Report Water Pollution 302STOPPIT

Don't tolerate water pollution.  If you see any of the following situations, call, text or email 302STOPPIT:

Oil slicks 

Everyday oil, grease, and other automobile fluids accumulate on the street and is washed off into streams with every rainfall. Check you vehicle for oil leaks and drips on a regular basis. Never drain your oil directly into the storm drain!!!   This will result in large fines.  

If you chose to change your oil at home, collect oil in a container that can be recycled along with the oil filter. Likewise, antifreeze, power steering fluid, brake fluid, gasoline  and other automotive projects can be disposed of locally in a responsible manner.  Be sure to scrap or recycle tires, batteries and other auto parts as well.  The Delaware Solid Waste Authority provides drop-off centers that accept oil and antifreeze.

Household garbage can quickly clog your storm drain

Delaware promotes universal, single stream recycling for all residents and businesses. This allows raw materials to return to the manufacturing sector, provides jobs, promotes sustainability in our state. Check here if you have questions about what and where to recycle common items.Clogged storm drains can cause water to back up into your streets, yard and home.  Make sure that the garbage on your street or place of business is properly disposed of.  

Fat, Oil, Grease (FOG)

Leaky or overflowing dumpsters reflect poorly on businesses.  Consider patronizing businesses that care as much about the cleanliness of the neighborhood as they do about their products and services.  Customer service starts in the parking lot. 

Never dump paint, concrete, or other construction materials into the storm drain

Clean out brushes, tools and equipment with water that can be drained through old rags, newspaper or other absorbent material.  When dry, you can simply dispose of the material in the trash.  If you wouldn't wash it into your sink drain, then definitely don't wash it into the storm drain.

Yard waste and grass clippings

Grass clippings and other yard waste are fairly harmless unless it prevent the storm drain system to manage rainfall.  When the organic matter breaks down the excessive nutrients will cause algae blooms to form in neighborhood storm ponds and streams.  Excessive nutrients lead to conditions where fish can't breathe and fish kills result.  If you find dead fish in a stream near you, call the DNREC Citizen's hotline (800) 662-8802.  Consider composting yard waste instead.   

Did you know that pet waste is a significant source of bacteria and can spread disease? 

It is estimated that two or three days' worth of about 100 dogs would contribute enough bacteria to temporarily close a recreational site, and all the watershed areas within 20 miles of it, to swimming and fishing.  Additionally, pet waste can transmit worms, parasites and bacteria that can infect children and other animals as well.  Those with pets know that pet waste can damage and kill a lawn. It is not enough to just clean up after your pet, be sure to dispose of the waste properly.

Water softener brine occasionally needs to be drained for maintenance

The salts and minerals that accumulate in the brine of your water treatment system can be safely disposed of in the sanitary sewer.  You can also collect the brine in a bucket and allow the water to evaporate before disposing of the salts in the garbage.  Draining the brine into your yard can kill your lawn and cause a salt build up in the soil.  Likewise, salt discharges into the storm water drain will harm the vegetation and animals living in nearby ponds and streams.

Remember, only de-chlorinated swimming pool water can be allowed into the storm drain

The chlorine and other pool chemicals you use to prevent the growth of algae in your pool will also harm algae in the environment that serves as the base of the food chain for many animals.  For your backyard pool, allow chlorine levels to dissipate naturally by sunshine and evaporation before draining.  Otherwise, pool supply stores and retailers offer sulferic compounds that can be used to reduce chlorine levels.  Just be sure to check that chlorine levels are below 0.1 mg/L, dissolved oxygen levels in the pool water are greater than 5.0 mg/L and pH must range from 6.5 to 8.5 before draining.