If you see a problem in a park or creek, tell someone!
See photos of illicit discharges and other water problems in Watching Water, a slide presentation from the District Department of the Environment.
Finding the right person to tell depends on where the problem occurs and what it is. Rock Creek meanders 33 miles through Montgomery County, Maryland, and the District of Columbia, so it crosses city, county, state, and district lines. There are a number of jurisdictions involved.
If you are not sure who to call, make your best guess and be persistent until you find the right person.
For problems in Maryland
All non-emergency problems can be reported to Montgomery County 311. Callers outside Montgomery County who want to call about a county problem can dial 240-777-0311
ILLEGAL DUMPING - If you see someone dumping trash, yard waste, or construction debris in a park, you can do something to help. Please record the tag number of the vehicle, a description of the vehicle and person(s) involved, the date and time of the incident, and most important of all, the exact location where the dumping occurred. Use this important information to call the Montgomery County 311. All information is kept confidential. A Department of Environmental Protection investigator will return your call no later than the next business day.
SEDIMENT CONTROL VIOLATIONS - Sediment control problems typically involve construction and earth-moving activities. Normally, these complaints involve concerns about grading without proper permits or sediment run-off onto private property, streams, roads, and right-of-ways. Call 311.
WATER QUALITY PROBLEMS - If you find odors, oil, discoloration, or sediment in streams not related to construction projects, call 311 during business hours.
BLOCKED DRAINS, WINTER SAND OR SALT, OTHER ROAD RELATED PROBLEMS--Contact the Department of Public Works and Transportation, call 311
WATER MAIN AND SEWER BREAKS - It's not just water. Water mains carry water treated with chemicals that kill bacteria in drinking water, but it is bad for our creeks! And sewage speaks for itself. If you see water leaking out of the street or a man hole, call 301-206-4002.
LAW ENFORCEMENT ISSUES - Call 911 for emergencies. For other law enforcement issues in Rock Creek Park in Maryland, contact the Montgomery County Park Police, 301-949-8010.
MONTGOMERY COUNTY PARKS - For problems or repairs in parks, call 301-670-8080.
For problems in Washington, DC
DISTRICT GOVERNMENT - For any type of problem, you can call the District government's non-emergency number: 311.
TRASH AND ILLEGAL DUMPING - The District operates a Solid Waste Education and Enforcement Program (SWEEP) for enforcement of illegal dumping laws. The Department of Public Works, in partnership with the Metropolitan Police Department, is offering a reward of up to $500 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of each illegal dumper. Contact the District Department of Public Works at 202-673-6833.
SEDIMENTATION PROBLEMS - Call the District Department of the Environment at 202-535-2243.
WATER QUALITY PROBLEMS - Call the Water Quality Monitoring division of the District Department of the Environment at 202-535-2255
COMBINED SEWER OVERFLOWS AND STORM DRAIN PROBLEMS - Contact the DC Water and Sewer Authority, 202-787-2000, or the Water and Sewer 24-hour emergency number, 202-612-3400.
WATER MAIN AND SEWER BREAKS - It's not just water. Water mains carry water treated with chemicals that kill bacteria in drinking water, but it is bad for our creeks! If you see water leaking out of the street or a man hole, call 202-612-3400. And the same goes for sewage!
For problems in DC's Rock Creek Park
MAINTENANCE OF ROCK CREEK PARK - Contact the National Park Service, Rock Creek Park Headquarters at 202-895-6000.
LAW ENFORCEMENT ISSUES - Call 911 for emergencies. For other law enforcement issues in Rock Creek Park in Washington, DC, contact the US Park Police, who maintain a police substation in the park near Military Road, at 202-610-7500.