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Keeping Community Water Supplies Clean

July 16, 2014

A girl using a garden hose while smiling

Community water supplies are important to individual and environmental health. Water supplies are easily contaminated and require concerted efforts on the part of communities to keep them clean and free of contamination. While municipal water treatment facilities do much of the decontamination and treatment for potability, individuals within a community still carry a large responsibility to prevent contamination of watersheds and runoffs into rivers, streams, and lakes.

Trash, hazardous materials, chemicals, yard waste, and other kinds of harmful contaminants can get into water supplies from everyday chores, rendering the water unsafe to drink. While it’s unavoidable to keep all contaminants out of our communities’ water supplies, it is possible to prevent some of it. If you do your part to prevent harmful chemicals from entering your water, not only will your community have higher quality water, but you’ll be able to be rest assured that your water is cleaner than ever! Want to know how you can do your part? Here are a few important tips to help you keep community water supplies clean.

Prevent Waste Water Runoff

Runoff is the water that runs from your yard, sidewalks, and gutters into the drains and eventually your water supply. Besides water, there are a lot of things that go into the drains, and not all of them are good. To prevent chemicals from running into the gutter, keep waste water from harmful chemicals–especially those from yard maintenance products–out of gutters and away from moving water. Even the soap and chemicals you use to wash your car can contribute to contamination of waterways. When washing your vehicle, do so on the lawn instead of the driveway to prevent runoff. Take care to keep other chemicals like pesticides and weed killers out of the gutters, too. Older Gentleman washing a restored, red car

Make sure to also clean up after your pet! Pet waste can have many diseases and harmful bacteria that can easily be washed off from the lawn into your water. If you’re out walking your pet by a water source, make sure to carry plastic bags with you and dispose the picked-up waste properly. Some parks now provide free doggy bags to help you remember to clean up after your pet.

Clear Trash & Debris

Maintaining community water also comes down to picking up trash and other debris from streams and rivers. In moving water, it is especially important to do your part and clean debris and trash since this eventually flows to a central water source and treatment facility. The treatment facility then uses more energy to clear the debris than it would normally. When you seen trash accumulated along a river bank or in a stream, do the right thing and pick it up and throw it away in a designated trash receptacle. Everyone doing their part to keep water sources free of trash and other human contaminants will help to protect natural water sources and keep community water safe!

Take Precautions with the Drain

Be careful what you put down drains and in pipes as this eventually ends up in a water source and can cause environmental degradation. Toxic cleaning chemicals can contaminate water supplies and lead to environmental damage. Take care with what goes into your pipes and be aware about the potential impact of chemicals entering the water supply is important part of preventing avoidable contamination of water systems and environmental deterioration.

When disposing of old or unused medicine, do not flush it down the drain. Much like any other substance, medicines can break down and flow into common water supplies, making the water unsafe to drink. When throwing away expired medications, while you can just throw the bottles in the trash can, there are medication disposals at certain doctors’ offices that can help you know your medications are disposed of properly.

Get a Water Purifier

If you ever have any doubt that your community’s water is not clean, you can still make sure that your own water is clean! Check out how a water purifier can not only help you “go green,” but can make sure that you have clean, great-tasting water at the push of a button!