These are real phone calls and emails…..(Well, they could be!)
There are many things that people will notice that impacts the water quality we all share. Here are some of the things that may have happened in your neighborhood and that should be reported to your local storm water professional:
“Hello Mr. Stormwater Coordinator, there are a few houses being built up the road from me and yesterday when it rained, mud just filled the road and a stream of muddy water came down my street and went into the storm drain at the bottom of the hill. I had to drive through it and it got all in my garage and the road got was really slippery and dangerous. Shouldn’t they have some sort of erosion controls?”
“Mr. Storm person, while I was walking to my car at the shopping center the other day, I saw a gentleman from the restaurant walk out the back door and dump a big tub of grease into the storm drain. Don’t they suppose to have some sort of container that is covered to store their used grease in?”
“Mr. Rainwater Person, there is a garage type building with old cars and stuff parked around it and I noticed barrels without lids that have some sort of fluid stored in them and they are overflowing some sort of black gunk in the parking lot. That’s not good? Right?”
“Dear Waterman, we live near Green Creek and I see my neighbors across the way pile up grass clippings and limbs and even trash and other stuff on the stream bank. They don’t throw it in the creek, but the next big rain event it is gone. And there is a drainage way on the other side of me that someone piled up a bunch of limbs and debris in it, and when we had that frog strangler of a storm last week, the water that usually flows down it took off and flooded my yard and went under my house and my neighbor’s house and stood in the road. This is not good!” Signed, George and Martha.
“Dear Citizens, I want to thank all of you for calling in these observations. We rely on you to be our eyes and ears in the watershed. We don’t have enough people employed in the city, county or state government to see everything that might be potential sources of problems that could affect your safety or quality of life. All of these actions or inactions above are illegal and could result with a fine of $5,000 per day for each separate offense and might also result in legal actions.
*Dirt, mud, silt is our number one water pollutant in the city and the state and it is against the law to not control it and keep an excess of it out of our waters (storm drains go directly to our streams and rivers). * It is against the law to ‘dump’ anything into the storm drain or in the water ways, that is not clean rain water, that could result in pollution.
* Drainage ways must be kept clear or could result in damage to your property and become a safety hazard.
Some things that cannot enter storm drains or water ways:
  • Oil, anti-freeze, paint, cleaning fluids, grease
  • Wash water from a Commercial Car Wash
  • (Please wash your vehicle on the lawn where the water will soak into the ground)
  • Industrial Discharges
  • Wash waters from commercial / industrial activities
  • Washing Machine Discharges
  • Chlorinated backwash and draining associated with swimming pools
  • Leaves, grass clippings, mud, dirt
  • Do not throw any type of trash or cigarettes out of your car (this is against the law also!)
Let’s all be a solution to water pollution and be careful how we treat the earth.
Don Green, LEED AP