You can use the resources below in outreach to your community about pollution prevention topics and recommended practices.


Pharmaceutical Waste
Safe Communities-MedDrop

Non-Flushable Materials
Flushable? poster

General Pollution Prevention
Clean Water Reflects You flier

Household Hazardous Waste
Move-Out Waste guide (applicable to City of Madison residents)

Municipal Newsletters

The District periodically sends customer communities a pollution prevention newsletter to keep communities updated about the District's pollution prevention activities and to provide resources for community-wide pollution prevention initiatives. Past issues are below.

December 2019
August 2019
May 2019
July 2018
March 2018
December 2017 
October 2017 
April 2017

Pollution Prevention for Municipalities

Beyond the environmental benefits of pollution prevention, municipalities served by the District stand to benefit as customers by preventing pollution from reaching the treatment plant. A major goal of the District's pollution prevention work is to avoid the need to construct facility upgrades to remove pollutants of concern, since upgrades would be expensive and relatively inefficient in reducing pollution overall. The expense of facility upgrades would be passed along to our customers in sewer rates, so pollution prevention is an effort to protect water quality while keeping rates as low as possible.

As a municipality, you can assist the District in its pollution prevention efforts by minimizing pollution in municipal buildings, encouraging businesses in your municipality to enact pollution prevention measures, and educating residents about what they can do to reduce pollution. This page includes some specific steps you can take to minimize pollutants that the District is focusing on reducing at the treatment plant:


  • Educate residents about steps they can take to reduce water softener salt and road salt.
  • Improve water softeners in municipal building to minimize salt discharges to the sewer system.
    • To incentivize chloride reductions, MMSD is providing grants & rebates for projects that reduce chloride contributions to the sewer system
    • Ideas for projects that can identify and reduce sources are available on the District's salt reduction resources page. 
  • Train municipal crews in best practices for winter maintenance
    • The City of Madison offers classes as part of its certification program for winter maintenance professionals (open to both public and private entities). 
  • Enact a winter maintenance policy that incorporates best practices for salt and other ice melter application.
    • Policies help set expectations and change norms around what clearing pavements 'should look like'. WI Salt Wise offers example policies.
  • Test municipal groundwater supply wells annually. Chloride is not a concern for rivers and lakes only, it can also impact drinking water. Annually sampling all public wells, and reporting findings to MMSD is required by MMSD’s Sewer Use Ordinance, section 4.7.2 (b).
  • Report actions taken to identify and reduce sources of chloride annually. MMSD’s Sewer Use Ordinance Section 4.7.2 (a) and (c) seeks information that will aid the chloride source reduction initiative. Note that there are different reporting dates specified for various actions. If you choose, you can send items (a), (b) and (c) at the same time to MMSD, attn. Catherine Harris, by June 30 of each year.



  • Minimize or eliminate mercury in municipal buildings, developing and implementing a mercury minimization plan if necessary. Label any remaining mercury-containing materials, such as boiler switches, to help ensure they are properly disposed of when replaced.
  • Educate residents and businesses in your community about proper disposal of mercury-containing household products, such as by directing them to Dane County Clean Sweep and procedures for spill cleanup.


  • Promote the use of MedDrop for disposal of unused household medications by including information about the program in your outreach to residents.
  • If your community does not have a MedDrop box, you can:
    • Establish a collection box in your police department; or
    • Host medication collection events in your community. The Wisconsin Department of Justice funds statewide drug takebacks twice a year and coordinates with local law enforcement agencies to implement these events.