You may have noticed, as part of the new wellfield health code ordinance and as one of the best practices MCWEC encourages, we recommend businesses place signs near sinks and drains saying the site is in a wellfield and chemicals may not be disposed of down a drain. You may wonder why this is important because your facility is hooked up to city sewage – not a septic system discharging within the wellfield. There are actually several reasons why you should not be disposing of chemicals down drains!
Reasons why you should not dispose of chemicals down drains
- Pipes, especially older pipes, can leak at connections or where they have been damaged. Often large pipes, like storm water pipes or really large sewage mains, are made out of concrete so at places where two pipes meet, there can be minor leaks. It’s not a big deal when it’s just a little bit of storm water leaking, but if chemicals are also in this water, you’ve just given them a direct path to contaminating drinking water! Also, some of Indianapolis’s infrastructure is very old, and pipes used to be made out of things like bricks and hollowed out trees which will also leak.
- Disposing of chemicals down drains can damage your plumbing which can be expensive to repair and also allow those chemicals a direct path into the groundwater.
- Improperly disposing of chemicals at your site can lead to environmental contamination of your site which can be time consuming and expensive to clean up.
What should you do instead?
Chemical waste should be disposed of properly. Your business may be able to use Indianapolis’ FREE ToxDrop Program or you may use a qualified waste disposal company. Check out more resources on our waste disposal page.