Down the Drain in Clark County, WA
It sure can be confusing for many of us wondering what’s okay to flush down the drain in our communities, including Clark County, WA. As an EcoBroker, it makes sense to me to stop, and think, before we flush anything into our waste water systems.
Finding out what’s permissible to pour down the drains can be tricky, because different states, counties and cities have their own set of standards. However, common sense can be a guide when you don’t have access to the information.
For example, unless a substance has been identified as a hazardous waste, it is always more prudent to put it the regular garbage than flush it down the toilet or wash it down the drain.
Modern landfills are designed with special liners to prevent substances and materials from leeching out and draining into nearby water tributaries. Water treatment systems might not even detect substances that can harm wildlife.
Extremely low levels of prescription drugs, hormones, antibacterial agents and some beauty products may have a toxic effect on creatures. Frogs, shellfish and insects can’t safely ingest the same quantity as their human counterparts.
Guidelines for Down the Drain in Clark County
To discourage flushing drugs down the drain, Clark County has a free take-back program for unwanted medications. You can drop off unwanted or outdated drugs ( except controlled substances) at participating pharmacies.
Controlled substances can be returned to some local police stations. All medication must be kept in their original and sealed containers, and have patient information removed or marked out.
Basically, to play it safe we should only flush tissue and human waste down the toilet. Here’s a list of items you should never, ever flush.
- disposable diapers
- cotton balls and swabs
- mini or maxi pads
- unused medications (put original containers in a plastic, zip-lock bag and throw the bag in the trash)
- cleaning wipes of any kind
- facial tissue
- bandages and bandage wrappings
Down the Drain - Just Say No to FOG
Pouring fats, oil and grease down the drain creates globs that back up sewer lines. The globs of fat and waste are difficult to disinfect at treatment plants and can allow disease causing bacteria to enter nearby streams, lakes and rivers.
- Scrape food scraps into the trash or compost bin.
- Or catch food scraps and other solids with a strainer in the sink drain, and empty the strainer into the trash or compost bin.
- Pour grease into steel cans, let it harden and throw in the trash.
- Stop using your garbage disposal or minimize its use.
- Wipe pots, pans and dishes with dry paper towels before rinsing or washing them, then throw paper towels in the garbage.
- Rinse dishes and pans with cold water before putting them in the dishwasher.
- Don't pour grease down sink drains or toilets.
- Don't use cloth towels or rags to scrape oil or grease off plates and utensils because grease will drain to the sewer when you wash the towels.
- Don't run water over dishes, pans, fryers or griddles to wash oil and grease down the drain.
In addition, last year the Clark County started working with school districts to mount more than 500 medallions adjacent to storm drains around schools. The medallions read: Protect Water, Only Rain in Drain.
Remember those outside storm water drains are not placed in your neighborhood as a handy spot to dump paint, motor oil or other harmful substances. Before we flush anything down the drain in Clark County, remember: Protect Water, Only Rain in Drain.