In most cities and towns, drains that collect stormwater are used to transport wastewater and other sewage to a municipal water treatment plant as part of the sewage treatment process. However, some contaminants in stormwater systems can cause serious problems in a water supply, and it’s estimated that 1.2 trillion gallons of untreated sewage water, storm water, and waste are dumped into U.S. waters each year. And when trying to stop pollution, one of the world’s biggest killers, water pollution is sometimes the hardest to prevent.
However, there are plenty of small things you can do around the home and in your community to decrease the amount of wastewater draining into your local stormwater systems. If you’re trying to take steps to reduce water pollution problems, here are some tips you can follow at home.
- Don’t flush medications down the drain. Pharmaceutical disposal must be done carefully and according to any directions on the packaging. Safe disposal of medications that require a needle, for instance, should never be thrown into a sewer system. Other types of medications, such as those in pill form, however, can be one of the sources of water pollution, too.
- Use caution when performing automotive work at home. Many people choose to change the oil in their cars at home. Make sure that that oil is disposed of properly, though, and doesn’t drain into the stormwater systems near your home. Oil can create some of the worst types of stormwater runoff.
- Spray pesticides and herbicides carefully. Another dangerous type of stormwater runoff comes from chemical treatments for lawns and plants. If these substances drain into the sewer grates, it can affect the water. They can also seep into the water table, which affects water quality for everyone. Make sure that any chemicals you’re spraying are approved in your area.
Have more questions about stormwater pollution prevention? Check with organizations such as the Environmental Protection Agency or your local government. If you suspect that someone else is polluting the water in your area, even if it’s a corporation or a construction company, make sure to talk to your town’s government.
What do you do to curb stormwater runoff pollution? Tell us in the comments. To learn more, read this.