What You Can Do

There are many ways you can help improve our waters.

Support Your Local Treatment Plant

Be aware of your treatment plant's efforts to provide clean water. Visit your local treatment plant. Learn what special problems it must solve and what you can do to help.

Over the last decade the Portland Water District has experienced an increase in wastewater pump station malfunctions. Crews regularly unclog mounds of disposable wipes from pumps, at considerable expense and environmental consequence. When equipment clogs, wastewater backs up into homes and out overflow channels into our rivers and bays.

The Portland Water District URGES customers to flush ONLY toilet paper and human waste. Even though products may indicate they are biodegradable or can be flushed, they do not break down in time to make it through the wastewater process.

 

 

Support Our Efforts

Help get the word out about wipes and other materials not being flushed down the toilet.

Request this clear and black decal to place on your toilet.

Decal is a collaborative project between PWD and USM.

 

 

Use Water Wisely

Practice water conservation at home and at work. Be aware of how much water you use. Fix leaks, and install water-saving devices and appliances. Learn more about controlling water costs in your household.

Keep our Waters Hazardous Chemical and Medicine-Free

Don't dump unused medicine or pour fats, grease, oils, solvents, pesticides, paint thinners, engine oil, or household cleaning products with hazardous chemicals down the drain or into storm sewers.

Discard expired or unused medication in household trash. Put it in a sealable plastic bag and crush medicine or add water to dissolve. Then add kitty litter, sawdust, coffee grounds, or another material that mixes with the medication. Seal the bag and put it in the trash. You may also be eligible to participate in the Safe Disposal for ME program. To learn more visit www.safemeddisposal.com or call 1.866.637.9743.

Hazardous chemicals should be brought to a recycling center or a hazardous waste collection site. Use fertilizers carefully and only as directed. Try to find safe alternatives to products that can harm water supplies.

Safe Alternative to Harmful Household Cleaners
Chrome Cleaner Use baking soda and a dry cloth
Copper Polish Dip cut side of lemon in salt, rub copper
  Apply catsup with soft cloth, rub
  Pour vinegar and salt over copper, rub
Drain Cleaner Use a drain strainer
  Use a plunger or mechanical snake
  Pour 1/2 cup baking soda into drain, follow with 2 cups boiling water
  To prevent clogging, flush drain weekly with boiling water
  Use an enzymatic, biological drain cleaner
Furniture Polish Use 3 parts olive oil and 1 part vinegar
  Use 1 tsp lemon oil in 1 pint mineral oil
  Use 1 part lemon juice 2 parts vegetable oil
Insect Spray for Plants Blend 6 cloves crushed garlic, 1 minced onion, 1 Tbs dried hot pepper, and 1 tsp pure soap in 1 gallon hot water; let sit 1-2 days; strain before using
  Place 1 cigarette in 1 quart water overnight; strain and spray
Silver Polish Soak silver in 1 quart warm water containing 1 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp salt, and a piece of aluminum foil
  Rub silver with ammonia and a soft cloth
Window Cleaner Use solution of 1/2 cup vinegar in 1 gallon warm water