Copper is a commonly used metal in everyday items such as cars, electrical wiring and plumbing. While copper plumbing is almost always harmless, it is possible for copper to corrode and contaminate water. This can also happen when copper items are disposed of improperly and this harmful material makes its way to the wastewater system. Persistent sources of copper in wastewater comes from pools, spas and fountains treated with copper algaecides, copper containing pesticides and copper plumbing.
After MVSD treats wastewater, the effluent is released into our system of marshes, where it can reenter into the water system. These marshes are home to a variety of organisms. At MVSD, we want to do everything we can to keep these organisms safe because they are vital to our ecosystem. This includes ensuring that our effluent does not become contaminated with copper. In fact, we are required by our National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit to monitor copper levels in the effluent water. MVSD’s treatment process removes approximately 85% of copper from wastewater before discharging to Moorhen Marsh.
MVSD is also working to ensure that copper-containing waste items, such as old plumbing materials, are disposed of properly. These items should be disposed of at the Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facility.
We will continue monitoring the amount of copper that is in our effluent to ensure that it does not reach harmful levels. However, we need your help to keep the environment free of copper contamination. Thank you for helping us by properly disposing of your copper waste items! We also recommend using copper-free algaecides and pesticides, and ask your plumbers to use best management practices when installing copper pipes.