Have you ever wondered where the oil goes that makes driving so dangerous after the first rainfall? Or what happens to the detergent that runs down the driveway when you wash your car? The used oil, as well as detergents, dirty water and soaps from washing your car, are carried through city drains into the nearest lake, creek or river.
Anything dumped or dropped on the ground or in the gutter can end up in the nearest body of water. Stormwater pollution results from materials and chemicals washed into the storm drains from streets, gutters, neighborhoods, industrial sites, parking lots and construction sites. This type of pollution is significant because, unlike the water that goes down a sink or toilet in your home, stormwater is untreated and flows directly to a lake, river, or the ocean.
Stormwater systems were originally intended to route rainwater quickly off the streets during a heavy storm. Unfortunately, these systems can carry pollutants such as pesticides, bacteria and chemicals through city streets and straight to our waters. Stormwater pollution can include chemicals, fast food wrappers, cigarette butts, Styrofoam cups, sewage overflow, cooking oil, bacteria from pet waste, pesticides, bacteria and chemicals through city streets and straight to our waters. Stormwater pollution can include chemicals, fast food wrappers, cigarette butts, Styrofoam cups, sewage overflow, cooking oil, bacteria from pet waste, used motor oil, fertilizers, paint and construction debris.
Used oil from a single oil change can pollute up to one million gallons of freshwater. Improper disposal of used oil, which includes oil leaking from cars, contributes significantly to stormwater pollution. The EPA estimates that American households generate 193 million gallons of used oil every year, and improperly dump the equivalent of 17 Exxon Valdez oil spills every year.
And household cleaners can hurt the environment as well, if not disposed of properly. One ounce of household bleach requires 312,000 ounces of water to be safe for fish. Even biodegradable soaps can pose problems for aquatic life — in order for one ounce of biodegradable detergent to be safe for fish, it needs to be diluted by almost 20,000 ounces of water.
Missouri DNR - MS4 Web Page
EPA Storm Water Web Page
It is the responsibility of each Hannibal citizen to help keep our waters and grounds free of polutants and contaminants caused by illegal dumping (discharge). If you have witnessed an act that may be in violation of the law, you can send an anonymous report of the incident by completing the form below.