Monday, November 8, 2010

Stormwater, Skagit Style

This report is from our favorite stormwater volunteer in Skagit County...

"Today I was in Sedro-Woolley looking for a store and could not find it. It was raining, and I noticed two places where people were pressure-washing sidewalks, forcing the wash water and crud down the street, and into the nearest storm drain. One of the drains even had the nifty colorful marker stating "Puget Sound Starts Here" logo on it. But best of all, it was right in front of City Hall!

I walked into City Hall, and asked to file an illicit discharge complaint.

The city employee gave me a form, and asked me to explain my complaint. That was easy - I pointed out the door! Best report I’ve ever filed! He told me he'd record my complaint. Then, he gave me directions to the store I'd been trying to find.

On the way to the store I saw a guy operating a large backhoe, tearing up the pad from an old gas-station, and dumping it in a big side-dump. There was a large pile of debris, and because it was raining, discolored water was flowing from the pile, and into a storm drain. I went back to Sedro-Woolley City Hall, and reported the second site, too.

But – even if that crud (sediments, oils, maybe some other contaminants) goes down that drain, it is still a loooong ways to a water-way. Don’t the catch basins and other devices in there capture most of it so it never gets into Puget Sound??? I mean come on ... what’s the big deal anyway???? (Just asking in case I get asked that!)

PS – I told the city guy they ought to go drag out the car wash kit, stick the tub in the hole and just pump the washwater back out in their beds/grass to infiltrate.
We got some educating still to do."

1 comment:

  1. Kind of Like Sue Joerger's comments about the Seattle paint spill - I never got a call back with any report about what was done. I will have to bird-dog them. Makes me pretty impatient with how the NPDES II permit process is actually applied. Fortunately (or unfortunately), as Kevin the Apocolyptic Rabbit in the Prickly City cartoon says - "I know things about you and I have pictures!"