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Water Quality - What Can You Do?

In Alberta, fresh water is inexpensive and plentiful.  Most people use and dispose of far more water than they need.  There are things that individuals can do to cut down on the amount of sewage water they produce and still have the comforts of modern life:

Shower clipartDon't Waste Water

  • showers use less water than baths

  • repair leaky taps

  • keep cold water in the fridge so you don't have to run the water until it is cold

Trash can clipartUse Your Garbage Pail

  • food scraps should be thrown into the garbage or onto the compost heap

  • fats and oils gum up the sewage system so use the garbage to dispose of these items

  • the sewage treatment plant cannot handle solid wastes (things that should go to a landfill site), the only things that should go into your toilet is human waste and tissue paper

Faucet clipartWatch What You Throw Down the Sink

  • an important source of heavy metal contamination is household products, zinc in shampoos and ointments and lead in some paints are two sources

  • don't throw solvents, paints, or oil based compounds down the sink

  • pesticides and herbicides can kill bacteria in the sewage treatment plant, these materials should be disposed of through your local toxic round-up program

  • use biodegradable detergents

Every person has a role to play and a responsibility toward maintaining water quality.  Your small contributions can add up to a great deal.  Think of how much fun you can have fishing, swimming, boating, or camping near a lake or river.  Water is important.  We need it to live.

Reprinted from Focus On Water Quality  (1993) with permission of Alberta Environment.

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