Clean and plentiful water provides the foundation for prosperous communities. We rely on clean water to survive, yet right now we are heading towards a water crisis. Key drinking water sources are being overdrawn or tainted with pollution.
Protecting Clean Water
Dirty water is the world’s biggest health risk, and continues to threaten both quality of life and public health in the United States. When water from rain and melting snow runs off roofs and roads into our rivers, it picks up toxic chemicals, dirt, trash and disease-carrying organisms along the way.
Ten Simple Ways You Can Help Reduce Pollution and Runoff
Everyday household activities contribute to water pollution. When it rains, fertilizer from lawns, oil from driveways, paint and solvent residues from walls and decks and even pet waste are all washed into storm sewers or nearby lakes, rivers and streams — the same lakes, rivers and streams we rely on for drinking water supply.
1. Decrease impervious surfaces around your home. Having fewer hard surfaces of concrete and asphalt and planting vegetation at lower elevations than nearby hard surfaces will reduce runoff from your property.
2. Use native plants and natural fertilizers. Native plants need less water, are more tolerant of drought conditions, cost less to maintain and provide habitat for birds and butterflies.
3. Don’t over-water lawns and gardens. According to the EPA, “nationwide, landscape irrigation is estimated to account for almost one-third of all residential water use, totaling more than 7 billion gallons per day.”
4. Recycle and dispose of all trash properly. Never flush non-degradable products — such as disposable diapers or plastic tampon applicators — down the toilet. They can damage the sewage treatment process and end up littering beaches and waters. Make sure to properly dispose of all pet waste from your property to keep it out of storm drains and water supplies.
5. Correctly dispose of hazardous household products. Keep paints, used oil, cleaning solvents, polishes, pool chemicals, insecticides, and other hazardous household chemicals out of drains, sinks, and toilets.
6. Use nontoxic household products whenever possible. Discarding harmful products correctly is important, but not buying them in the first place is even better.
7. Recycle used motor oil. Don’t pour waste oil into gutters or down storm drains, and resist the temptation to dump wastes onto the ground.
8. Be “green” when washing your car. Skip the home carwash. Take your car to a professional –- professional carwashes are required to drain their wastewater into sewer systems, where it is treated before being discharged.
9. Help identify, report and stop polluters. Join a local clean water or environmental group that monitors industries and sewage treatment plants that are discharging wastes.
10. Be an activist. Educate yourself about water issues in your community.
Water conservation is another important component of the overall water protection process. For more information on how multifamily properties owners can effect water usage conservation please visit www.waterwatchcorp.com or call us toll-free at 800-256-9826.
John Paul is Vice President of Operations for WaterWatch Corporations and has over 10 years of experience in the utility submetering industry. He previously spent 30 years with IBM developing and implementing customer service applications.