National Water Quality Month

National Water Quality Month


As Americans, we can sometimes take for granted the fact that we have safe drinking water. We don’t think about what’s in our drinking water until there’s a crisis situation. 

August is National Water Quality Month, which means it’s the perfect time to educate ourselves on where our water comes from and how we can preserve it. Educating ourselves is the best way to ensure that our water continues to be high quality and free of contamination.


waterfall

Where Does Your Water Come From?

Did you know that half of the United States population lives within 50 miles of a coast? Majority of Americans get their water from one of the 54,000 local water providers across the country. 

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has placed federal regulations on public water suppliers to ensure that they are monitoring more than 100 contaminants. Part of their job is to take the wastewater from our households that flows into the utilities main wastewater pipeline, remove pollutants from it, and re-use it or release it back into the environment.


Fisherman

Watershed Health VS. Water Quality

When it comes to water quality, it’s not only the EPA and local water suppliers job to protect our water! 

We live on what’s called a watershed. A watershed is land that drains to one stream, lake, or river. All drainage affects our water quality. If you have healthy watersheds, your water is less expensive to treat, you have better quality outdoor recreation involving lakes, rivers, streams, and your property values could be higher. The health of our water is largely determined by how we treat the watersheds we live by.

Caution Tape

What's Contaminated Water?

Although the majority of our water is regulated and safe to drink, you should still be cautious about what could potentially be in your pipes, faucets, and local water ways contaminating your water. 

According to the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), contaminated water could have higher concentrations of lead, atrazine, pathogens, chlorine, arsenic, nitrates, radioactive material, vinyl chloride, perchlorate, and pharmaceuticals.

5 Things I Can Do to Protect My Water...

Picking up after pets

1. Pick Up After Your Pets

Animal waste contains harmful organisms like e. coli, salmonella, and giardia. If you don't pick up after your pet, the storm waters could wash these pollutants into our waterways and contaminating the water. Animals waste also is high in nitrogen which at excess can deplete the oxygen in water making it harmful for fish and other underwater plants. 

Car Wash

2. Use the Car Wash 

Washing your car at home can flush chemicals down the storm drains that flow into our lakes and streams. Professional car washes are required to drain into sewer systems so that wastewater plants can treat the water before it is re-used. 

Drain

3. Use a Trash Can, NOT the Drain

Avoid putting products like motor oil, prescription medications, antibacterial household cleaners, paints, bug/pest repellants, and detergents. We don't want products like this down the drain and into our waterways because they have toxic chemicals in them. 

Soil

4. Don't Use Fertilizer/Pesticides 

Fertilizer and pesticides can run off the soil and contaminate the water ways that feed our drinking water supplies. Exposure to these chemicals can cause hard to humans and wildlife alike. 

Volunteer

5. Clean Up

Join a community clean-up crew for streets, beaches, rivers, and wetlands. It's important to educate yourself and learn from other who care about our environment. Make friends and feel great about protecting our water! 


Remember, water that enters our drains goes into our waterways before the treatment plants! Practicing these little changes year-round in our communities can make a big difference!


National Water Quality Month

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