Troubling Our Waters?
The Tennessee/Cumberland River Basin is one of the most diverse
aquatic places in the world, according to the World Wildlife Fund.
Environmental “watchdogs” say that more groups and
volunteers are focused on the health of the Tennessee River than
were watching five years ago.
Can I Help?
an Aquarium Member
According to the Used Oil Collection Act of 1993 Tennesseeans
generate more than one million gallons of used motor oil every
year. (One gallon is about one oil change). And if not disposed
of properly, one gallon can ruin 1 million gallons of fresh
water or an entire year’s supply of water for 50 people!
Used oil can contaminate our groundwater, rivers and streams
and poison our fish and wildlife, too. “Tennesseans depend
on wells and streams for drinking water and we also enjoy using
our lakes and streams for recreation and fishing." Heavy
metals and contaminants can find their way into our sewers and
streams and cause serious damage. If not disposed of properly,
there is also a hefty fine with a maximum penalty is $10,000
for each day of occurrence.
If you thought the Valdez oil spill was bad, think of this:
Every year we dump about 20 times more oil than was spilled
during the course of that one disaster.
Statistics show that vehicles generate at least 2.5 gallons
of used oil per year. And if you’re changing your own
oil, that oil can be refined into lubricating oil or blended
for use as an environmentally acceptable fuel, conserving our
If you’re a do-it-yourselfer (you generate less than 25
gallons a month or 300 gallons per year of oil) this free program
is available to you. Even if you have oil from a farm that you’ve
stockpiled, it’s not too late; a new program is in place
now to help you. So don’t be a dipstick—call the
information hotline at (800) 287-9013 and find out how you can
do your part to protect our environment.
you change your oil filter, drain the old one by punching
an air hole in the top and draining for a minimum of 12
hours if it is hot or 24 hours if it is cold. Dispose of
the oil filter only after it has been properly drained.
Check to see if the Oil Collection Center nearest you recycles
used oil filters.
When buying engine oil, look for re-refined motor oil. Buying
recycled products is important.
mix your used oil with anything.
Many of the collection centers also accept used antifreeze
and used oil filters for recycling.
more information about Tennessee’s Household Hazardous
Waste Program call your local Environmental Assistance Center
a Water Warrior
If all the world’s water were to fit into a gallon jug,
the amount of freshwater would be just one tablespoon full. Yet
almost half of our nation’s 3.6 million miles of rivers
and streams are threatened or impaired. Here are things you can
do starting today to protect and improve the quality of the rivers
close to you.
rainwater from your gutters by placing barrels or containers
at the end of each gutter. You can store this water and use
it to water your garden or other landscaping.
Dispose of oil and other toxic materials properly. One gallon
of oil poured down the sewer can contaminate one million gallons
of fresh water.
Install low-flow showerheads and sink spigots, which can be
purchased at your local hardware store. Or contact your water
utility company to find out if they distribute these devices
for free. Low-flow showerheads reduce water flow from an average
of five gallons per minute down to about two gallons per minute.
This can save more than 5,400 gallons of water per year.
Reduce the amount of water your toilet uses by displacing
water in the tank. By placing a jar or other closed container
full of water into your toilet tank, you will reduce the amount
of water used during each flush.
If you must water your lawn or garden, do so in the morning
or the evening when the water will evaporate less rapidly.
Also be sure to adjust sprinklers to avoid watering sidewalks
or paved areas.
Sweep patios and sidewalks rather than hosing them. Hosing
wastes water and carries contaminants into rivers.
Limit pesticide use. Pesticides, including herbicides, are
the only substances intentionally introduced into our environment
to kill living things. They can be dangerous to people, pets
and wildlife and will be carried into our freshwater supply
Landscape with native plants instead of grass to reduce your
yard’s water needs. This will also attract wildlife
such as birds and butterflies.
Make a Donation
Mail your donation to:
Attn: Gordon Stalans
1 Broad Street
Chattanooga, TN 37401
questions about donations: firstname.lastname@example.org