Report Stream Pollution

Water or Sewer Emergencies – report to 703-228-6555

Active Construction Site Concerns – send an email to, follow-up investigations will take place the next business day

Use the Report a Problem Tool to provide photos and additional information to County staff. Report a Problem messages are only reviewed during business hours. Look for the Illegal Dumping: Pollution in Streams menu option.

If you are currently observing pollution, dumping, discharge or discoloration in a stream, please call the Emergency Communications Center immediately at 703-558-2222Fire Department or designated County personnel will be notified and promptly investigate.

Why Report Stream Dumping Right Away by Calling 703-558-2222?

  • Stream conditions can change quickly and reporting as soon as you see something greatly increases the chances we can find the source.
  • Timely reporting helps us track pollution discharges from leaks, spills, property improvement or construction activities, or improper disposal of materials such as paint, grout, concrete, wash water, oil, or other chemicals.
  • When the source of pollution can be identified, we follow up with responsible parties to address the issue and prevent future incidents.
  • This includes helping individuals understand appropriate disposal methods, best practices for preventing pollution, and how storm drains connect directly to local streams.

In accordance with Arlington County Code Chapter 26-7, nothing should be put in, or dumped into, a storm drain that will adversely affect the storm drain system or surface waters. Arlington’s municipal separate storm sewer system permitadministered by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality also prohibits the discharge of pollution to the storm sewer system. Certain non-stormwater discharges such as flows from firefighting activities, irrigation water, air conditioner condensation or foundation drains are permitted to go to the storm drain system.

Learn more about how we can all prevent stream pollution and keep streams safe for childrenpets, fish and other wildlife. Spread the word and help educate your family, friends and neighbors, as well as local contractors, service providers, and business owners.

Types of Stream Pollution

The following are possible sources of some types of stream pollution or unusual things that may alter the color of Arlington’s streams.

Report the following forms of stream pollution to the Emergency Communications Center at 703-558-2222.

Naturally-Caused, Discolored Stream Water

The following are examples of natural causes of discolored stream water. Don’t call to report if you see these examples.

What's that stuff in my stream? Learn more about natural causes of strange stream colors

Construction Site Runoff

Mud and muddy water that’s being tracked or running off an active construction site should be reported to the Development Services Bureau at    Note: This isn’t a 24-hour response line. Follow-up investigations will take place the next business day.