HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. -- Concerned neighbors hope the county will clean up Pepper Mound Creek after months of trying on their own. The creek runs straight into Old Tampa Bay. Residents say it is filled with trash.
Pepper Mound Creek is also home to wildlife. Inches from where two ducks and several ducklings swim are aluminum cans, plastic bottles, buckets and things so decomposed you cannot identify them.
"Oh that’s nasty," said William Castillo, who lives down the street.
"There’s dead animals everywhere along here the poor live animals have to live in this," said David Fisher, who lives across Memorial Highway in BayVue apartments. "The ducks are swimming and feeding in this."
Fisher is concerned the garbage will end up in Tampa Bay. The creek starts running through neighborhoods north of Memorial Highway before flowing underneath the road through Fishers apartment complex.
Fisher and his son reached out to the county in August 2017 to see if something could be done. A work crew came out to survey the creek.
Code Enforcement officers told the apartment complex property owners to clean up the debris they saw on their lot. They complied and the case was closed.
Fisher says deeper in the creek, behind bushes and overgrown trees, there is a lot more trash and debris.
"You can't even see in there, you've got to crawl in there," said Fisher.
The Department of Environmental Protection came out, too. The agency says it could not find any hazardous materials, which punted the clean up back to Hillsborough County.
Fisher says his son snapped pictures showing a television and water heater in the creek, items the DEP says need to be removed. The county agrees. Twenty-four hours after ABC Action News reached out, code enforcement will be coming back out to clean up.
The county is also instructing the property owner of the apartment complex to clean what is on their lot. The owners told me over the phone they plan on cutting back the overgrown trees to make it safer for tenants and easier to find and dispose the things Fisher's son found.
"Like I say it’s dangerous. That looks like quicksand," said Castillo, who believes the creek could be a hazard for kids.
Fisher says ultimately, it is up to everyone else to stop dumping their stuff.
"Pick up, quit throwing things out your window, quick dumping, if somebody else dumps, pick it up throw it in the can," Fisher said. "Teach your kids not to litter."
If you see illegal dumping or want to report something to Hillsborough County's Code Enforcement Office, visit www.hillsboroughcounty.org/en/government/departments/code.