If there’s one thing South Floridians are proud of, it’s our sunny beaches, intra-coastal, lakes and other waterways – especially here in the Palm Beaches. And yet, preventing urban water pollution is a major challenge.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), there are several ways your business can help in the effort to keep our local ecosystem as pristine as possible:
- Use nontoxic cleaning supplies. This will help keep chemicals out of our local waterways. If your vendor does not carry nontoxic products, ask them to start – or find another vendor.
- Dispose of hazardous products properly. Don’t toss pollutants down the drain – inside or out. Don’t dump oil, gasoline, solvents, paint, or other chemicals down your drains or storm drain. Contact your local public works, sanitation, or environmental health department and find out if your city has a hazardous waste collection day.
- Deposit waste in a trash can. Never flush non-degradable products or sweep debris into the street or storm sewer. Trash can damage city sewer systems and end up littered on beaches and in your water.
- Recycle used motor oil and maintain your company vehicles. Throwing motor oil in the trash is illegal and harmful to your water source. Recycling centers and many service stations accept used motor oil for recycling. Also, be sure to keep up with regular car maintenance to prevent oil, coolant, antifreeze, or other hazardous chemicals from leaking onto the ground.
- Take your company vehicles to a car wash. A commercial car wash reclaims its wastewater using special filtration systems. This not only conserves water, but minimizes polluted runoff entering local storm drains.
- Learn about watering restrictions. Over-watering your business property is not only bad for your plants, but it can increase the leaching of fertilizers into ground and eventually your water. Adhere to your community’s irrigation guidelines. Avoid watering your landscape during the hottest hours of the day (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.) to minimize evaporation.
- Educate employees and customers about the effects of dumping waste, such as pesticides, down drains and into waterways. Encourage others to practice water conservation.
- Make your voice heard. Call your public officials and tell them to support laws that protect the water in your community. Report illicit discharges or connections to local and state officials. Encourage the development and implementation of your community’s storm water management program.