August is National Water Quality Month

National Water Quality Month is dedicated to making the most of the relatively small amount of fresh water we have – only 3 per cent of the total water on the planet, and two thirds of that is locked up in ice caps! Having clean water is vital to our individual health, our collective agricultural needs, and the needs of our environment.

Any idea what our country’s water was like in the in the early 1970’s?  Clean Water Act – Better at 40 highlights the Clean Water Act that was passed in 1972.  This law focused on curbing water pollution by making it illegal to dump high amounts of toxic materials into bodies of water. It set the standard for making sure that surface water was up to certain standards before being used for human consumption and recreation. In 1974, the Safe Drinking Water Act was passed to further protect the quality of groundwater and public water systems. 

Wonder how you impact local water quality? Look at this information on Types of Pollutants that affect water quality, then consider taking on one or more of the:

8 Things You Can Do at Home to Protect Your Water

Wash your car at a car wash: Even though it might cost more than washing your car at home, taking your car to a car wash saves water and prevents toxic chemicals from being flushed down your storm drains that eventually empty into our lakes, rivers, streams, and oceans. Professional car washes are legally required to drain into sewer systems so that the water can be treated before being re-used.

Pick up after your pet: Animal waste is full of nitrogen which can remove oxygen from the water leaving it completely unusable for aquatic life.

Don’t hose down your driveway, use a broom.

Don’t use fertilizer made with phosphorus: After heavy rainfall or watering, these chemicals can leak into nearby groundwater sources. Try using organic materials or waiting for drier weather if you absolutely need to use lawn care products.

Do not flush expired or unwanted medication down the toilet: These products have toxic chemicals that should not be flushed down the drain.

Take used oil or antifreeze to a service station or recycling center.

Avoid using antibacterial soaps or cleaning products in your drain as they are also toxic to marine life.

Use a rain barrel to collect rainwater: Installing a rain barrel will not only save you money but can also be used for watering your lawn or washing your car.

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