Pollution Prevention

Pollution Prevention
Wastewater treatment systems are designed to make water cleaner than when it arrived, by removing some solids (primary treatment) and pathogens (secondary treatment and disinfection). They are not designed to remove all chemicals, drugs, and medications.

Whether you live in an area serviced by a sewer system or have an on-site septic system, you can prevent pollution. Preventing pollution before it happens is called source control. Source control will protect our natural resources and reduce maintenance costs to you and the community.

You can also learn about ways to prevent pollution by visiting our other websites: SepticSmart, Inflow & Infiltration, Team WaterSmart, RDN Get Involved.

Source Control

What Is Source Control?
Source control is an economical way to influence the quantity and quality of wastewater entering RDN systems.

Follow these best practices to reduce pollution at the source so it doesn't end up in our environment.

Programs for Residents:
Kitchen Waste
Greener Cleaners
Medication Return
Green Boating

Programs for Business:
Food Services

Here are some actions residents can easily implement to help protect the environment and reduce the demands on your our municipal pollution control facilities and/or your septic system.

Keep the following pollutants out of the drain:

  • Motor oil, gasoline, or diesel
  • Paints and solvents
  • Hazardous wastes
  • Medications

Keep these blockage-creating materials out of the drain:

  • Fats, oil and grease
  • "Flushable" wipes, facial tissue, and paper towels
  • Cat litter
  • Food waste
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Condoms
  • Dental floss and Q-tips
  • Plastic wrappers
  • Needles and sharps

Instead of using the drain:

  • Dispose of hazardous wastes at an approved facility. To find a facility, use the RDN Recycling Directory, view the Disposal Alternatives, or call the Recycling Council of British Columbia at 1-800-667-4321
  • Put kitchen fats, oils and greases in the Green Bin where it is available, otherwise, the garbage
  • Compost instead of garburate
  • Return expired medications to a participating pharmacy

You can also:

In general, avoid flushing anything that is not biodegradable. Call 250-390-6560 or 250-954-3792 and review the Sewer Use Bylaw for a list of what not to put into the sewer and for and waste discharge permits.

Watch These Videos
Watch these videos to find out what others are saying about what can go down the toilet and drain:

Detroit River Canadian Cleanup: #1, #2, and TP
City of Windsor, Ontario: Where does it go?
City of Kelowna: Source Control
Water Environment Federation: Find out what happens to wet wipes, floss, cat litter, etc.
Southern Water, UK: Wet wipes are stronger than you think

Wastewater Services | 6300 Hammond Bay Road | Nanaimo, BC V9T 6N2 | E-mail: rcu@rdn.bc.ca
Telephone: 250-390-6560 (Nanaimo) 250-954-3792 (Oceanside) 1-877-607-4111 (Toll Free)
1-800-862-3429 (Emergency) | 250-390-1542 (Fax)