Don’t dump oil in City sewers

27 August 2020 | Environment

The City of Windhoek (CoW) said that it has noticed an increase in the unsafe disposal of used motor oil, mainly due to increased backyard mechanical activities.
According to a municipal notice, the CoW has noticed that used oil from these activities is improperly disposed of in riverbeds, storm water channels and down drains, causing clogs in the municipal sewer reticulation network.
The City said that if this issue is left unaddressed, this oil can also cause disruptions to the waste water treatment plant, leading to increased maintenance and operational costs.
If you change your own motor oil or handle oil and oil-based products, you are classified as a "generator" and therefor need to know how to properly manage and dispose of used oil.
To put it in perspective, used oil from just one oil change can contaminate up to a million litres of fresh water – equal to a years' supply of drinking water for 50 people!
Given that Windhoek is prone to water scarcity, the city cannot afford any fresh water contamination.

Why is used oil bad for the environment?
• Used oil is bad for the environment because it contains harmful substances that can cause air, water and soil pollution. These substances can further harm plants, animals and human lives if inhales or ingested.
• If not handled properly, used oil can enter our drinking water sources, causing contamination.
• Used oil can pollute underground water, including the city’s aquifer, making it unfit for human consumption.
• Oils and greases harden when it reaches the sewer system and builds up inside pipes, causing sewer and water pipe blockages.
• Used oil interferes with the processes that take place at wastewater treatment facilities and can cause costly operational breakdowns.
Thus, handling oil properly will help the environment, save money and protect our drinking water.

Report oil dumping here
Illegal dumping of used oil can be reported at the City of Windhoek pollution control section at 061 290 3367 or 290 3418.
Reports can also be made to pollution control inspectors at 061 290 2903 or 290 3787.

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