Not only is water a necessity of human life, it plays a crucial role in agriculture, industrial processes, recreation, hydropower generation, and for normal household purposes, such as cooking, bathing, and washing. August is Water Quality Month, which is the perfect time to remind ourselves about the importance of water quality and learn steps that individuals and communities can take to protect it.
To make the most of this essential resource, below is a list of actions anyone can take to continue to protect source water:
- Do your part to safeguard drinking water:
Use and dispose of harmful materials (e.g., motor oil, household cleaners, leftover paint) properly, volunteer for your community’s water protection organizations, or join a beach, stream, or wetland cleanup. Click here for more ways to promote access to safe drinking water.
- Get a copy of the source water assessment for your public water system:
Source water assessments are state reports about sources of drinking water. These documents can help you learn about the potential sources of contamination and susceptibility of your water sources so that you can be prepared for a crisis situation.
- Manage your property to protect drinking water:
Because many homeowners control their own wells, septic systems, lawns, and gardens, individuals may benefit from learning how their septic system works and how to properly maintain it. Click here for tips to maintain effective systems at home.
- Participate in source water planning at the community level:
Protecting source water is a collaborative effort. Join other community members and work with your local water utility to tackle water projects. Water planning includes assessing problems, prioritizing efforts, and implementing management measures. Click here to learn more about local source water protection planning.
These are just four of many actions that individuals can take to protect source water. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has compiled additional resources for citizen involvement in source water protection that you can access here.