Did you know August is National Water Quality Month? Not many people do, but that’s why we’re here — to spread the word. You can make simple changes in your water usage that will have a huge impact on local ecosystems and watersheds.
Think about all the little critters that play in the neighborhood creek or the pond by the park. Their health is literally in your hands. Your own water supply is one of the many places where polluted runoff occurs. Follow some of the helpful tips below to be on your way toward a cleaner and happier watershed.
· Remember when you were six years old and your pet goldfish passed away? Your parents probably had a nice little toilet funeral for it. Well, believe it or not, flushing Goldie wasn’t too good for the environment. Let’s stop flushing anything that the toilet isn’t meant for. This includes medications, goldfish and leftover cleaning products.
· Speaking of pets, we all know cleaning up after them is a cumbersome task. However, if their waste is left where it falls, it can get washed down storm drains, spreading that bacteria into your drinking water.
· Cars can create a huge mess if not tended to properly. You can still work on that old Corvette in the garage, but make sure you lay down some plastic liners to collect any dripping oil or other fluids first.
· Gardens can be quite harmful to watersheds. If you use pesticides or chemical fertilizers, the runoff is some of the worst. If you have a patch of land dedicated to growing fruits, vegetables or flowers, you should take extra precautions and use organic repellents.
· The same idea goes for toxic household products. One way or another, they get rinsed down the drain. To avoid contaminating your water, consider buying non-toxic, organic cleaners.
· Finally, if you’re thinking about paving your driveway or other parts of your property, you might want to reconsider. Rainwater rinses off pavement and drags any pollutants it comes in contact with straight into the nearest drain. Without the pavement, water soaks into the ground, diluting contaminants and preventing flooding.
Over the past decade, watershed purity has declined. According to the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs’ International Decade for Action ‘Water for Life’ 2005-2015, “Every day, more than 2 million tons of sewage drain into the world’s waters.”
It’s never been more important to stay conscious, keep updated and be proactive about water quality.
Not sure where your watershed is located or what condition it’s in? Just input your zip code or town name to Surf Your Watershed to find out.
Go out and start saving the planet – one flush at a time.