Liquid From Compacting Dumpster


Neighbors complained about an odor originating from a stormwater treatment pond at a beverage distribution warehouse / trucking facility.  City staff followed the smell back through the stormwater drainage system to a storm drain next to a large dumpster.  The facility had been disposing of beverages past their expiration date in the compacting dumpster.  During compaction, liquids would spill out of the dumpster and flow into a nearby storm drain.  From there, the polluted water would flow into the site’s stormwater detention pond, and ultimately into a tributary of Lake Champlain.  Stormwater treatment ponds are not designed to treat such highly concentrated wastewater, and sampling at the pond outlet showed high levels of E. Coli and BOD.

Liquid spilling out of dumpster
Liquid from spoiled product was spilling out of the compacting dumpster
Liquid seeping into a nearby storm drain
Liquid seeping out of the dumpster would flow into a nearby storm drain and into the facility’s stormwater treatment pond before discharging to a tributary of Lake Champlain.



To eliminate the discharge, best management practices were put in place and all storm drains and stormwater pipes were cleaned.  Beverages past their expiration date are now sent to a facility where they are properly destroyed.

Visible pollution
Visible pollution at the stormwater treatment pond outlet.


Since best management practices were put in place, the pond no longer has a foul odor.  Follow up monitoring has confirmed that E. Coli levels and the BOD of water leaving the pond have been reduced.



Last Updated: 11/2009