Ha! I’m a poet and didn’t know it!
Humans don’t just spend time inside of their homes. A considerable amount of time is spend in the surrounding area just outside their homes, so water conservation should carry over there, too – especially during spring cleaning season! Let’s find out how!
Sewers and Storm Drains
So maybe you know not to dump harsh chemicals down your household drain, perhaps because of strong odors, etc., so you might want to send them down the storm drain in your street.
Well, don’t. Because if you live in Chicagoland like me, those storm drains and sewers go to the same place as your home sink and toilet – the water reclamation plant. Again, those plants are not designed to process things like motor oil, other mechanical fluids, or excessive garden fertilizers. Motor oil should be properly disposed of and/or recycled, which is why mechanic shops charge a disposal fee. If you’re doing your own work on your car, take special care not to spill fluids. But if you do, clean them up properly rather than just hosing the driveway off into the storm drain. Here are some clean up tips for garage spills and here are some tips for disposal of hazardous garage waste.
Some sewers and storm drains may empty directly out into water ways like streams, retention ponds, rivers; as the purpose of those is to divert excess storm water away from your homes and streets. That means if you are dumping strong and hazardous materials down those drains, you are essentially dumping them right into the water supply and surrounding ecosystems. No bueno.
Other things may end up in the waterways due to excessive run off through storms drains. This can include garden fertilizers and outdoor cleaning products. Just as I mentioned about household products, be sure to check the ingredients list. Also use the recommended amount of product. Using more won’t make things cleaner or grow faster, it just gets washed away down the drain which wastes your money and pollutes the water.
When in doubt about what can go down the sewers and drains, check the labels of the products you are using or go ahead and give a ring to your local sanitary district. They’ll be happy to give you guidance on how to properly dispose of materials. Remember, all the water we have on Earth is all the water we’ve ever had and will ever have, so let’s take care of it.
Carlita signing off, but catch me on Twitter and Insta @CandidCroc for more clean water tips!