Experts: Dispose of pills at take-back sites to keep water clean

These pills are a sample of what the Callaway County Sheriff's Office has recovered so they can be disposed of in the correct manner. Officials ask that prescription medications no longer be flushed down the toilet or put down a drain but brought to the proper authorities.

These pills are a sample of what the Callaway County Sheriff's Office has recovered so they can be disposed of in the correct manner. Officials ask that prescription medications no longer be flushed down the toilet or put down a drain but brought to the proper authorities. Photo by Mandi Steele.

Don’t flush, pour down the drain or throw away unwanted pills — that’s the message officials are trying to get out about prescription medications.

Brad Rayburn, EPA water training specialist for the Missouri Rural Water Association (MRWA), asks that citizens dispose of the drugs correctly, so not to contaminate Missouri waterways.

Rayburn explained that when environmental officials released a study showing how they discovered traces of prescription drugs in several states’ drinking water, it changed the way authorities asked persons to dispose of these medications.

“We’re trying to make more people aware of what could happen,” he said. “We don’t want to see people becoming ill, because they’re drinking water with prescription drugs in it.”

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