Edmond Water Quality Jeopardized By Illegal Dumping - News9.com - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports |

Edmond Water Quality Jeopardized By Illegal Dumping

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Illegal dumping threatens water quality at Arcadia Lake. Illegal dumping threatens water quality at Arcadia Lake.
EDMOND, Oklahoma -

Dumping trash and appliances all over the metro.

It's illegal and Edmond water quality specialists say it happens all the time.

The problems are beginning to show up downstream in the Deep Fork River.

Sky News 9 HD flew above Arcadia Lake Wednesday night to show just how this problem spreads through larger creeks and streams in Edmond to larger bodies of water.

Some of the debris and chemicals left behind from illegal dumping near Edmond flows into Arcadia Lake and Oklahoma's waterways.

Experts say it's not a matter of if but when it reaches us.

"It may not be this year that you see an issue.  It may not be next year," City of Edmond Water Quality Specialist, Cody Gaines said. "Who knows? It could be ten years from now, there's gonna be an issue."

It's a huge issue to Gaines and Water Specialist Jordan Copeland.

"It often takes us aback," Gaines said of all the surprising junk the city finds dumped illegally in ditches and behind businesses in the metro.

"Chances are you could be introducing some pretty harmful chemicals into your body," he said of lakes and ponds in Oklahoma.

Copeland doesn't like the question "So what?" Unfortunately, she's heard it before.

"Definitely disheartening, upsetting when you hear someone talk like that," she said.

The experts showed us one popular illegal dumping site in Edmond where we saw dishwashers, refrigerators, trash and even car parts.

Edmond water quality workers find sites like this are all over Edmond.

They say it won't hurt us to drink the water, but it's not pretty or safe to be near one of these creeks.

That's because chemicals from the appliances are likely seeping out into our water and soil.

Eventually, they believe the contaminants will impact Oklahoma's recreational waterways.

"They do have a negative effect on our water quality, also our air supply," Copeland said of the contaminants seen stagnant in the water.

The city water quality specialists don't really know the long-term affects because long-term studies haven't been done yet.

"You want this to be around later," Copeland said.

Their hope is people will learn how to use city services to recycle these items for cheaper than you'd think. Plus, Copeland and Gaines don't want neighbors and families to find out the possible long-term affects down the road.

"You go out to your favorite pond, all of a sudden the fish aren't biting. It could be because that refrigerator down the way is causing issues you may not know," Gaines said.

"It's OK to drink, [tap water in Edmond] but if you're swimming around, you definitely don't want it in your mouth," Copeland said of contaminated water.

The city of Edmond would love to catch whoever is doing the dumping but they're helpless unless they catch someone in the act.

The city doesn't have the money or resources to keep watch around the clock. It's basically just Copeland and Gaines in the department.

The Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality warns on its website that offenders can be ticketed $200-$1,000 if they're caught dumping illegally.

The City of Edmond has numerous trash and large item disposal solutions its website.

You can follow Jamie Oberg on Twitter and Facebook at twitter.com/jamieoberg or at  www.facebook.com/JamieLynnOberg.

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