4A: Down the Drain Challenge-Nabila Hasen-Edmonton,AB

Environment   Oct 31, 2018 by Nabila

Well, I had a very interesting week! I wrote down a list of waste and water I put down the drain and the results were truly shocking! I recorded my water usage for seven days and in order to find my water usage results accurately, I calculated it. According to my calculations, I use 50 gallons of water when taking two showers, 20 gallons of water when washing my hands, face and brushing my teeth, and approximately 100 gallons of water when using the toilet every week! So all in total I use around 170 gallons every week! To me, and probably many people reading this, that's a lot of gallons of water, and I agree. But according to https://water.usgs.gov/edu/qa-... that's actually around the same amount of water an average person uses per day! (Are you mind-blown yet?) Looking at how much water I use, really made me think about what type of waste was being produced and how maybe I can decrease this number. I used to waste water and not really care about how much is going down the drain or if it helped the environment but every day I am trying to make a little difference to make the planet great! So this activity really made me think about being careful when using water!

All of that was just water. But I have also putten many other substance and waste products down my sink. Like yesterday for lunch, I was drinking a juice box. When the "end of lunch bell" rang at school and I was getting really full, I poured my juice down the sink. Or like three days ago when I ate sushi but had too much soya sauce. But not only liquid waste went down my sink. Even some food scraps such as bread and crackers went down the drain too. If I calculated all of the amounts of liquid waste and other waste products that went down my drain, per day, I would be very shocked and concerned. Especially considering the fact that many of the waste is either ending up in the sewerage system or in some type of body of water.

Talking about Sewerage systems and body of waters, let's go to our next topic. Where does the waste specifically end up and how is it taken care of or treated? In Edmonton, most of the water sewage is now being dumped in the North Saskatchewan River which has become a large concern recently. Between the years 2015 and 2016, the volume of untreated sewage and rainwater being dumped into the North Saskatchewan River watershed increased greatly. Since the largest body of water in Edmonton is the river, most of the waste is ending up there.

According to "The Star Edmonton" More than 119 million cubic metres of untreated sewage and rainwater was released into Canadian waterways in 2016 — the equivalent of about 12 hours of wastewater flowing over Niagara Falls.  

The North Saskatchewan River Now:


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