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Environmental Issues

Environmental Issues Affecting Wastewater Include: 

Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products as Pollutants (PPCP), Mercury, and Phosphorus
What is "PPCP"?
Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products as Pollutants (PPCP) refers, in general, to any product used by individuals for personal health or cosmetic reasons or used by agribusiness to enhance growth or health of livestock. PPCPs comprise a diverse collection of thousands of chemical substances, including prescription and over-the-counter therapeutic drugs, veterinary drugs, fragrances, lotions, and cosmetics.

What are the major sources of PPCP in the environment?
Sources of PPCP's:

  • Human activity (e.g., bathing, shaving, swimming)
  • Illicit drugs, over-the-counter drugs
  • Veterinary drug use, especially antibiotics and steroids
  • Agribusiness
  • Residues from pharmaceutical manufacturing (well defined and controlled)
  •  Residues from hospitals, medical and dental clinics 
    The impact of individuals adding chemicals to the environment has been largely overlooked. The discovery of PPCP in water and soil shows even simple activities like shaving, using lotion, or taking medication affect the environment in which you live.

    To read more visit the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) website.

    For additional information on recycling prescription and over-the-counter medications, visit the Recycling Center or call (920) 683-4333. 

    Wisconsin Act 44 – Mercury Products Ban

    Signed in October 2009, Wisconsin Act 44 establishes a ban of the sale of certain mercury containing devices. Although many devices contain mercury, there are numerous mercury-free alternatives. A brief summary of the law follows. See more on the  Manitowoc Wastewater Treatment Facility Mercury information page. with links to the WI DNR (Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources).

    Proposed Phosphorus Rules Revisions
    The Department of Natural Resources has proposed revisions to Chapters NR 102 and NR 217 of the Wisconsin Administrative Code relating to phosphorus water quality standards criteria and limitations and effluent standards. The rule revision proposal has two parts. The first is a set of phosphorus water quality standards criteria for rivers, streams, various types of lakes, reservoirs and Great Lakes. The second is procedures for determining and incorporating phosphorus water quality based effluent limitations into Wisconsin Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (WPDES) permits. More information can be found on the WI DNR website.

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