The City of Aventura’s storm drains empty directly into the Intracoastal waterway. When it rains, pollution left on our City streets is carried to storm drains and directly to the Intracoastal waterway. The discharge of polluting matter in natural waters is prohibited and can result in fines up to $500 per incident, per day. View the City Ordinance Number 2017-12 page.

Polluting Matter

  • Antifreeze and automotive products
  • Chemicals
  • Degreasers and solvents
  • Fertilizers
  • Lawn Clippings
  • Leaves and branches
  • Paints
  • Pesticides and herbicides
  • Pet waste
  • Petroleum products (oil, grease, gasoline)
  • Silt or soil
  • Soaps (even biodegradable)

You can prevent pollution and report pollution.

Common Signs of a Violation

  • Dirty or glistening water flowing down the street.
  • Grass clippings or leaves in the street and the appearance of a recently maintained yard.
  • An individual blowing, raking or mowing leaves and grass clippings into the street.
  • An individual rinsing out a dirty container or emptying a dirty container into the street or a parking lot.

To report Stormwater Pollution, call the Public Works/Transportation Department at 305-466-8970 or Email Joseph Kroll.

Information to Report

  • Address of violation
  • Brief description of the vehicle and/or person(s) involved
  • Date/time
  • Violation

Illicit Discharge - Storm Drains & the Law

In the City of Aventura, it is unlawful for any person to drain or deposit onto any street, gutter, ditch, or body of water organic or inorganic matter which causes or tends to cause pollution.

It is also unlawful to drain or deposit into the City's storm drains any organic or inorganic matter which causes or tends to cause pollution. Polluting matter includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Acids or alkalis
  • Animal carcasses
  • Antifreeze, and other automotive products
  • Chemicals
  • Construction materials
  • Degreasers, solvents
  • Laundry waste
  • Lawn clippings, leaves, branches, etc.
  • Paints
  • Pesticides, herbicides or fertilizers
  • Pet waste
  • Petroleum products, including but not limited to oil, gasoline, and grease
  • Recreational vehicle waste
  • Refuse
  • Sanitary sewage
  • Silt
  • Soaps
  • Toxic or poisonous solids or liquids

It is also unlawful to wash any public or private streets, sidewalks or parking areas into a gutter, outlet or stormwater system, unless all visible debris and sediments have been removed prior to washing.

Violating City Code

Violation of City Code could result in a fine not exceeding $500 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding sixty days, or by both such fine and imprisonment. Each day any violation of any provision of the Code continues could constitute a separate offense. (Section 2-331, City of Aventura, Code of Ordinances.)

To report an illicit discharge call 305-466-8970. If there is no answer, please call the Police Department Dispatch at 305-466-8989.

BMP Descriptions

  • Public Education and Outreach - Distribute educational materials and perform outreach to inform citizens, businesses, boaters and school age children about the impacts polluted stormwater runoff discharges can have on water quality.
  • Public Participation and Involvement - Provide opportunities for citizens to participate in the development and implementation of a stormwater management program in the City of Aventura.
  • Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination -Develop, implement, and enforce a plan to detect and eliminate illicit discharges to the City's storm drainage system.
  • Construction Site Runoff - Develop, implement, and enforce an erosion and sediment control program for construction activities that disturb one acre or more of land.
  • Pollution Prevention/Good Housekeeping - Develop and implement a program to reduce or eliminate pollutant runoff from City facilities and operations.

In urban and suburban areas, much of the land surface is covered by buildings and pavement, which do not allow rain and snow melt to soak into the ground. Instead, most developed areas rely on storm drains to carry large amounts of runoff from roofs and paved areas to nearby waterways. The stormwater runoff carries pollutants such as oil, dirt, chemicals, and lawn fertilizers directly to streams and rivers, where they seriously harm water quality. To protect surface water quality and groundwater resources, development should be designed and built to minimize increases in runoff.

Difference Between Sanitary & Storm Sewers

You’ve seen one drain, you’ve seen them all. They are all the same, right? I can pour this cleaner down the drain because it goes to a wastewater treatment plant, right? Not so! It's important to understand the difference between sanitary sewers and storm sewers so we can prevent environmental damage. The sanitary sewer is a system of underground pipes that carries sewage from bathrooms, sinks, kitchens, and other plumbing components to a wastewater treatment plant where it is filtered, treated and discharged.

The storm sewer is a system designed to carry rainfall runoff and other drainage. It is not designed to carry sewage or accept hazardous wastes. The runoff is carried in underground pipes or open ditches and discharges untreated into local streams, rivers and other surface water bodies. Storm drain inlets are typically found in curbs and low-lying outdoor areas. Some older buildings have basement floor drains that connect to the storm sewer system.

Disposal of chemicals or hazardous substances to the storm sewer system damages the environment. Motor oil, cleaners, paints and other common household items that get into storm drains can poison fish, birds, and other wildlife, and can find their way into
drinking water supplies. In addition, grass clippings, leaves, litter, and organic matter can clog storm drains and cause flooding.

Keeping Storm Sewer Systems Clean

Here are some things you can do to help maintain our storm sewer systems and keep our environment clean:

  • Do not pour anything into storm sewer drains.
  • Keep storm sewer drains clear of leaves, grass clippings, sticks and litter
  • Repair any leaks and drips from your vehicle.
  • Collect and recycle motor oil
  • Clean up spills and don’t wash them into a drain.
  • Don’t pour paints, solvents, cleaners, etc. into any drain - take it to your local county household hazardous waste collection.
  • Minimize the use of herbicides and pesticides.

Having a clean environment is of primary importance for our health and economy. Clean waterways provide recreation, commercial opportunities, fish habitat, and add beauty to our landscape. All of us benefit from clean water - and all of us have a role in getting and keeping our lakes, rivers, wetlands, and groundwater clean.

Remember, it All Drains to the Intracoastal

You might not be able to see the stream or lake from your house, but it’s there! It might be a small stream or ditch or even a storm drain in the street. All of these lead directly to the Intracoastal. What we do at home affects our water. So, any oil, pet waste, leaves or dirty water from washing your car that enters a storm drain gets into our ground water system without being treated. We all need to be aware of what goes into our storm drains.

An illicit discharge is anything that drains to a storm drain or directly to the Intracoastal and is not stormwater. An illicit discharge can be an illegal pipe draining directly to the Intracoastal, or even a spill that goes into the storm drain. As a community member, you play a large role in identifying and reducing illicit discharges in your community.