Environmental education is a process that allows individuals to explore environmental issues, engage in problem solving, and take action to improve the environment. As a result, individuals develop a deeper understanding of environmental issues and have the skills to make informed and responsible decisions.
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Wastewater is water that has been used or affected by people. It’s generated in homes, restaurants, schools, hospitals, and industries. Water from sinks, tubs, toilets, washing machines, floor drains, and industrial process pipes is considered wastewater. Stormwater is another form of wastewater. It includes run-off from streets and sidewalks after heavy rain or from melting snow.
50 MILLION LITRES. That is how much wastewater is produced every day in the CBRM.
Wastewater is treated both through human engineered and natural filtering processes before it is recycled back into the environment.
In the CBRM, we have three wastewater treatment plants (Sydney, Dominion, and Bras d’Or) and treatment five lagoons (Sydney, Centreville, Sydney Mines, Glace Bay and Birch Grove) which help to refine wastewater once it leaves our homes and streets.
Naturally, wastewater moves through the water cycle and is purified as it moves through earth, plants, animals, rivers, lakes, and the ocean.
However, both municipal treatment facilities and natural processes are limited as to how much they can purify our wastewater.
Eliminating toxins and untreatable materials start at home. Here are some tips for how we can prevent contaminants from entering our treatment facilities and ultimately our environment.
Fats, oils, and grease (FOG) cannot go down the drain. They can be wiped up with a paper towel or scraped off dishes and go directly into the compost.
Pharmaceuticals cannot be treated by either treatment facilities or natural processes and in fact can cause serious problems if they enter ecological food webs. Unfinished medication and medicine bottles, puffer cartridges, and sharps must be returned to the pharmacy.
Petroleum products, gasoline, kerosene, and used motor oil can pose hazards to treatment infrastructure and to Wastewater Operations workers. These products can go back to a gas/oil retailer or be deposited at an environmental Services company.
Solvents, BBQ starter, lighter fluid, turpentine, degreaser, oven cleaners, photo chemicals, rust removers, pesticides, lice shampoo, moth balls, poison, antifreeze, and pool supplies can to the Residential Household Special Waste Depot in Sydport at 345 Gulf Crescent (902-564-8104)
Cigarette butts, dental floss, and feminine hygiene products go in the regular garbage.
It’s our water. Treat it right.
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Conserving water will help preserve Cape Breton’s natural water sources as well as helping homeowners’ save money.
The CBRM Water Utility delivers tap water which meets or exceeds some of the highest national safety standards for drinking water in Canada.
Tap water delivers a basic necessity of life. Tap water also delivers public health, sanitation, fire protection, recreation and quality of life.
Here are some simple steps to help conserve this precious resource:
Saving Water Outdoors
If you feel you must water your lawn, do so in the early morning or early evening to minimize evaporation and waste. Discolored or brownish lawns are common during hot, sunny weather. Wait for the next rainfall; it will restore your lawn’s color.
Rain barrels are a great and easy way to make use of rain water to water your lawn and plants.
Raise your lawn mower blade to its highest setting to encourage grass roots to grow deeper and grass blades to retain moisture for longer periods of time.
Buy a nozzle for your hose to control the flow of water. Check hoses, sprinklers and outdoor faucets for leaks. A small drip can waste a lot of water.
Saving Water Indoors
In the winter, don’t leave a tap running to prevent water pipes from freezing. Protect your plumbing, including the water meter by insulating the crawl space or basement. Heat tape and other alternatives can help protect plumbing as well.
Read your water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used to find out if you have a leak. If the readings are different you have a leak. If you have a well, listen to see if the pump turns on and off while the water is not in use. If it does, you have a leak.
Add aerators to kitchen and bathroom faucets to reduce water consumption. Replace washers to repair dripping faucets. If your hot water tap is leaking make sure repairs are made as soon as possible, because you will pay extra on both your water and heating bills.
Install a low-toilet that uses 6 litres of water or less per flush compared to older toilets that use anywhere from 18 to 24 litres per flush. Check for leaks by adding food coloring or toilet testing tablets to the water tank and check to see if the colour spreads to the toilet bowl without flushing. A leaky toilet wastes water and can cost about $40 every three months.
Manage household chores. Run automatic dishwashers using full loads only and set clothes washers to the appropriate level for the size of the load you are washing.
Keep your showers under 5 minutes and install a low-flow showerhead. Low-flow showerheads use only 10 litres of water per minute compared to 30 litres per minute for regular flow showerheads.
Source: CBRM Water Utility
For more information on CBRM Source Water Protection please click here.
Source: CBRM Water Utility
Tappy, the CBRM Water Utility Mascot!
Look out for Tappy, the CBRM Water Utility Mascot, at events throughout your community! You never know when Tappy will “drop” by to promote water conservation and drinking tap water. If you would like Tappy to visit your event, please contact us!
The Trashformers (a partnership between the CBRM Solid Waste Department and ACAP Cape Breton) is your lean, not-so-mean, trash pick-up team. Since 2011, the Trashformers have collected more than 4,000 bags of trash from the CBRM.
During the summer months they work hard to keep our communities clean and free of litter. By properly disposing of your own garbage, you can do your part to help the Trashformers by keeping our region beautiful all year round.
Why do we need the Trashformers?
It’s important to clean up after ourselves, both to protect our environment and to ensure that our communities are the sort of places we can all enjoy. Sadly though, not everyone does their part.
Become an honorary Trashformer by following these three easy tips:
Properly disposing of your waste is easier than you think.
Organize a Community Clean-Up
Your town will be noticeably cleaner in a matter of hours. Plus, you get to have fun while doing something that’s great for the environment.
Recycling your bottles and cans is great for the environment and your wallet – save them up instead of throwing them out and exchange them for cash at your local EnviroDepot!