Local company denies dumping claims

State warns carpet cleaning company about pollution violations

Posted: Wednesday, January 10, 2001

After receiving a warning from the state, a Juneau carpet-cleaning business said it is complying with requirements about discharging its wastewater. The state still is getting complaints about dumping, however, prompting the owner of Hummingbird Services to say his company is the target of a misinformed "crusade."

Hummingbird was warned by the state last month not to dump its cleaning wastewater into its parking lot storm drain. The company complied with the request and investigations of subsequent complaints have found no evidence of illegal dumping, said Clynda Luloff, environmental specialist with the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

The company immediately stopped dumping around its shop and switched to getting rid of wastewater at Juneau's two recreational vehicle dump stations, one at Sandy Beach and the other at Valley Tesoro, said Rod Morgan, co-owner of Hummingbird Services.

"We quit dumping and that's the end of it," Morgan said. He said he believes someone on a misinformed "crusade" is continuing to complain to the state and make calls to local news media.

State law requires wastewater to be disposed using the city's sewer system, or by treating the water and getting a permit to discharge the treated water. The dump stations go directly into the city's sewer system.

Morgan said he hopes to tap into a sewer line scheduled to be built soon across Gastineau Channel right next to his Channel Drive business. Hooking up to the city's sewer system, like a private home, is the owner's responsibility.

"That's our goal to have our own dump station," Morgan said.

Competitor C&C Steamaway dumps its wastewater into the sewer via its own shop dump site, said Roy Freeburg, field supervisor.

"It does make it nice," he said.

Freeburg said training classes stress dumping the water sanitarily and correctly into sewer systems. As a field supervisor, if an employee doesn't do that, he reprimands them, he said.

Hummingbird's previous dumping of muddy water onto the ground or into a storm drain shouldn't be cause for alarm, Morgan said. The company uses biodegradable cleaning solutions for its two vacuum vans, he said.

"It's my home," he said. "I don't want anything to happen to Juneau."

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