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Commercial Business Owners Reminded to Refrain from Washing Vehicles in Streets or from Dumping Pollutants into Storm Drains

April 13, 2016
MEDIA CONTACTS: Carole Trottere, Rebecca Cheng, Sam Marksheid, and Vicki DiStefano | (516) 869-7794

Commercial Business Owners Reminded to Refrain from Washing Vehicles in Streets or from Dumping Pollutants into Storm Drains

North Hempstead, NY –Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth and the Town Board are reminding commercial business owners that they are restricted from washing any vehicles at their place of business or on the street and must only wash vehicles at a facility that recycles wash water and disposes of it properly.

If commercial entities allow vehicle wash water or other liquid pollution to enter the public roadway, they may be cited for creating an “illicit discharge.” Illicit discharges include oils and auto fluids, failing septic systems, fluids seeping from dumpsters and garbage trucks, large deposits of sediment or construction dust, wash water from commercial car washes, or food grease from restaurants. Under Town Code, all illicit discharges are prohibited. Residents are permitted to wash their personal vehicles in their driveways.

Pollution that enters the roadways is carried to the drains, and it discharges directly to Hempstead Harbor, Manhasset Bay and Little Neck Bay. Contrary to popular belief, the storm drains do not carry water to treatment plants.

Residents and businesses are also encouraged to call 311 to report individuals who are not complying with the Town Code. Callers should be ready to describe the specific location of the discharge, to describe the possible source of the fluids, and to describe the discharge in terms of color, odor, bubbles, etc.

Commercial business owners and residents should also be on the lookout for the following sources of pollution entering the roadways:
• Failing septic systems
• Illegal dumping of restaurant grease, oils or auto fluids
• “Dumpster juice” from dumpsters or trucks
• Wash water from commercial car washes
• Large deposits of sediment or construction dust
• “Mystery” fluids with strange colors, odors, bubbles, or opaqueness.

To report an illicit discharge, please call 311 or 516-869-6311.

To learn more about storm water pollution, tune into North Hempstead TV station which is currently featuring a segment by the Nassau County Soil and Water Conservation District which highlights the importance of keeping storm water runoff as pristine as possible. North Hempstead TV can be viewed on channel 18 or 63 on Cablevision, channel 46 on Verizon or by visiting: http://bit.ly/1U5VWL6.


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