Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Day 121 of our Green Year: Catching Pollutants Before The Storm Sewer Does

When people see water going into a storm sewer, they usually think that the water that goes there makes its way to a treatment plant. Sadly, this is far from the case. Actually, water that goes into a storm sewer goes directly back into the ecosystem. This wouldn't be a problem, but with so many pollutants on the roads and in driveways, a lot of other pollutants are getting into the environment and the local ecosystems.

Looking around a small town, or a big city, you can find many driveways with large oil stains on them, and the oil that is there makes its way into the storm sewer when it rains, causing environmental damage. Most people do not even realize it either.

As a result, Layla and I will be doing a few things to ensure that we can keep pollutants from heading into storm sewers. We don't drive much, but when we do we will deal with this.

  1. We will maintain our car and ensure all leaks are patched and filled so that oil or other pollutants do not drip.
  2. We will put paper under our car to see if there are any leeks. If there are, then we will do step three.
  3. We will put something to catch the pollutant so that we can take it to a recycle facility that handles oil, antifreeze and more.
It is easy to do, but you just have to make sure you stay on the top of it because there is no excuse for sending pollutants into the storm sewer and onward into the ecosystem, when it can be prevented.

We have a cool bit of news as well. The David Suzuki Nature Challenge Green Room is doing a story on us for their website, it can be found at This is a great website that everyone should check out because in the Canadian green movement, David Suzuki is leading the charge.

We would also like to spread the message of LiveSmart BC. LiveSmart BC is a provincial program in British Columbia that offers $12,325 in rebates for homeowners to make improvements on their homes to be more energy efficient. This is a great opportunity for people in British Columbia and you can find out more by visiting or

Lastly, we have some news from the province of Alberta, where the oil sands continue their destruction of the environment. Bill Gates and Warren Buffet are touring the sites right now, and it is just in time for them to see the new two headed fish that was recently found. Parks Canada called it very unusual and a fish with an obvious abnormality, saying "I have never seen anything like it before." The native people who live in the area, they stated it was linked to the tar sands development and the contamination of the Athabasca River (where it was found). As George Poitras of the Mikesew Cree said, "Our elders tell us that what happens to the animals and the fish is just a sign of what will happen to humans."

Food for thought.