Never Flush Toxins Down Your Brooklyn Sewer

Subsurface News
November 2, 2015

by David Balkan

Never Flush Toxins Down Your Brooklyn Sewer

The Brooklyn sewer system does not typically cross the mind of the average citizen of New York. Yet humans have a tremendous impact on it by their simple daily habits. Sewage treatment does not mean that we have a licence to flush just anything down the toilet. What we flush has a direct effect on the ocean ecosystem, and the fishing industry as well. It is a common misconception that sewage treatment somehow filters out what is harmful to the ocean. The reality is that sewage treatment, as the name implies, is that it treats only human biologic waste.

Never Flush Toxins Down Your Brooklyn Sewer

Prescription Medicine or Pharmaceuticals

These are highly toxic to fish. Flushing medications is tantamount to spoon-feeding drugs to ocean organisms, fish, and sea mammals. The damage circles back to humans when the fish we eat have ingested the contents of flushed medicine. The same applies to narcotics. Medications and pharmaceuticals are a toxic waste, and required professional disposal. Pharmacies will take back expired prescriptions and medical waste.

Toxic Chemicals and Toxic Household Cleaners

Just because something is liquid does not mean it belongs in a toilet. Just like prescription medicines or pharmaceuticals mentioned earlier, this is just like feeding toxins directly to ocean life. Sewage treatment does not eliminate these toxins, and therefore flushing ensures pollutants go directly into the ocean and are consumed by the fish we eat. This poses a tremendous threat to public health. To clean your toilet select a botanical based biodegradable cleaner, or vinegar in baking soda.

Needles or Other Small Objects

An item being small enough to flush does not mean it is appropriate to flush. Needles in the ocean pose a serious public health danger. Needles need proper disposal. Your pharmacy or needle exchange service will take needles and dispose of properly.

Cigarette Butts, A Disaster at Sea

Cigarette butts that are continuously disposed of in toilets and sinks are equally problematic. The contents of a cigarette butt do not break down, and over time become micro-trash. Cigarette butts contain fiberglass that is toxic and hazardous to fish and marine mammals alike. Like plastic, it becomes micro trash. Micro-trash is rapidly replacing ocean plankton. The loss of plankton is rapidly destroying the ocean ecosystem.

Helping Your Brooklyn Sewer System

For most residents of Brooklyn, and NYC in general, it seems implausible that they have any effect on the Brooklyn sewer system. But millions of people abusing the system on a daily basis, every single day, sure does have a serious impact. The more knowledge that is spread about the consequences of misuse of the system, the more likely it will be appreciated for the vital service it provides, and used more appropriately.

For more information contact Balkan Sewer And Water Main today.

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David Balkan

David Balkan is the CEO of Balkan Sewer And Water Main, the largest and most trusted service in New York City. David is extremely active in various NYC plumber organizations being the Chairman of the Subsurface Committee in the Master Plumbers Council, and Vice President of the Subsurface Plumbers Association. In addition David’s expertise is respected by officials of New York City agencies such as the NYC DEP, NYC DOB, and the NYC DOT. He frequently provides valuable input on a variety of industry related matters.

Dave Balkan

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