SEND A LETTER
You can make a difference by telling your elected officials that clean water must be a priority for Long Island! Send them a letter saying that you won’t stand for the continued contamination of Long Island’s waters or the public health threat it raises for your family. To send a letter, visit the Long Island Clean Water Partnership’s website: www.longislandcleanwaterpartnership.org
Long Island Moms for Clean Water is a member of the Long Island Clean Water Partnership, a coalition of Long Island organizations from the environmental, civic, political, business, and recreational communities. Together, we are advocating for a state-mandated Clean Water Action Plan for Long Island that will improve water quality.
WHAT YOU CAN DO AT HOME
1. Don't flush drugs
For years, people have been flushing expired, unwanted and dangerous pharmaceutical products down the toilet. Now, trace amounts of pharmaceuticals, such as anti-seizure and antibiotic drugs, are showing up in Long Island’s groundwater. Help keep drugs out of our groundwater by not flushing them down the toilet or drain. Instead, find out about local take-back programs in your area that provide safe disposal of pharmaceuticals. Visit the New York State’s Department of Environmental Conservation’s website for a complete list.
2. Be a Good Shopper
We all use cleaning fluids and other chemical products, like paint thinners and de-greasers. These products can be harmful to humans and animals and are turning up in our groundwater. Be sure to read labels of products you purchase and don’t buy toxic chemical products at all. Use eco-friendly, non-toxic and natural substitutes. Vinegar is great to clean your floors and add baking soda for a great drain cleaner. Finally, don’t pour caustic chemicals down the drain. Instead, take them to your local S.T.O.P., disposal site.
3. Pick Up After Your Pets
Many of us have family pets. And, just like us, our pets can leave contaminants behind that pose a threat to water quality. Pet waste contains nutrients that encourage weed and algae growth and it can contain bacterial diseases that threaten human health. Make sure that you pick up after your pets and properly dispose of the waste. You can flush it down the toilet, where it will go to a Sewage Treatment Plant or you can put it in a securely closed bag and deposit it in the trash.
4. Maintain Your Vehicles
Regular maintenance is good for your car, but it’s also good for the environment. Cars can develop fuel or fluid leaks that can send hazardous materials from paved surfaces into our drinking and surface waters. Be sure to repair fluid leaks immediately and find out where you can take used motor oil and other vehicular fluids to be properly disposed of or recycled. Also, don’t send toxic cleaning fluids or hazardous materials into road or storm drains when washing your car.
5. Change Yard Maintenance
Did you know that 90% of water used on Long Island during the summer is for lawns? Over watering washes fertilizers, pesticides and waste into our groundwater, streams, lakes and bays. Eliminate toxic pesticides and fertilizers or choose organic and biodegradable products. Water your lawn only when needed and only in the early morning or late evening when water evaporates less quickly. Finally, cut your grass 3 inches high to build stronger root systems and require less water.
6. Stop Throwing Out Pollutants (S.T.O.P.)
Stop Throwing Out Pollutants programs provide homeowners with a safe and environmentally sound way to keep hazardous materials out of our groundwater. S.T.O.P. programs accept anything from paint, antifreeze, bleach and pesticides to household and car batteries, propane tanks and compact fluorescent lamps. Explain to your whole family how proper disposal of these toxins can improve our water quality. Visit your town or local municipality’s website for a complete list of S.T.O.P. locations and hours of operations.
7. Maintain Your Property
Switch to EPA certified “watersense” appliances which can save water and money. Clean gutters regularly and direct them to drywells or vegetated areas, never onto paves surfaces where water can carry harmful contaminants into drinking and surface waters. DO NOT dump garbage, cigarettes, leaves or chemicals into storm drains and make sure that these storm drains are clear of trash and debris and functioning properly. If they need attention, notify your town or village immediately.
8. Use Water Conservatively
We all use water to cook, clean, wash clothes and dishes and even ourselves! Dishwashers use 4 to 10 gallons of water per use, while laundry machines use 25 to 40 gallons. Showering uses 2 to 5 gallons of water per minute while lawn waters uses 50 to 100 gallons every 10 minutes. To conserve water, make sure your family doesn’t leave the water running while brushing teeth, have everyone try to take shorter showers and only run the dishwasher and washing machine when they are full.