By Carolyn Carlson
How to help the Rio Grande
There are a several things people can do to keep fecal matter and pharmaceuticals out of the surface, ground and river water. (Read the full story on recent discoveries in Albuquerque’s drinking water here).
1) When walking with your pet, take along a plastic bag or paper cup to dispose of the waste properly by either flushing it down the toilet or putting it into household or public trash cans. It is against the law to leave your pet’s poop on the sidewalk or in alleyways, etc. So be aware of the Animal Control Ordinance that governs pet waste cleanup, which says, "waste left by a dog on any property other than the owner's must be cleaned up by the pet owner. If the law is violated, you could be subject to a fine or prosecution." Earn some good karma, and if you come across other dogs’ poop, pick it up, too.
2) Don’t litter. Dispose of all trash in designated receptacles. Don’t throw it out of car windows or leave it on the side of roads. All of that trash gets swept up by storm runoff and ends up heading to the river.
3) Do not pour used automotive fluids—antifreeze, oil, brake and transmission fluids—into drains, gutters or streets. Some of the chemicals in these products are impossible to remove from the wastewater. These should be taken to a gas station or the Eagle Rock Convenience Center (6301 Eagle Rock NE).
4) Put unused medications in a small plastic bag, add a little cat litter or some sand, add a little water, seal it up and throw it in a household trash can. Do not flush it down the toilet or drains.
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