In Edmonton, all the water we drink and use to brush our teeth comes from the North Saskatchewan River through EPCOR’s Rossdale and E.L. Smith Water Treatment Plants. Once the water is used, it is treated at EPCOR’s Gold Bar Wastewater Treatment Plant and returned to the same watershed. Your daily activities can affect the water quality in the North Saskatchewan River. We need to remember that we all live downstream of someone and try to follow “good neighbour” practices.
What is a watershed?
A watershed is the area of land that drains into one body of water. A watershed can be as small as the area of land that drains into a pond, or as large as the area of land that drains into a major river system.
Protect your watershed
- Use environmentally friendly products whenever possible. See the section on environmental certifications in the Sustainable Purchasing chapter for ways to identify these products.
- Compost or mulch yard waste to keep it out of waterways.
- Prevent soil erosion by landscaping to minimize run-off into the storm sewer system.
- Wash your car at a dedicated car wash, instead of on your driveway. Car washes reuse water multiple times, and this water is treated afterward.
- Prevent leaks from motor vehicles by performing regular maintenance. When it rains, all of the oil that has leaked out of vehicles gets washed into the storm sewer system.
- Dispose of your hazardous materials at collection facilities. Hazardous materials include used batteries and motor oil.
- Whenever possible, avoid using fertilizer, pesticide and herbicide.
- Avoid using in-sink garbage disposal systems, which overload the water treatment facilities.
Be careful what you put down your drain
As society uses more convenient, disposable products, EPCOR is dealing with sewer clogs caused by "unflushables", items that were never meant to be disposed of in the sewer system. Remember to trash it, don't splash it.
Conserving water now will ensure our future generations have access to more of this precious - yet finite - resource. There are a number of ways to use water wisely both inside and outside your home.
- Fix any leaky fixtures and check your toilets, pipes and faucets. Undetected leaks often account for up to 14% of a typical family's water usage and can waste hundreds of liters of treated water in a year.
- Put a jug of water in the fridge so you don't let the tap run.
- Turn off the tap while brushing your teeth.
- If you handwash dishes, don't leave the tap running to rinse.
- Wash only full loads in both the clothes washer and dishwasher, and use the lightest setting you can.
- Use a broom, not a hose, to clean your driveway.
- Install a rain barrel.
For more details and other tips, check out the Water section of the Green Living Guide.