Report a Stormwater Quality Concern

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Report a Stormwater Quality Concern


The City of South Bend wants to know if there are stormwater concerns in your neighborhood! Storm drains play a critical role in managing stormwater during rainfall events by directing it to local creeks, rivers, and lakes. They prevent flooding by ensuring that rainfall is captured and managed within the storm sewer system so it does not impact your home.

Dumping chemicals, oils or any other pollutants down storm drains can have severe consequences on our water quality as well as harm aquatic life and our natural ecosystem. Not only is it harmful to the environment, but it is also illegal to directly discharge anything but stormwater from rainfall to a storm drain.



What is considered a stormwater quality concern?

An illicit discharge is defined by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) as any discharge to a municipal separate storm sewer system that is not composed entirely of stormwater, except naturally introduced materials such as leaves or tree limbs.

Examples of illicit discharges include:

  • Dumping hazardous wastes such as paint/paint thinners
  • Vehicle fluids like used motor oils or antifreeze
  • Yard/pet waste or trash in a drainage ditch
  • Dirt, mud, or other debris tracked out from a construction site


How do you report a stormwater quality concern?

Fill out the Report a Stormwater Concern form here or please call 311.

When calling 311, provide the following information if possible:

  • Name & Contact Information (you may request to remain anonymous)
  • What kind of illicit discharge you are wanting to report
  • Location of observation (include if this is a business, park/wooded area, private residence, or sidewalk/street corner)
  • First observation date & time
  • Has this occurred more than once?
  • Include any photos or videos by emailing them to the stormwater quality team at MS4@southbendin.gov
  • Additional details if known:
    • Is there a potential for discharge to enter a stream/waterbody, storm drain, or wetland?
    • Description of odor
    • Description of color
    • Materials/objects in discharge
    • Flow of discharge
    • Suspected source
    • Has it rained in the past 48 hours?
    • Any other relevant information


What happens after you notify 311 of an illicit discharge?

The 311 liaison will notify the stormwater quality team within the Engineering Department who will investigate the situation to determine the cause and remediation for the reported illicit discharge.


311 Process Notes

Liaisons should fill out the concern form available here whether the caller wishes to remain anonymous or not. If the caller requests to remain anonymous, the liaison should then enter the general 311 information into the contact information section. It is important that this form be utilized to give accurate information to the stormwater team for investigation and tracking purposes. Once the form is submitted, an automated email will be sent to notify the stormwater quality team. When the form is completed, please advise the caller of the following: "Thank you for reporting a stormwater quality concern. This information will be submitted to the stormwater quality team in the Engineering Department for investigation."