RAINY DAYS AHEAD? SUBSCRIBE TO WATER DROP ALERTS
We are fortunate to live in a region that has a forward-looking wastewater treatment utility. MMSD’s policies over the past two decades have reduced sewer overflows and the resulting pollution of Lake Michigan. This is partly because of the Deep Tunnel, but MMSD’s emphasis on Green Infrastructure is also helping. Unfortunately, when our heaviest rains occur, we still have sewer overflows, typically two or three each year on average.
You can help to reduce the environmental damage of sewer overflows. By using less water during big storm events, you can reduce wastewater going into the sewer system. Delay washing the dishes - delay clothes washing - take a shorter shower. The less water you use, the less sewage goes into the lake if there is an overflow.
Who remembers to use less water during big storms and how do you know if it really is a “big” storm? That’s the purpose of Water Drop Alerts. You might have already seen Water Drop Alerts on local TV stations during their weather report. You can also sign up for a Water Drop Alert on your phone. Then you’ll receive a text message when a storm is approaching, reminding you to cut back on your water use temporarily. And signing up couldn’t be easier – text WATERDROP (one word) to 797979. That’s it!
Water Drop Alerts don’t necessarily mean there will be an overflow. Predicting big storms isn’t an exact science and if you wait until there is an overflow, it’s too late to reduce your water use. But conserving water during storms can become a habit. It doesn’t cost anything and it contributes to a cleaner Lake Michigan.