Although the world is mostly covered by water, only a minuscule amount of it is relatively safe for people to drink and use. Most of our freshwater can be found deep underground in aquifers or on surface-water runoffs.
Although water treatment suppliers do so much to provide us with clean water, communities and common folk can still have an active role in keeping water sources clean from any contamination. Here are a few things that you can do:
Dispose of Harmful and Toxic Materials Properly
Irresponsibly throwing out harmful and toxic materials down the drain or into sewers can easily contaminate ground and surface waters. Not only is it an environmental issue, but also a punishable act.
Chemical wastes should be stored in appropriate containers before being disposed of. Their disposal should be done by the Environmental Protection Agency through their EHS Hazardous Waste Program.
Some substances like motor oil can still be recycled. Many people today reuse motor oil as a lubricant for their other machines and equipment. Once they’re collected and stored in a leak-proof container, you can contact an auto workshop or waste collector to know where you can drop off the used oil.
Common household products such as paints, cleaners, and other chemicals require special care when it’s time for you to dispose of them. That’s because there’s a big chance that they’re corrosive, toxic, or can even catch fire. Always read and carefully follow the instructions printed on their labels for correct disposal.
Do Not Use Too Much Pesticide
Although the use of pesticides is essential to keep pests away from our plants and crops, many of them contain harmful chemicals that can easily contaminate the soil. Besides seeping into groundwater, they can also cause many health issues later on.
Long-term overexposure can lead to developing cancers, Parkinson’s disease, and many more. If you have to use them on your plants, be sure to limit their use and always follow the instructions printed on the label.
Be Sure To Have Your Septic System Maintained
It’s recommended to have your septic system inspected once every three years and pumped out every three to five years to keep it working properly. Septic systems with alternate mechanical pumps and components should be inspected more frequently.
A malfunctioning septic system can cause bacteria and viruses to seep into aquifers, contaminating clean groundwater. Once they’ve reached the aquifer, they will eventually enter other bodies of water.
Do Volunteer Work
If you want to be more directly involved with cleaning and protecting water, you can try volunteering in your local community. Try to do some research online if cleanup drives or events dedicated to clearing out trash from rivers or streams are coming up.
You can also call for help from local organizations. Groups such as Source Water Collaborative have an extensive list of members that you can join to help protect clean and safe drinking water.
Joining an organization can get you connected with other community partners to help spread the message of protecting the water. It also allows you to work with your local water utility. If there are no currently active groups in your area, you can try starting one instead.
Start a Storm Drain Stenciling Project
Many people today are quite unaware of the importance of storm drains. These infrastructures are often connected directly to a local body of water. Therefore, any contaminant or pollution that gets in a storm drain will eventually reach a nearby river or lake if not treated or disposed of properly.
Many states in the country require that municipalities should mark all storm drains with anti-pollution messages. Storm drain stenciling is a fun and creative activity to help remind the community not to pollute storm drains. It can help raise awareness about the importance of storm drains to local bodies of water.
When doing this kind of project, it’s important to contact your local government for permission beforehand. They can guide you to storm drains that they prefer stenciled and provide you with certain guidelines that you should follow. You can also request support from your neighbors and local businesses like hardware stores and water treatment suppliers to help supply you with the materials the project needs.
Everyone can do their part in keeping our waters clean. With enough dedication, we can make a positive impact not just on our local community but on our planet as well.