps
  • Uncontaminated air conditioning condensation
  • Individual residential car washings
  • Springs
  • Flows from riparian habitats and wetlands
  • Swimming pools direct infiltration of ground water to the separate storm sewer system

Note: not all of these are considered good practices. It is not a good idea to backwash your swimming pool filter directly into the storm sewer; the chlorine that you put into your pool to kill bacteria will also kill aquatic life. If you wash your car, it is a good idea to do it over your lawn, so the soapy water can be absorbed by the lawn and not run down the street and into the storm sewer system. These activities, while not all good things to do, are exempt from the City of Indian Rocks Beach ordinance, unless we are able to show that such a discharge is really causing significant harm to water quality or aquatic life. It simply was not the intent of the City of Indian Rocks Beach to use the ordinance to try to make people stop washing their cars, etc. The ordinance was intended to deal with large-scale polluters and people committing illicit discharges to the storm sewer system.