The following are good practices to follow for reporting a potential pollution problem and for providing information that will be helpful to the follow-up investigator.
A good set of notes will provide a complete and accurate set of facts for others. Use the following as a checklist when reporting a suspicious event:
Photographic evidence can be very valuable in establishing the presence of pollution, especially where erosion problems exist. When taking photographs, remember to record the time, date, and location that the photo was taken. Wherever possible, try to include an established landmark so that the location of the pollution problem cannot be challenged. Digital photos are very helpful to investigators in understanding the location and severity of certain discharges.
Don't take any samples. Because of the potential for personal injury from contact with dangerous chemicals or entry into unsafe environments, sample collection should be left to local authorities.
Be careful, safety first, do not attempt anything dangerous. Do not sample unknown liquids.