After the boil: DEQ gives tips on crawfish disposal

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BATON ROUGE, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – As everyone gears up for the May crawfish boils that are a staple in Louisiana’s social culture, there’s more to think about than just dropping the tiny crustaceans in boiling water with spices, new potatoes and corn-on-the cob. 

It’s called cleaning up the mess.

And, according to the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, it’s important how it’s done. 

Dumping any seafood refuse such as crawfish peels and boil water into a ditch or waterway can seriously harm or even kill the resident aquatic species living there. Dumping boil water and crawfish discards into a ditch or waterway can play a significant role in nutrient overload, pathogen stimulation and depletion of dissolved oxygen. 

If that’s not enough, in addition to harming the environment, there’s also the fact that dumping boil water into a storm drain is against the law. It’s pretty much common knowldege that getting arrested is rarely, if ever, the best to end a party. 

Dumping boil water and crawfish discards into a ditch or waterway can play a significant role in nutrient overload, pathogen stimulation and depletion of dissolved oxygen. 

But, according to the DEQ, there are better alternatives. 

The burial and covering of crawfish peels on a landowner’s personal property can create an environmentally-friendly composting option that adds nutrients and oxygen to the soil. Just make sure you don’t bury the peels near a ditch or water body. 

Below are tips from the DEQ on the proper disposal of crawfish peels and boil water:

• Double-bag crawfish peels and place them in the trash. 
• If you own the property, you can dig a hole (if away from a ditch or waterbody), drop the peelings in, and refill the hole. Hay, grass, mulch or topsoil may be used as an added cover so that odors are reduced along with the potential for subsequent disturbance by animals or humans. 
• If you’re on the city sewage system, remove all solids and pour the boil water down a sink drain. Your wastewater treatment system is better equipped to handle the breakdown of constituents in the boil water. 
• If you’re NOT on the city sewage system, you may pour boil water into a grassy/weeded area that is AWAY from a ditch or body of water.
 

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