What Actions Can Be Taken to Protect Our Groundwater?
Adopting preventative practices and measures on your property is a critical first step in mitigating contaminant release.
The following list provides several actions that can be taken in your business to avoid potential contamination of groundwater.
Ensure that handling, storage and disposal procedures for hazardous materials are followed diligently. For further information, contact the manufacturer or place of purchase of the product.
Purchase only the amount of chemical products you require. Return excess product, spills or drips to the original container. Leftover paint, pesticides, flammable liquids and solvents can be disposed of at the Chilliwack Bottle Depot at 45934 Trethewey Avenue.
Measure the quantity of solvents and disinfectants used in cleaning operations. This may be accomplished through the use of a simple metered pump. This will help you monitor usage and will act as an indicator for overuse or overdosing of the chemical and possible leaks or spills.
Never dispose of any hazardous products by dumping or spilling these materials on the ground, pavement, into gutters, storm sewers, open drainage courses, ponds, septic tanks, or garbage cans. Wastes spilled or disposed of by these means have the potential to be transported into the groundwater system and to directly impact the local ecosystem (particularly fish, which are often highly sensitive to environmental contaminants).
Recycle used oil, solvents and antifreeze. Contact the Recycling Hotline at 1-800-667-4321 for a recycling facility near you. Typically, used oil can be returned to the place of sale.
Store chemical products in clearly labeled containers that are compatible with the type of chemical being stored. Also, ensure that containers are well sealed to prevent leaks, spills, and evaporation. Chemicals should be stored in a well-ventilated, flame-free area with sturdy shelves. Indoor air quality, safety and flammability need to be carefully considered when choosing a storage area. Segregate different types of waste in storage to prevent dangerous chemical reactions. Make sure flammables, poisons and corrosive wastes are kept separately in storage. Store flammable chemicals and batteries in areas shaded from direct sunlight.
Locate all hazardous waste products and activities, including mixing and storage, on surfaces that can contain spilled materials and prevent them from entering drains or soils. Be aware that the cumulative effects of small spills may have as damaging an impact on groundwater as large spills.
Keep emergency equipment at hand, such as absorbents and shovels, ready to contain spills. Ensure staff are trained in proper procedures for spill clean-up. Remember that rags used to clean up spills must also be treated as hazardous materials.
Pass surface water run-off from areas that may have surface contaminants (such as a loading area affected by oil or other chemical drips or spills) through oil/grit separators before discharging.
For Further Information
Potable Water in the City of Chilliwack
City of Chilliwack (604) 793-2907
Ministry of Environment (604) 582-5200
US National Groundwater Association 1-800-551-7379
Recycling and Disposal of Hazardous Materials
BC Recycling Hotline 1-800-667-4321
Chilliwack Bottle Depot
Unit 2 45934 Trethewey Avenue