Officials say water from a chlorinated swimming pool made its way into the storm drains in Arlington County, Virginia, killing about a hundred fish last week.
The dead fish were found in a creek located in Four Mile Run between South Walter Reed Drive and South Taylor Street, and according to a tweet posted by the Arlington Department of Environmental Services on Monday, investigators have determined that “flawed seasonal pool care involving chlorine and overflow” are to blame.
Department spokesman Peter Golkin said that the investigation led them to a multi-family housing complex where large amounts of chlorine were added to the pool during the off-season. “Investigators say flawed seasonal pool care involving chlorine and overflow led to last week’s fish kill in Four Mile Run,” Golkin told news sources. Both the pool care company and the property management firm have been contacted by the county.
Golkin said an unpleasant “chemical smell” had been detected near a storm drain, suggesting that “would indicate that someone probably poured something not good down there.”
“The owners and their pool service people have been very cooperative with the investigation and in making follow-up improvements so such an incident isn’t repeated,” said Golkin.
He noted that the stream had been cleared by recent rains, but warned that the area’s lack of filters in the storm drains meant that toxic substances could still be harmful to local wildlife.
“Please be careful,” explained Golkin, “All sorts of daily issues, from yard waste falling into curb gutters to pet waste left unbagged to home car-washing and pool maintenance, can add up to a serious collective problem for the watershed.”
“Swimming pool and spa water can have devastating effects on the health of our streams if not disposed of properly,” the Department of Environmental Services says on its website. “The chlorine, bromine, algaecides, cleaning chemicals and low oxygen levels can kill fish and other aquatic life in streams.”
“Only freshwater that is dechlorinated, pH neutral, chemical-free and clean may be slowly discharged into the storm drain system,” the department claims. Otherwise, the water must go into the sewer system.
Golkin said that the county’s regulations regarding pool drainage are “especially timely as this is prime season for closing out pools for the year.”
Many cities and municipalities have regulations regarding pumping pool water into storm drains and sewer systems.
Read the original article here: