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September 24, 2010 > Pollution Prevention Week

Pollution Prevention Week

Submitted By Michelle Powell

Union Sanitary District (USD) is celebrating Pollution Prevention Week (September 20 - 26. "We like to say 'The little things you do every day help save San Francisco Bay,'" says Mike Auer, Environmental Outreach Specialist. "At USD, we work to protect our communities and the environment 24/7/365 days a year, and we hope that Tri-City residents will be inspired by this national event to commit to taking everyday actions that help keep the Bay healthy. Medications should never be flushed down the toilet, where they can pass through USD's treatment plant and into the Bay. Mercury can be very toxic to water and wildlife. Grease can clog sewer lines and create backups that are damaging to homes and nature. Seemingly little things can make a big difference, and helping our customers to protect the Bay is an important part of our stewardship of the environment."

Michael Dunning, USD's Environmental Programs Manager, agrees. "We're highlighting our successful ongoing programs of pharmaceutical drop-off locations, mercury thermometer take-backs and residential grease recycling during Pollution Prevention Week because all of these activities help to protect public health and keep our environment cleaner."

The theme of this year's Pollution Prevention Week is "Your Toilet Is Not A Trash Can." USD collaborated with regional partners to create a "Protect Your Bay - Flush Green Today" poster demonstrating items that should not be flushed down the toilet, such as cleaning and baby wipes, hair, cotton swabs, hygiene products, dental floss and bandages. "These items, even though they are sometimes advertised as flushable, can cause sewer blockages," says Auer. "Sewer overflows can impact neighborhoods, local creeks and San Francisco Bay. We're encouraging customers to keep these things out of their toilets and in the trash where they belong."

Union Sanitary District operates a 30 million gallon per day wastewater treatment facility in Union City and provides collection, treatment and disposal services to the Tri-City area. For more information about Pollution Prevention Week and for permanent pharmaceutical drop-off locations, check the "What's New?" page on USD's website: www.unionsanitary.ca.gov, or call Mike Auer at (510) 477-7621.




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