Dry weather sampling is one method used to identify illicit discharges to the streams. The water quality is sampled during dry weather at locations, called outfalls, are where the county maintained system discharges into waters of the state. Outfall sampling locations are identified as pipes larger than 36" in diameter with no ditch systems above the pipes. Ditch systems can not be located above the pipes since they are waters of the state and are not maintained by the County. Sampling is done during dry weather to help identify non-stormwater discharges. Dry weather screenings are done as a part of the regular monitoring program and in response reported releases. Annually, about 85 dry-weather screenings are preformed.
If dry-weather flow is found, observations, field (Hach) testing for pH and chlorine, and lab sample testing for phenols, detergents, and copper are done on the flow. When responding to a reported release, an investigator inspects the site for the reported release and field (Hach) testing and lab sample testing are done if needed. In some cases where toxic or hazardous material release is suspected, additional, more specific sampling and testing is performed. If the problem is associated with an industry, it is turned over to the State. If the general public is involved, we contact them and get the problem area cleaned up.