NEW Water employs a number of pollution prevention initiatives and collaborates with community partners in efforts to prevent contaminants from making it into our waterways.
You’ve likely heard about PFAS in the news as a “forever chemical.” PFAS are chemicals that are in everyday items including pizza boxes, dental floss, fast food hamburger wrappers, nonstick kitchen cookware, carpeting, and more. They are found in our waterways, in the air, and in the soil.
According to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR), “perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a large group of human-made chemicals that have been used in industry and consumer products worldwide since the 1950s.”
In Wisconsin, the drinking water and surface water rules for Perfluorooctyl Sulfonate (PFOS) and Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA) became effective August 1, 2022. Requirements for PFOS and PFOA monitoring and a pollution minimization program will likely be included in NEW Water’s next WPDES permit renewal (current permit expires March 31, 2027).
As a regulator of area industries through its Pretreatment Program, NEW Water values partnerships with area industries to implement cost-effective pollution prevention strategies. Currently, NEW Water is pursuing pollution minimization initiatives to reduce this “forever chemical” at its sources. NEW Water has conducted surveys with area businesses and industries to assess where PFAS is used in Northeast Wisconsin.
Participation in pollution minimization initiatives is greatly appreciated. For any questions, please contact us here or call our Pretreatment Coordinator at (920) 438-1079.
Keep up to date with what’s happening with PFAS on the Wisconsin DNR webpage here.
NEW Water has a Mercury Pollution Minimization Plan (PMP) to ensure proper disposal of mercury. Mercury is found in many household items, including thermometers, mercury switches, and fluorescent lamps; and it's commonly used in dental amalgam for tooth fillings.
NEW Water requires dental facilities in its service area to install amalgam separators and follow the American Dental Association's (ADA) recommended best management practices for amalgam waste. Amalgam separators can capture 95% or more of amalgam waste.
NEW Water is a long-time partner and sponsor of the Brown County Household Material Recycling Facility (formerly the Household Hazardous Waste Facility). Examples of hazardous materials that can be disposed of at this facility include: antifreeze, mercury thermometers, used oil and oil filters. For more information please visit their website: Brown County Material Recycling Facility.
Unwanted and unused medication can contribute to environmental contamination, drug abuse and accidental poisonings, if not managed properly. Unused pharmaceuticals should not be flushed down the toilet - wastewater treatment facilities are not equipped to treat these materials. Collection events and drop boxes are available to ensure their proper disposal. To learn more visit: Brown County Medical Disposal Website (browncountywi.gov) or the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) Dose of Reality Website (dhs.wisconsin.gov).