Construction sites are potential sources of polluted stormwater runoff. As rainwater flows over a construction site, it can pick up contaminants like sediment, debris, automotive fluids, and hazardous chemicals and transport them to local waterways. This contaminated runoff can significantly impact water quality, which has many adverse effects on plants, fish, animals, and people.
Sediment clouds streams and lakes, making it difficult for aquatic plants to grow. It can also destroy aquatic fish and insect habitat.
Debris such as plastic bags, packaging, empty containers, and demolition materials can wash into waterways and choke, suffocate, or disable aquatic life, including ducks, fish, turtles, and birds.
Automotive fluids such as gasoline, motor oil, and antifreeze leaking from improperly maintained construction vehicles can reach waterways through stormwater runoff. Other hazardous chemicals generated by a construction site may include paint, solvents, adhesives, caulks, and wood preservatives. Any of these chemicals can degrade water quality and may have toxic effects upon not only aquatic life, but also land animals and humans using these waterways for drinking water.
How Can You Help?
Citizens are urged to take an active role in reducing stormwater pollution. You can help by reporting any potential construction stormwater violations you observe to the City. Keep a look out for:
Water that looks muddy, discolored, or has an oily sheen running directly into a storm drain, stream, or wetland.
Dirt and rock being deposited on the street by vehicles leaving construction sites.
Uncontained trash or debris sitting or blowing around a construction site.
Construction vehicles that appear to be leaking fluids. Contact the City of Whitehall’s Director of Public Service Ray Ogden at (614) 237-8612 to report potential construction stormwater violations. Remember that construction sites are often dangerous places. Please do not trespass onto private construction sites.