Food truck operator caught on camera dumping in storm drain

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ST. LOUIS – A St. Louis-area food truck operator is under scrutiny after being caught on camera dumping a liquid into a storm drain in The Hill neighborhood.

Video of the incident is in the social media spotlight and the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District (MSD) is calling what happened illegal dumping.

However, the food truck operator says he was only trying to deal with an emergency in his truck.

The video shows a food truck operator parked next to a storm drain on Sublette Wednesday afternoon. The man looks around and then pulls out a bucket and pours some kind of liquid down the drain.

The man then gets back into the truck and closes the door.

The video caught the attention of MSD.

In fact, the agency sent out two workers to inspect the storm drains in that area to see if whatever was dumped was clogging up anything.

The workers looked in several areas but found no immediate problems.

But MSD is still concerned. So much so that they issued the food truck operator a notice of violation about dumping in a storm drain.

“We didn’t find any issues. But that being said, what he did was still illegal and could still cause problems,” said MSD spokesperson Bess McCoy.

Fox 2 is not identifying the man or his business because he was not charged with a crime. However, we did speak with the man by phone. He says a gasket broke, sending water onto the truck’s floor.

He says he mopped up the water and the bucket was no more than a third full of dirty water used for cleaning when he dumped it. He insists that there was little if any grease.

The man says he dumped the water so it wouldn’t spill again in his truck and he looked around to make sure nobody was going to hit him or his truck.

MSD workers found no grease in the drains but their message is clear: don’t dump anything in storm drains.

“Our storm drains are meant to handle water and water only,” McCoy said.

The owner says he has a separate arrangement with a local business to dump his grease legally.

He also tells us he did receive a summons from city police to appear in court for the dumping.

St. Louis city officials say they are going to increase monitoring of the man’s food truck for the next month.

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