Pulling litter out of White Rock Creek. Photo courtesy of SMU Jones Film via YouTube.

Scuba divers from the Dallas Fire Department visited White Rock Creek one day in October 1970 and found the creek polluted — not by industrial waste and sewage, but by dumped trash.

The divers were at the creek as part of the “A Beautiful Clean Dallas” clean-up project. They came up with the idea when they were searching for a drowned child and found “unusual items” in the creek, according to a WFAA reporter.

Divers were joined later by a group of Boy Scouts to pick up the creek.

They found tires, washing machines, refrigerators and lawnmowers in about a half-mile stretch of the creek, from the 7700 block of Goforth Road to Northwest Highway. Watch the report below. It starts around the 1:41 mark and picks back up around 8:16.

People were cleaning up Dallas’ bodies of water in the 1970s, and they never stopped.

The Dallas Park and Recreation Department recently installed several litter booms in creeks that lead to White Rock Lake. And for the most part, they seem to be holding up.

Litter booms help stop large limbs and other debris from flowing into White Rock Lake. A contractor is scheduled to clean out the litter two or three times weekly, though a couple neighbors who live near Rush Creek said at the last White Rock Lake Task Force meeting that they hadn’t seen the trash cleared out for a while.