Businesses: Don’t Dump Pollutants Down Storm Drains

Some of the town’s storm drains are marked with this stainless steel medallion to serve as a reminder that only rain should go down the drain.
Some of the town’s storm drains are marked with this stainless steel medallion to serve as a reminder that only rain should go down the drain.

Town of North Hempstead commercial business owners are restricted from washing 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, which includes 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 still permitted to wash their personal vehicles in their driveways.

Pollution that enters the roadways is carried to the drains and discharged directly into 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 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, the possible source of the fluids and 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, call 311 or 516-869-6311.

To learn more about storm-water pollution, tune into North Hempstead TV, which is featuring a segment by the Nassau County Soil and Water Conservation District that 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

—Submitted by the Town of North Hempstead

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Since 1908, the Great Neck Record has served the communities of Great Neck, Great Neck Estates, Great Neck Plaza, Kensington, Kings Point, Lake Success, Russell Gardens, Saddle Rock, Thomaston and the unincorporated areas as a source for local news and community events.

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