Pollution Prevention Week

Pollution Prevention Week from Sept. 18 to 24 is an annual event dedicated to education and action, focused on reducing pollution at the workplace and at home.

This is a time to learn and recognize the need to protect the environment by reducing energy and water consumption, generating less solid and hazardous waste, using fewer toxic chemicals and reducing air pollution.

Controlling the amount of pollutants produced reduces the need for costly waste management and potential clean-up efforts. Pollution prevention protects the environment and human health through efficient and inexpensive methods.

Pollution prevention tips:

- Fresh water in West Texas is a very valuable natural resource. As citizens, we should all consider using water wisely. By conserving water, we limit the amount of wastewater needing treatment for re-use.

- Keep in mind that when it rains, waste, pesticides, soil and other pollutants are washed into stormwater drains, local waterways and flow into the ocean. Small amounts of organic and chemical waste can poison our food chain and contaminate our water supplies. Never pour, dump or spill any solids or liquids into the storm drain.

- Always use chemicals in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions, make sure to read the product label and the safety data sheet; choose the least toxic alternative and properly dispose of any hazardous or non-hazardous waste. Oils, paints, solvents and other chemicals should never be poured on the ground or down the storm drains because they can pollute our soils, streams and ocean.

- Conserve energy by using energy savings features. Print paper only when necessary, it not only saves trees but reduces paper waste and helps conserve energy required to print. If printing or copying is absolutely necessary, use both sides of every sheet of paper to reduce paper waste. Turn off lights in any unused office space and all office and building lights at the end of the day. Replace any incandescent light bulbs with energy efficient light bulbs.

- Improper disposal of plastic materials is the main culprit of litter in cities, waterways and oceans. Plastic waste is a known contributor of health problems in humans and animals. Help reduce waste by using fabric grocery bags and segregating materials which can be recycled such as paper, cardboard and metals.

Pollution prevention is everyone’s responsibility. Pollution control benefits the environment, wildlife and people. Collaborative efforts will have the greatest impact on improving the environment.

For questions and concerns, contact the Civil Engineering Squadron at 325-654-3456.