Illegally Dumped Wastes Can Impair Water Quality & Aquatic Life

 In Water Pollution Control

Illegal dumping is the disposal of waste in an unpermitted area, such as a back area of a yard, along a stream bank or at some other off-road area. Pouring liquid wastes or disposing of trash down storm drains, streams or creek banks can also qualify as illegal dumping. It is often called open dumping, fly dumping or midnight dumping because materials are often dumped in open areas from vehicles along roadsides late at night. Primarily nonhazardous materials, illegally dumped wastes are dumped to avoid paying disposal fees or expending the time and effort required for proper disposal.

Waste dumped illegally down storm drains, streams or creek banks can impair water quality and aquatic life. Run-off from dumpsites contain chemicals that can contaminate wells and surface water used as sources of drinking water. Substances disposed of directly into storm drains can also lead to water quality impairment. In systems that flow directly to bodies of water, illegally disposed substances are introduced untreated to the natural environment.

Reliance on public reporting is an important factor in the effectiveness of anti-illegal dumping programs. When we investigate an illegal dump and pinpoint the origin, sometimes we have access to video or pictures available from surrounding homes with security systems and video doorbells. This makes it much easier to track down the vehicle and individuals conducting these nefarious activities. Please report any illegal dumping to Water Pollution Control or the Auburn Police Department.

Information contained in this educational article was obtained from the USEPA storm water website. For additional information regarding your local storm water issues, please contact Drew Wallace, Program Coordinator at the City of Auburn’s Water Pollution Control, at 260-925-1714.

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