HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla —Trash that may be hazardous has piled up in a Bay area pond, as neighbors near Waters Avenue and Hanley Road say people are illegally dumping.
"It broke my heart because the ducks that we saw that day were actually eating from this water," said Carmen Gloria Creighton, who discovered the pond after she chased down a cat in the Walmart parking lot.
"I just can’t believe this is real." That was her reaction when she saw buckets, plastic and Styrofoam cups, oil, chairs and appliances. "It is very upsetting, I think this is unacceptable," she said.
In a neighboring pond - ABC Action News witnessed a bird perched on a shopping cart drying off.
"I love nature, I absolutely love animals and they can’t help themselves," said Creighton.
After she took a few pictures, she posted them to Facebook wondering what to do.
"There are people willing to help. But it’s a little scary though because I think this is a hazardous environment," she said, afraid poisonous snakes could be in the pond.
That's why she also reported the illegal dumping and trash buildup to Hillsborough County.
Code enforcement officers plan to come out and take a look. They are also going to find out who the property owner is.
At Pepper Mound Creek a few miles away off Memorial Highway, a neighbor filed complaints about trash buildup in 2017. When he says the trash was still there last month, he called ABC Action News.
Within 24 hours, county crews agreed to come out and clean the portion of the creek that was not owned by a nearby apartment complex. The apartment complex also agreed to go deeper into their property to look for items hidden by thick brush and trees.
But that neighbor says there's still work to be done in other parts of the creek. Code enforcement told us they are going to send a crew out again to take a look.
The Environmental Protection Agency says hazardous waste is defined as things that can ignite, or react badly with water, are corrosive, or toxic. If you're ever unsure, or you spot illegal dumping, you can fill out a form online that goes straight to code enforcement.