When toxic chemicals are poured down household drains, toilets, stormdrains, on the ground, or even thrown out, those chemicals are likely to end up in nearby waters.
If the product is still usable, but you don't need it all, share with friends or neighbors who might need it
Buy only what you need for the job you're working on. More is not always better, when you think about the extra effort to store and dispose of the product
Don't pour leftover chemicals down drains. In Rhode Island, you can make an appointment to bring your leftover household chemicals to the Eco-Depot, a free drop-off at the Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation's facility at the Central Landfill in Johnston. Call 401-942-1430 ext. 241 to schedule a date and time.
For more information about what constitutes a toxic chemical and how to dispose of them in Rhode Island go to the Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation website.
End Your Toxic Relationships
One way to reduce storm water pollution caused by household hazardous waste is to minimize the amount of household chemicals that you use.
Choose non-hazardous products when you can. Lemon juice, vinegar, hot water, borax, soap, and baking soda are good alternatives to harsh chemical cleansers. Check online for non-toxic home cleaning recipes.
Buy phosphate-free, biodegradable detergents and cleaners and water-based products, when possible, as they are typically less toxic.
Inspect Your Septic System
Failing septic systems contribute to storm water pollution. Regular inspections are critical, and these everyday actions can help keep your system functioning properly:
Aside from wastewater, toilet paper is the only other thing that should be flushed
Don't put food down your sink, and don't use a kitchen garbage disposal
As much as possible, reduce your water usage. It reduces the load of wastewater your system has to handle.
Balance your water usage throughout the week. For example, don't do all your laundry on Saturday; spread the chore out over the week.
Is your wash water discharge separate? If so, plan to fix it in the long run, but for now, make sure that the discharge is flowing away from pavement and stormdrains