OKLAHOMA – As swimming pool season gears up, officials are reminding residents that it is illegal to release chlorinated pool water down their neighborhood storm drain.
According to Storm Water Quality Manager Raymond Melton, water that flows from neighborhoods down storm drains is not filtered before it drains into local streams and reservoirs.
“Native fish and other small aquatic life living in our waterways cannot tolerate the levels of chlorine and other chemicals often found in pool water and backwash water from filtration units,” Melton said. “Having a healthy aquatic life is important to the City’s ecosystem.”
If your pool isn’t connected to a sanitary sewer line for draining, the water must be de-chlorinated before releasing it into a storm drain. Under the Oklahoma City Municipal Code, fines can range from $200 -$1,000 per day for each violation.
Citizens, civic organizations or other interested groups can get involved by participating in Oklahoma City’s Curbs to Creeks program. Participants can check out a kit which contains the markers, adhesive and other tools needed to place decals on storm drain inlets. The decals have messages such as “Dump no waste – Drains to the Oklahoma River.”
“This is a grassroots effort where people can get involved at a neighborhood level and help to raise the awareness that storm water is not treated before entering our local waterways,” Melton added. “The decals also provide a number that citizens can call to report illegal dumping activities.”
For more information about the Curbs to Creeks program, storm drain contamination or to report a violation, call 297-1774.