Pollution Prevention Updates
April 2017
Introducing the Pollution Prevention Newsletter of Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District
We're happy to be sending you the inaugural Pollution Prevention newsletter from Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District! We're launching this newsletter as a way of keeping your community informed about the District’s pollution prevention activities and ways that your community can get involved in pollution prevention.

Each of these newsletters will include updates about current pollution prevention initiatives, a featured pollution prevention project or partner, and tips for preventing pollution that you can share with members of your community. If you have any questions or suggestions for future content you'd like to see, please let us know.

Best regards,

The District Pollution Prevention Team


Salt Reduction Workshop and Rebates Available

Pollution Prevention Tip for Residents: Replace Old Water Softeners

Pollution Prevention Feature: The District

World Water Day Recap

Salt Reduction Workshop and Rebates Available
The District is prioritizing reducing salt to the sewer to protect fresh water while keeping sewer bills low. To do so, we're offering opportunities for facilities with larger water softeners to reduce their salt use by improving water softener efficiency:
  • We’re hosting a free workshop on April 25 from 8:30-11:30 AM here at the District on ways that facilities can reduce salt waste, saving them time and money on water softener salt. Continuing Education Credits are available for attendance at this workshop for a number of professional credentials, listed in the event page below. More information about the workshop, including a link to RSVP, is here: saltwisesoftwater17.eventbrite.com.

  • We're offering rebates for projects that reduce salt to the sewer system. These rebates are available first-come, first serve in 2017. More information, including an application, is available on our chloride reduction webpage under “Grant Programs.”

We encourage your municipality to send facilities staff to the workshop and to evaluate the softeners in your buildings for potential improvements (municipalities are eligible to apply for rebates). Also, please spread the word about these opportunities to facilities in your community.

Pollution Prevention Tip for Residents: Replace Old Water Softeners 
One of the surest ways homeowners can reduce their home's salt use is to replace old, inefficient water softeners with more efficient units, especially if the old water softener is a time-clock unit (pictured). Replacing a time-clock water softener with a demand-initiated water softener can cut a home's salt use significantly, keeping water fresh while cutting down on trips to the basement to refill the softener. 

Please encourage your residents to replace time-clock water softeners with demand-initiated units. To help get the word out, y ou can:
Pollution Prevention Feature: The District
In future newsletters, this space will feature a facility or organization working to prevent water pollution. As this is the first newsletter, it seems fitting to introduce the Pollution Prevention Team at the District. If you have suggestions for a feature, let us know!

Who We Are: The Pollution Prevention Team consists of Kathy Lake, Environmental Specialist; Emily Jones, Pollution Prevention Specialist; Catherine Harris, Pollution Prevention Specialist; and Ralph Erickson, Pretreatment and Waste Acceptance Coordinator. 

What We Do: We work to reduce or eliminate contributions to the sewer of substances that are difficult and expensive to remove from wastewater, such as mercury, chloride (mostly from salt), pharmaceuticals, and wipes. By keeping these substances out of the sewer, we can avoid the need for expensive, energy-intensive treatment upgrades to the plant that would translate into much higher rates. 

To keep pollution out of the sewer, we conduct a wide range of activities including outreach and education, pollutant data analysis, inspection of regulated facilities, and administration of grant programs. Some specific current activities include:
  • Developing and promoting grant programs for the reduction of water softener salt and road salt 
  • Collaborating with several local agencies to reduce road salt pollution through the WI Salt Wise partnership
  • Certifying and inspecting area dental clinics to minimize dental mercury
  • Promoting the use of MedDrop for safe disposal of household medications
  • Inspecting industrial permittees through our Pretreatment program
  • Leading the District's Tours program
More Information: Pollution Prevention at MMSD

Pictured: Pollution Prevention Specialists Emily Jones (L) and Catherine Harris (R) getting the word out about WI Salt Wise  at Clean Lakes Alliance's Frozen Assets festival. 
World Water Day Recap
The District and several local partners participated in World Water Day, a U.N.-proclaimed day of advocacy and celebration of water. In keeping with this year's theme of "Why Waste Water?", the District took several actions during the week of World Water Day (March 22) to showcase the value of wastewater as a renewable resource.

The week saw the debut of Nine Springs Effluent Pale Ale, a beer brewed by District employees out of purified effluent, at the Nine Springs Golf Course. Also, on World Water Day itself, about 50 people took special tours of the treatment plant to see firsthand how we recover resources from wastewater.

Read more:  Waste Makes Taste -- The Isthmus, 3/21/2017