The Port Washington Water District hosted its fourth annual Pharmaceutical Take Back Day on Oct. 22 to encourage local residents to safely dispose of expired or unused pharmaceuticals in their homes.
Together, the community collectively disposed of over 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.
“Pharmaceutical Take Back Day provides our residents with yet another opportunity to Do It For Port and help us protect our precious water source,” said PWWD Commissioner Mindy Germain. “This event continues to grow every year, serving as yet another reminder that Port residents truly care for their environment, something which instills a great amount of pride within everyone who works with the Port Washington Water District.”
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.
“One of the key reasons why our Pharmaceutical Take Back Day continues to be so successful is the simplicity in its design,” said PWWD Chairman David Brackett. “Our residents need only take a few minutes out of their day to help preserve their water supply, and it is always a pleasure to see the gratitude in their faces when they come to visit us during this special event every year.”
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, please visit the Port Washington Police District.
“The ever-increasing turnout of this event shows that our residents appreciate the efforts put forward by the PWWD in working with our community to protect our water,” said PWWD Commissioner Peter Meyer. “The Port Washington community can expect to see Pharmaceutical Take Back Day make its return next fall.”
The District gives special thanks to Town of North Hempstead Councilwoman Mariann Dalimonte, the Port Washington Police Department, Residents Forward, ReWild Long Island, the Manhasset Bay Protection Committee, the Village of Baxter Estates, Village of Port Washington North, the Village of Flower Hill, 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