Clean Water Act
It is illegal to deposit any type of debris including branches, leaves, grass clippings, or dirt into or adjacent to any creeks, ponds, wetlands detention basins, ditches or other areas that periodically collect and convey storm water. Besides being unsightly, they can cause obstructions that aggravate flooding. Materials left on the banks or shores will kill the natural vegetation under it resulting in soil erosion.
Phase 2 of the Clean Water Act
In addition to the issues outlined above, dumping also seriously impairs water quality. The second phase of the Federal "Clean Water Act" first passed in 1972 is underway. The goal is to make all the waterways in the United States fishable and swimmable. Though not too many people may want to swim or fish in Salt or Buffalo Creeks, the water quality in these creeks affects the quality of the Des Plaines and Illinois Rivers into which they discharge. The focus of Phase 2 will be on polluted storm water runoff. The source of the pollution can be oils, chemicals and debris washed off of streets and parking lots; fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides off lawns; soils erosion and other contaminates from construction sites and the deliberate dumping of chemicals and other wastes into waterways or storm sewers. In 2004, the Village passed an ordinance that prohibits the discharge to the storm drainage system of anything but storm water. This includes things such as:
- Animal waste;
- Antifreeze and other automotive fluids;
- Motor oil;
- Paint, solvents, or cleaning fluids; and
- Waste water.
Reporting Dumping & Prosecution
Any person discharging pollutants into the waterways or storm drainage system is liable to criminal prosecution and is subject to a corresponding fine. In accordance with the Federal Storm Sewer Regulations, if anyone sees someone dumping chemicals, paints, solvents or other pollutants into the creeks or into storm drains or streets so that they get into the creek system, or a resident has any other storm water quality or concerns or issues, please contact the Public Works Department at (847) 705-5200. Most household wastes can be re-cycled, disposed of with the normal garbage collection when properly prepared, or brought to a hazardous waste collection site. Check with the Village’s Environmental Health Department at (847) 359-9090 or visit the Village’s website for further information on disposing of these wastes.