The Stormwater Hotline
Stormwater pollution is the leading cause of water quality problems in the United States. Stormwater can carry debris, chemicals, dirt, and other pollutants untreated into the waterbodies we use for swimming, fishing, and drinking. Polluted stormwater can have many adverse effects on plants, fish, animals, and people.
New federal regulations require the Town of Dalton to control stormwater discharges. The Town is working to reach out to the public and provide education and opportunities for public involvement. The Town is alerting citizens of the impacts that polluted stormwater can have on water quality. The Town is also working to detect and eliminate illicit discharges into the stormdrain system. Illicit discharges can include dumping into a catch basin, wastewater directly connected to the stormdrain system, or a damaged sanitary sewer line leaking fluids into a cracked stormdrain line. The Town has set up a stormwater reporting hotline to provide citizens with an opportunity to help the Town eliminate polluted stormwater discharges.
What is Stormwater?
Stormwater is water from rain or snowmelt that flows over the ground. As it flows, stormwater can pick up debris, chemicals, dirt, and other pollutants. Built surfaces like driveways, rooftops, decks, sidewalks, and streets prevent stormwater from naturally soaking into the ground. Stormwater flows into stormdrains or directly into lakes, streams, rivers, and wetlands. Anything that enters a stormdrain is discharged untreated into the waterbodies we use for swimming, fishing, and drinking.
Detecting and reporting polluted discharges
Evidence of polluted stormwater discharges is typically detected at storm drain outfall locations or at manholes.
You can call the Stormwater Hotline at the Department of Emergency Management at 413-684-0020 or the Fire Department at 413-684-0500 to report any of the following signs of pollution:
Flow during dry weather - which could mean that wastewater is directly connected to the stormdrain system, or an old and damaged sanitary sewer line that is leaking fluids into a cracked stormdrain line.
Staining of the pavement or soil near a catch basin or discharge pipe - which could mean that materials have been dumped into a catch basin.
Pungent odors coming from the stormdrain system or odors, oily substances, or suds in the water - which could mean that materials have been dumped into a catch basin, wastewater is directly connected to the stormdrain system, or an old and damaged sanitary sewer line that is leaking fluids into a cracked stormdrain line.
Excessive sediment deposits by catch basins or near discharge pipes - which could mean that erosion and sediment controls are absent or failing in an activity taking place uphill of the catch basin or outfall.
Broken concrete or other disturbances to the catch basins or discharge pipes - which could mean that heavy debris has made its way to the stormdrain system through dumping or by absent/failing erosion and sediment control measures.
Dalton Storm Water Committee, February 2006