DEQ says water quality was not hurt

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Remember the Richmond man who caught illegal dumping on video in his neighborhood last month? The Stratford Hills man took cell phone video of the Goochland carpet cleaning business dumping its wastewater into the woods behind his home. Tonight we have a just released report from state environmentalists about the condition of a creek.

The Department of Environmental Quality says test samples show the water in the woods was not harmed. A relief tonight to the man who launched the investigation and contacted NBC12 for answers.

He had the pictures and the home video to prove it; walking in the woods behind his house...Theiacesene Covington noticed something suspicious going on.

THEIACESES: "As I'm getting closer, I'm noticing that the hose is lying on the grate and there was just stuff coming out of it."
RACHEL: "I can smell it."
THEIACESES: "Yeah, you can smell it."

He grabbed his cell phone and took this video. It's shaky, because he's walking, but when we slow it down, you can clearly see a van, marked as, Advance Flooring Technologies of Virginia. A hose is coming from the truck to a storm drain.

"This isn't a dump. We have dumps in the City of Richmond," Theiacesene said.

He was worried about the children who use this as a shortcut, and about the water that runs through. A manager at Advanced Flooring Technologies apologized and said it was employees going against company policy.

"It shouldn't have happened. There's no excuse for why the incident happened," said Lisa Williams with Advanced Flooring Technologies.

A just-released report from the DEQ says cleaners and stain removers like Un-Duz, Kill Odor, Red Relief - eight in all - may have been in the waste water. But according to the DEQ, a soil sample that was tested showed the chemicals were diluted and did not violate water quality standards.

News we took back to Theiacesene Covington.

"Always... Always on your side," he said.

He's thrilled the water quality was not harmed. And says more people need to step up.

"These are your neighborhoods. You live here. They can't do it all by themselves.... If you don't you really can't get angry when someone does start dumping in your backyard, and you didn't say anything," said Theiacesene.

A spokesperson for the DEQ says Theiacesene Covington absolutely did the right thing, and the agency encourages more of you to be the eyes and ears in your neighborhood. The city is still investigating -- as of now; no charges have been filed against the company.

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