Don't Flush Prescription Drugs

Prescription drugs flushed down the toilet and other chemicalsintroduced into the Bay Area’s wastewater collection systems have been detected in the Bay’s estuaries and marine life. Since wastewater treatment plants are generally not equipped to detect or remove the evolving collection of ingredients in this chemical cocktail, it makes more sense to treat the source if possible, rather than to deal with expensive downstream problems.

The District is currently working on a pharmaceutical take-back program with the Public Education Committee. This Committee has a representative from five local sanitation agencies. These agencies include CMSA (Central Marin Sanitation Agency, LGVSD (Las Galinas Valley Sanitary District), NSD (Novato Sanitary District), SASM (Sewerage Agency of Southern Marin ) and ourselves SD#5 (Sanitary District No.5 of Marin County). Once the take-back program is completed, we will post information on our website providing information on where and how to dispose of pharmaceutical products. In the mean time the District recommends you dispose of pharmaceutical products bydisposing of the waste in household trash:

  • Keep products in their original containers –Pharmaceutical container caps are typically watertight and child proof.
  • Solid drugs – Add a small amount of water to a solid drug before recapping to discourage any unintended use of the drug.
  • Liquid drugs – Add a small amount of some absorbent material such as kitty litter, sawdust or flour, to liquid drugs before recapping to discourage any unintended use of the drug.
  • Double seal the container – in another container or heavy bag to prevent easy identification of the drug container or to prevent a glass container from breaking.

To reduce the amount of waste pharmaceuticals and personal care products:

  • Only purchase what you need – Why waste money on pharmaceuticals to just sit on the shelf and expire over time?
  • Say "No" to samples – If you are not going to use them, you will only need to dispose of them later.
  • Stop junk mail – Take your name off mailing lists so you don't receive free sample products, such as pain relievers, lotions, and shampoos. If you don't use them, then you will need to dispose of them later.
  • Centralize all pharmaceuticals in one location – This may help to limit over purchasing of products you already have.
  • Read the label – Some products contain mercury-added preservatives; if you see it on the label, find an alternative product.

Sewer Emergencies

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(415) 779-9048

Dial 9-1-1 if public health or property is threatened.

Our Mission

Sanitary District No.5 of Marin County is a special District, which while meeting or exceeding all applicable local, state and federal laws and regulations, is dedicated to the protection of public health and the environment through effective and economical collection, conveyance, treatment and disposal of wastewater.