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Five easy things you can be doing to help keep Upstate waterways clean

Posted October 9, 2017 in Articles

Renewable Water Resource’s mission statement is “Enhancing our community’s quality of life by transforming wastewater into renewable resources through responsible and innovative solutions.” That is our job. But we need your help with making this happen.

How? Here are five ways you can help:


  • Your toilet bowl works magic, but it isn’t a trash can.



A toilet bowl does the nastiest job in your house, but that doesn’t mean it can flush everything down. Even toilet bowels have limits. Remember to never flush non degradable products such as baby wipes because that can create a huge wrench into the sewage treatment process. In addition, never dump old pills in the toilet. Check out Project Rx for more on how to handle that.



  • Sinks aren’t trash cans either


Yes, the sink is another place we overuse. Hey, it has a trash compactor in it! The Death Star had a trash compactor. That can destroy anything. Not true. Sinks aren’t made to handle items such as paint, used oil, Luke Skywalker, chemical cleaners, or other questionable household products.  Dumping them down a sink can not only cause problems in the pipes under your house, they also place dangerous chemicals in the local water supply.



  • Mitigate hard surfaces


Storm water flows across hard materials (think concrete or asphalt) and into storm drains. Along the way, it picks up all kinds of debris and dirty things and sends them directly into storm drains.  While we aren’t asking you to dig up your driveway, you could add gravel, paver stones, wood, or other porous materials around your yard to help slow down fast water. If a hard surface is unavoidable, dig a shallow trench along the border and add plants or gravel to catch the runoff before it travels too far.



  • Pet waste needs to be picked up


Picking up your pets’ little presents isn’t just being courteous, it helps the environment. Those bacteria filled droppings can flow directly into water supplies if left to fester. So pick them up and throw them in the garbage.



  • Clean up after your car


Good maintenance can reduce leaking of oil, coolant, antifreeze, and other nasty liquids that can be carried by rainwater down driveways or through parking lots and into groundwater supplies. If possible, choose a car wash over hosing down your ride yourself.  Properly licensed car washes are required to drain wastewater into sewer systems, where the water is treated for all the bad stuff before being discharged. Many even recycle that water.