We now know the likely culprit that killed nearly 100 fish in Four Mile Run last week: pool water.
“Investigators say flawed seasonal pool care involving chlorine and overflow led to last week’s fish kill in Four Mile Run,” Arlington Dept. of Environmental Services spokesman Peter Golkin tells ARLnow. “Recent rains have now cleared the stream. Reminder: No filters on our storm drains. Please be careful.”
Golkin said overflow from the pool at a “multi-family property swimming pool” — in other words, an apartment or condo complex — “got into the storm drain” and made its way to the stream, between S. Walter Reed Drive and S. Taylor Street.
Pool water, it turns out, is deadly.
“Swimming pool and spa water can have devastating effects on the health of our streams if not disposed of properly,” the county’s website says. “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,” says the website. Otherwise, pool water must go into the sewer system.
Golkin noted that the county’s rules around swimming pool drainage are “especially timely as this is prime season for closing out pools for the year.”
It is illegal to drain untreated pool water directly or indirectly into storm drains, though it’s not clear whether anyone will face any fines or other consequences in this case.
“It was not a malicious act,” Golkin said. “It was a multi-family property swimming pool. The owners and their service people have been very cooperative with the investigation and in making follow-up improvements so such an incident isn’t repeated.”
Another pool-related drainage issue that comes up around this time each year: pool drainage that flows into neighboring properties, flooding yards, killing grass and sparking neighborhood disputes. The county considers such disputes to be out of its regulatory control.
More from the county website:
Chapter 26-7 makes it unlawful for any person to discharge directly or indirectly into the storm sewer system or state waters, any substance likely, in the opinion of the County Manager, to have an adverse effect on the storm sewer system or state waters. Failure to comply with code requirements may result in enforcement action, including the issuance of civil penalties as outlined in Chapter 26-10 of the Arlington County Code. Enforcement action may also be taken by state and federal authorities in the event of a fish kill. Please share this information with pool service companies. You may be held responsible for the results of their actions.
If pool or spa water is to be released over-land, the release should be:
- At least 10 feet from the property line
- Monitored and controlled to prevent flooding or erosion of neighboring properties
Conflicts between neighbors that arise due to the release of pool or spa water are considered civil in nature. The Property Drainage webpage contains further information about residential drainage concerns and the potential conflicts that can arise.
For more information on swimming pools and how to properly manage pool water discharge, call 703-228-4488.
Update: Investigators say flawed seasonal pool care involving chlorine and overflow led to last week's fish kill in Four Mile Run. Recent rains have now cleared the stream. Reminder: No filters on our storm drains. Please be careful. @ArlingtonVaFD https://t.co/1HhF74Y8HX
— Arlington Department of Environmental Services (@ArlingtonDES) September 12, 2022
Police are investigating a crash and a carjacking that might be linked. Arlington County police responded to a crash around 9:20 p.m. tonight (Thursday) on Route 1 at 12th Street…
Good Thursday evening, Arlington. Today we published articles that were read a total of 12587 times… so far. 📈 Top stories The following are the most-read articles for today —…
This past week saw 24 homes sold in Arlington. The least expensive condo, single-family home or townhouse sale over the past seven days was $264,000 while the most expensive was…
There has been a mini-spate of deaths and reported suicide attempts among Arlington Public Schools students in the last month, ARLnow has learned. A middle schooler died after Christmas and…
St. Charles offers a play-based curriculum in a welcoming, Christ-centered environment.
Our program focuses on socio-emotional development and kindergarten readiness through hands-on and engaging activities. Our programs offer different schedules ranging from 7:30 am-5:30 pm for students, ages 2-5. We feature a full-day Jr. kindergarten class for older 4’s/5’s. Our facility includes a full-sized gymnasium, school chapel, and library. All of our students enjoy music and physical education weekly. Children have an opportunity to participate in enrichment classes such as soccer, basketball, ballet, and science.
We offer Summer Camp with weekly themes and twice a week water play, including Fun Friday moon bounce. Please join us for our Open House Feb. 3 at 9:30 am and 11:00 am. Click here to sign-up.
For more information or to schedule a tour, visit us at www.stcharlesarlington.org or call (703) 527-0608.
If you are a lifelong learner over 50+ who wants to make new friends, power up your brain, and enjoy a wide-variety college-level courses, Encore Learning is for you. An Arlington based nonprofit, Encore Learning offers courses in the arts, theater, literature, history, technology and more. This semester we offer our most popular course, Global Hot Spots as well as 25 new courses. Courses are presented either online or in-person at George Mason University at Virginia Square and other Arlington locations.
Join the free presentation to learn about courses and meet the instructors. This is Encore Learning’s signature event to highlight the upcoming semester with brief presentations by each instructor.
The Spring Course Preview event is Thursday, February 2nd at 9:30 AM via Zoom:
The truth, your first pregnancy and new mom months are full of twists and turns, ups and downs, and lots of questions! None of us really know the best way to do it – we just figure it out, together…