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Every Halloween something spooky shows up at the local wastewater treatment plant.
It is not the ghosts of goldfish passed, its the ridiculous volume of Halloween candy wrappers. Trash, if you will.
Now, while trash is a topic treatment plants will bore you with (think about those flushable wipes!), pollution caused by candy wrappers is real and only people who spend a decent amount of time dealing with it will speak up and say anything about it. So here goes:
Educate your children is it NOT OK to flush candy wrappers!
Nobody wants to talk about condoms, but everyone wants to talk about sex.
After the long winter holiday we find ourselves celebrating the Hallmark of holidays… Valentine’s Day. If you had my eyes, you would know that Hallmark isn’t the only one making a profit on this day of love. Trojan, Durex and Lifestyles are where the real money is made and pollution occurs.
If pictures of wastewater is disturbing to you, then look no further.
Just remember – used condoms go in the trash, not down the drain.
Turkey grease down the drain, a big no no.
Winter holidays are the time to give thanks, be merry and ring in the new year. It is also a time to cook fatty foods.
When it comes to discarding turkey and prime rib Fat, cooking Oil and bacon Grease, (Fats, Oils, Grease – FOG) people use the kitchen sink drain first. Most people will never think about where that FOG goes. Except it went somewhere, if you’re lucky it’ll make it out of your homes plumbing and into the sewer main in the street.
“The average cost to clear a grease filled sewer pipe starts around $150”. For an entirely preventable situation, its worth changing your habits.
Halloween is fast approaching and soon millions of candy wrappers will strangely find their way into the sewers. How do the two interact? Easy!
As parents and dentists have encouraged for countless years in the past – eating Halloween candy is bad for your teeth/health. But kids will be kids and will eat their hard earned candy treats. Where is the best place to hide the evidence? By way of the toilet, of course!
You see it all over the place these days. “DON’T FLUSH YOUR DRUGS!”
Why not? What is so bad about putting expired medication in the toilet and pulling the handle? Besides wasting water while we’re in a drought, the issues could occur when those pills dissolve in the water stream. Most conventional wastewater treatment plants can’t filter the chemicals in those medications out.
You go to the store and pick out the most delicious looking tomato. The clerk scans its’ barcode and you take it home. When you’re ready to eat it, you wash it in the sink and that little barcode comes flying off and right down the drain it goes. You think nothing of it. “Out of sight, out of mind.”
Except that sticker/label went somewhere. In most cases, it will travel through miles of underground pipe, making its way to a wastewater treatment plant where it will go from tank to tank through various pipes and eventually the water it’s floating in will be clean enough to be dumped into a river or bay and eventually, it will end up in the ocean.
Pollution Prevention Week runs from September 21-25.
During the course of the week this blog will feature articles and news releases about things you can do as homeowners to prevent pollution of our waterways.
Take the graphic on the left for instance. Those plastic labels that “accidentally” get washed down the drain, most are not filtered out of the wastewater stream and can end up in the SF Bay, LA Harbor or Pacific Ocean.
Follow #P2Week on Twitter!
Stay tuned for more updates.