Illicit Discharge

Howard County is mandated by Federal law to establish an illicit discharge program. An illicit discharge is a discharge into a municipal separate storm sewer, which is not composed entirely of stormwater. The Department of Public Works' Stormwater Management Division is responsible for managing the program.

If you see anything other than storm water flowing onto street surfaces or entering the County storm drain system, please report it immediately by calling the Howard County Stormwater Management Division, Cynthia Alden 410-313-6447 or Calden@howardcountymd.gov.

MDE Discharge Permits for Vehicle Washing


Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) requires a permit for the discharge of any quantity of wastewater to ground and surface waters. Vehicle wash water is considered to be wastewater and therefore onsite vehicle washing requires a permit. Companies that perform outdoor vehicle washing have three options for managing the wastewater they generate:

    1) Discharge wastewater to the sanitary sewer (please contact the Bureau of Utilities at 410-313-4943 for more information),
    2) Contain, collect and transport wash water off-site for appropriate treatment and disposal, or
    3) Obtain an MDE discharge permit to discharge to the ground and surface waters (Call the MDE Wastewater Permits Program at 410-537-3778).

Please go to the following links below for more information:


Scrap Tire Disposal


Illegal Dumping

Illegal dumping of scrap tires is an unfortunate problem that happens within the county. These scrap tire dumps are a fire hazard and lead to pooling of water perfect for mosquito breeding. If you want to report illegal tire dumping, contact the Bureau of Environmental Services at 410-313-6444. If you are reporting large illegal tire dumping activities (50 or more tires), please contact the MDE Solid Waste Program at 410-537-3315


Proper Disposal of Scrap Tires

Recycle automobile and truck tires at the Alpha Ridge Landfill. (Commercial haulers see Landfill Fee Schedule). Alpha Ridge Landfill does not accept tires on rims, tires over 4' in diameter or over 15" in width. NOTE: Rims can be recycled in the scrap metal container. Limit of 4 tires per year.

To find other licensed collection sites that collect scrap tires from the general public and which ensure that scrap tires are ultimately recycled, call MDE Scrap Tire Program at 410-537-3314.

Please call Howard County Environmental Services at 410-313-6444 before bringing tires from community or illegal dumping cleanups to the Alpha Ridge Landfill.