Are you spring cleaning? Cleaning products like soaps and detergents keep our clothes clean, dishes and floors looking their best. But some of the chemicals found in these products impact water quality in our streams and rivers. Many soaps and detergents use phosphates as cleansers. When soapy water goes down the drain, it ends up at a wastewater treatment plant where it goes through a process to remove phosphates and other chemicals. Some water treatment methods work better than others, and when treated water is discharged in a local water body or drainage field, some phosphate may still be present.
Viewer Tip: An easy way to protect water quality in local rivers and streams is to look for phosphate-free soaps, detergents and household cleaners. Always use the directed amount of detergent or cleaner and only run the dishwasher and washing machine with full loads.
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(Source: U.S. EPA, “Act: In and Around Your Home”, Image courtesy of EPA.)