Waterwise Wednesday: Not Treatable

Water treatment processes makes water clean again, but some things cannot be treated or removed once they’re in the water system. Please don’t pour down a drain or flush the following:

– Pills, medications or drugs. Unused medications or drugs can be deposited in the drop boxes at either the Gering or Scottsbluff police stations. Walgreens and USave Pharmacy have drug take-back programs.

– Household chemicals or cleaning agents. Unused agents should disposed of as hazardous waste at local take-back event.

– Use the minimum amount of detergent and/or bleach when you are washing clothes or dishes. Use only phosphate free soaps and detergents.

– Minimize the use of pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers which can easily carried in water runoff.

– Motor oil or other automotive fluids. Used oil can be taken to the Gering Landfill.

Photo © creativecommonsstockphotos

Waterwise Wednesday: The First Flush

The First Flush is the initial stormwater runoff that picks up pollutants as it flows over surfaces. The photos below show what the first flush looks like at two Scottsbluff outfalls.


The swirl sheen indicates oil and grease washed off the roads by the stormwater runoff.
Murky gray water of the first flush carrying sediment, oils, heavy metals and other pollutants.
The clear water on top is clean groundwater that typically flows from this outfall. The murky gray water is first flush stormwater mixing with the clean groundwater as it travels to the North Platte River.