We can all play a role in protecting Vermont's natural waters -- and reduce our water and sewer costs -- just by changing the way we use common household products! GMWEA's four "Don't Flush It!" brochures show how.
GMWEA's four informational brochures have been sent to every city and town in Vermont. The goal: to empower Vermonters with the knowledge they need to play an active role in protecting the functionality of their private septic or public sewer systems and preserve our natural waters.
Delivered to ratepayers with water/sewer or property tax bills, along with website postings and other media presentation, the brochures inform Vermont households about how to reduce their outputs of ecosystem-damaging chemicals/materials and how to dispose of them properly.
We invite all Vermont municipalities and nonprofits to help put the brochures into the hands of every resident! The "Don't Flush It!" brochures are free for reprinting or posting! To learn more about participating, or to download, scroll down this page and select the brochures you'd like to use.
"Volume 1: CLOGGERS!" is a guide to saving money and hassle, and protecting the environment, by knowing what NOT to flush, pour, or spill into your private septic tank or municipal sewer system -- fats, oils, greases, and fibrous materials like paper, cloth, or plastic materials that clog pipes and impair system performance. (So called "flushable" wipes are among the worst cloggers!)
"Volume 2: DRUGS!" details the harmful impacts on both human and ecosystem health of flushing or pouring out medications of any kind and provides advice for safe disposal. It also notes the risks of personal care products (PCPs) -- consumer products for body care and comfort that contain unnatural chemicals -- and suggests ways people can minimize their water pollution impact.
"Volume 3: LAWN & GARDEN POISONS!" offers tips for limiting households’ contribution of pesticides and chemical fertilizers -- which can run off private property, endangering human health and causing death and deformity in wildlife. Lots of great advice and links to more strategies to safely control every problematic critter and plant.
"Volume 4: HOUSE & GARAGE HAZARDS!" cautions Vermonters about typical household substances such as cleansers, polishes, paints, and solvents, as well as auto products like gasoline, oil, antifreeze, and wax. All will ruin septic systems and sewer facilities if poured or flushed and will poison surface waters and wells if spilled in driveways, soil, or storm drains. The brochure offers recipes for safe, effective, homemade cleansers and disinfectants, and provides comprehensive disposal options.
The brochures were produced with graphics designs created by Castleton University's marvelous Content Lab and technical advice from many expert contributors. GMWEA thanks the U.S. EPA, Lake Champlain Basin Program, and New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Council for the funding that launched this program, the Vermont League of Cities and Towns for technical assistance, and all participating cities, towns, and local organizations for making this program a success!
All brochures can be reprinted or posted for public, non-profit purposes. Scroll down this page to the DOWNLOADS section to get a print-ready PDF of these two-sided, standard 8.5" X 11" color brochures.