MWRA 2013-2014 Writing Contest Winners

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Gabriela Krupka
Grade 3, Linden School, Malden
Mrs. Smith, Teacher


It Is Just A Toilet!

Hello everyone, my name is G.K. and I am a school reporter. I interviewed several people from my town for my story about wastewater. We talked about the water resources and we emphasized not throwing things down the toilet.

Wastewater treatment is a system that works nonstop 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. Unfortunately sometimes the systems get clogged. The reason why it happens is because people throw unflushable items down the toilet.

My first interview was with Mrs. Anderson. She told me why she felt guilty about wastewater. She used to throw her expired medications down the toilet instead of throwing them to the garbage. She did not realize she was harming the environment.

Then I spoke with Mrs. Brown. We talked about her baby's unflushable wipes. She admitted to throwing baby wipes down the toilet. She knew she should dispose of them in the trash but she honestly said she was a little lazy to run to the kitchen.

My next person I talked to was Jerry. He confessed of not conserving water. He was using a toilet as a garbage can. He would throw a cotton ball or a q-tip in the toilet and flush it immediately. He also ran the water while brushing his teeth and disposed dental floss in the toilet.

My last interview was with Mrs. Pine. She never heard of biodegradable items and she let her children throw anything down the toilet like toys, paper or food. Mrs. Pine was flushing absolutely all household items down the toilet, like rubber gloves, sponges or plastic wraps. She was shocked to find out that all the items would never dissolve or that they would cause problems in the piping.

When I finished my interviews I was surprised how little people know about nondispersible items. They don't know that their actions could cause damage to the sewer system and potentially cost them a lots of money. I believe people need more education on what is flushable and what is not and the impact on the wastewater system.

To find out more information people should definitely visit the MWRA website. There you can get some interesting facts. For example: fats, cooking oils and grease are not water-soluble. They coat household pipes and public sewers causing nasty clogs. Some chemicals used around the house, like paints, cleaners and nail polish removers should not be flushed down the toilet or poured down the drain. On the other hand, producers should be encouraged to put more accurate labels on the products.

I strongly suggest that people should dispose of personal care products, cleaning supplies and other household waste in the trash can, in the recycling bin or at a local hazardous waste disposal site.

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