Preventing Pollution from the Start

Preventing pollution before it happens is better than cleaning it up later. It makes more sense to stop producing a waste than to develop treatment technologies to manage or remove it from our land and waters.   You can make a difference in your home or business, both in the quality of water you send to WLSSD and in the health of your family, workers and the local environment. Learn about:


Mercury can damage human health and the environment. It’s important to keep mercury out of Minnesota’s waters. Learn more about WLSSD’s efforts to reduce mercury in the water that we clean and about what you can do to help.


Old and unwanted medicines in your home can pose a risk for accidental poisoning, theft, and drug abuse. Research shows that medication put down the drain or flushed may pollute water and harm fish and wildlife. WLSSD supports two programs to help residents dispose of unwanted medicines.

Healthy Homes program to reduce toxic chemicals

Healthy Homes brings an interactive workshop and presentation to community groups including Early Childhood Family Education, Head Start, community clubs, faith-based groups and more–focusing on identifying hazardous products in the home, using practical alternatives, and proper disposal of unwanted products. Free recipes and “make and take” activities for adult audiences.

Garbage Burning

Burning garbage, even paper, can release hazardous pollutants like heavy metals and dioxin and put property and health at risk. It’s also illegal. WLSSD offers resources to help communities end garbage burning.

Pesticide-Free Lawn Care

It is possible to have a great looking lawn without using pesticides and large amounts of fertilizer. Learn how simple practices can create a lush lawn and proud homeowner.

Industrial Pretreatment Program

Providing technical assistance and regulation for industries that create large volumes of sewage or use chemicals that could pose a problem if not managed correctly.


WLSSD treats nearly 40 million gallons of wastewater every day. It is the largest single point source discharger of water on the U.S. side of Lake Superior, and Lake Superior is the largest fresh water lake by surface area in the world! At WLSSD, we believe pollution prevention is the most effective way to protect Lake Superior and its watershed. Thank you for efforts to prevent pollution in our region.