Source Control: What You Put Down the Drain Matters!


With the ongoing COVID-19 health emergency there has been an increased use of cleaners such as disinfecting wipes. Used wipes and similar products should go in the garbage and not down the toilet where they will contribute to blockages and cause sewage backups.

As we develop advanced wastewater treatment in the Core Area, we might be thinking that wastewater treatment will deal with anything we put down the drain. The reality is wastewater cannot remove all contaminants. That means some contaminants can impact the environment even after treatment.

The good news is it's not hard, time consuming or expensive to limit the amount of contaminants that go down our drains. The CRD's Residential Source Control Program provides some quick, easy and free actions to take to help keep our local environment clean, protect our private property and help maintain our wastewater infrastructure.

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Many household cleaners are hard on the environment. And in our region anything that goes down a drain inside our homes can end up in the ocean or in our groundwater. Whether you are connected to sewer or on septic, what you put down the drain makes a difference. Fortunately, there are environmentally safe and affordable alternatives to most household cleaners.


medication-return-programEvery year CRD residents toss thousands of kilograms of unused or expired medications into the garbage or down the drain. Ultimately, these drugs end up in the ocean, where they can potentially have a negative impact.

The good news is there are many pharmacies who collect our waste medications for proper disposal.

Laundry Detergent (Surfactants)

Laundry soap gets its cleaning power from detergent (also known as surfactant), the ingredient responsible for the suds made by many cleaning products. Unfortunately, detergents also have the potential to be toxic to marine life.

The good news is that the CRD has soft water, and soft water requires less detergent to achieve the same degree of cleanliness.

Fats, Oils and Grease (FOG)

When fats, oils and grease (FOG) go down the drain, they can cause a whole host of problems for our wastewater system and local environment. From clogged pipes to depleted oxygen in the marine receiving environment, the effect of FOG in our wastewater is both costly and ecologically damaging.

The good news is there are some simple alternatives to pouring your FOG down the drain.


Make your own environmentally safe and affordable household cleaners.

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