Illinois American Water encourages customers to participate in the Drug Enforcement Agency's (DEA) National Prescription Drug Take Back Day this weekend. The event is Saturday, Oct. 26, from 10 AM to 2 PM. Residents are encouraged to drop off their unwanted medications at participating sites so they can be incinerated, which is the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) recommended approach for pharmaceutical disposal. Both flushing medications down the toilet and throwing them in the trash are discouraged.

"This event is a great opportunity for residents to securely drop off any unused or expired medications," said Karla Olson Teasley, Illinois American Water president. "It's important for us to keep these items out of our landfills and water supplies as well as the hands of those who may 
misuse or abuse them." Collection sites participating in this event can be located by visiting www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/ 

Teasley added, "We encourage those who cannot participate during this DEA event to continue to use their community pharmaceutical disposal programs to properly dispose of their unwanted medications. Through all of these efforts we can protect not only our water but our community as a whole."

Through partnership and collaboration with local pharmacies, environmental stewards, police departments and government officials, Illinois American Water has helped to implement 32 permanent pharmaceutical disposal programs across the state. These programs are located in Alton, Bartonville, Belleville, Caseyville, Champaign (three sites), Chicago (two sites), Chillicothe, Collinsville, Columbia, Dixon, Fairmont, Maryville, Morrison, Mt. Carroll, Mt. Vernon, O'Fallon, Orland Hills, Pekin, Peoria (three sites), Peoria Heights, Pontiac, South Beloit, Sterling, Streator, 
Urbana (two sites) and Waterloo.

The pharmaceutical disposal programs were created through a model developed by Pontiac High School Township students and their teacher Paul Ritter. The program, P2D2, has been recognized by Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, the Illinois EPA and the Department of Natural Resources as a model for all pharmaceutical disposal programs. Through P2D2?s efforts, hundreds of thousands of pounds of unwanted medications have been collected and disposed of properly. To learn more about P2D2 please visit www.p2d2program.org.

Illinois American Water was recognized by American Water Works Association (AWWA) with the 2011 Communications Achievement Award for the company's outreach regarding proper pharmaceutical disposal. Founded in 1881, AWWA is the authoritative resource for knowledge, information, and advocacy for improving the quality and supply of water. The award recognizes AWWA member organizations for fostering and supporting the development of public outreach programs and integrating public affairs as a core element of utility management.

About Illinois American Water 
Illinois American Water, a subsidiary of American Water (NYSE: AWK), is the largest investor-owned water utility in the state, providing high-quality and reliable water and/or wastewater services to approximately 1.2 million people. American Water also operates a customer service center in Alton and a quality control and research laboratory in Belleville. Founded in 1886, American Water is the largest publicly traded U.S. water and wastewater utility company. With headquarters in Voorhees, N.J., the company employs approximately 6,700 dedicated professionals who provide drinking water, wastewater and other related services to an estimated 14 million people in more than 30 states and parts of Canada. More information can be found by visiting www.amwater.com

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