"Talking Dirty News" - Queen of Green, Barbara Loraine

Water Wise Ways

by Barbara Loraine

We’ve all seen the public service ads, telling us that the water we put down the sewer ends up in the ocean.  Even with that, people often don’t see the difference or make the connection.

  • Sewage Drain water (with water that comes from toilets and other houehold use) is filtered and treated.  It goes to a waste treatment plant, where it is cleaned before it flows into the rivers, lakes and ocean.  Good thing, because this water starts out as, well, sewage.
  • Storm Drains water goes directly to the waterways that are closest to us, that is, streams, lakes, and the ocean.  What that means is, every single thing that goes down these drains, ends up in our precious water ways.  The thing is, we don’t think about it.

Imagine you are sitting at the end of the line, where the storm drain water ends up.  What do you expect will be hitting you in the face?  How about cleaning product chemicals, petroleum products, fertilizers, pesticides, grass clippings, left-over paint, and pet feces.

It’s muck nicer to have clean water ways, isn’t it?  Here’s what it takes to keep the water cleaner:

  • Sweep driveways instead of washing debris into the storm drain.
  • Plant drought-tolerant plants that ned little fertilizer or water to cut back on chemical fertilizers and pesticides for lawns and plants.
  • Adjust sprinklers to keep them from wasting water and creating run-off that carriescontaminants.
  • Use waterless car wash and washing methods that do not put dirty water into storm drains.
  • Keep cars tuned and in good repair to avoid oil drips.  Use cat litter to absorb oil drips and spills, then discard it in the trash.
  • Clean up after your pets and dispose of their waste in garbage cans or toilet.

These are all easy enough to do, we just need to develop these eco-friendly habits.

There are so many ways we work to be more “green,” will it really matter for us to make these changes?  Water is one of our most limited resources, and it is becoming more and more scarce.  So we shouldn’t waste.  And, it makes sense to take care of the water that we do have.

Remeber the wise bird, “Woodsie Owl, who said, “Give a hoot; don’t pollute!”