The Port Washington Water District (PWWD) recently hosted its third annual Pharmaceutical Take Back Day to encourage local residents to safely dispose of expired or unused prescription drugs in their homes. Together, the community collectively disposed of approximately 300 pounds of prescription and over-the-counter drugs. Providing residents with a convenient way to dispose of these toxic chemicals will help to maintain the quality of the community’s drinking water, and help keep harmful medications out of the wrong hands.
“It was incredible to see so many of our neighbors come in droves to Do Their Part for Port in protecting our water supply,” PWWD Chairman David Brackett said. “This event helps the District provide our residents with an easy way to preserve our most precious resource while also giving them an avenue through which they can get potentially harmful medications out of their homes.”
Improperly disposing of pharmaceutical drugs and other controlled substances presents opportunities for foreign contaminants to seep into the water supply, raising the potential of groundwater contamination and expense on future treatment needs. Several decades ago, it was common practice to flush unused or expired medications down the drain. For homes with septic systems, this meant creating a concentration of flushed medication in the soil around the home. For homes connected to a sewer system, it meant that the treatment facility had to implement special treatment to remove, or attempt to remove, the potential toxins from the water before it could be discharged.
“We try and make the drop off as easy as possible,” PWWD Commissioner Mindy Germain said. “Residents don’t even have to get out of their car: they just drive up, roll down their window and drop meds in a bin. We are proud so many constituents are willing to take this extra step, and the least we can do is make it easy.”
With another positive response from the community, the Port Washington Water District will continue to host similar events in the future. Residents will be notified of when these events occur and are encouraged to not only participate, but invite their friends and neighbors to do so as well. If residents missed this event and would like to properly dispose of your unused or expired medications before the District’s next event, visit the Port Washington Police District.
“The success of this year’s Pharmaceutical Take Back Day is emblematic of just how much our residents care about our environment,” PWWD Commissioner Peter Meyer said. “The Port Washington Water District will certainly be hosting this event again next year and we are looking forward to building upon this incredible turnout.”
The District gives special thanks to Town of North Hempstead Councilwoman Mariann Dalimonte, the Port Washington Police Department, St. Francis Hospital, Residents Forward, the Village of Baxter Estates, the Port Washington Water Pollution Control District, the Village of Port Washington North, the Village of Plandome Manor, the Village of Flower Hill, the Village of Manorhaven and Grassroots Environmental Education for helping to spread the word and making this event as great a success as it was.
Anyone who has questions about the event or how to dispose of prescription medications is encouraged to visit the Port Washington Water District website at www.PWWD.org.
—Submitted by the Port Washington Water District