If you’re looking to support a good cause in your local town or neighborhood, then make it a priority to care about water quality in 2017. Drinking water quality is a very real issue and deserves more attention on a local and national level.
Is Clean Drinking Water an Issue?
You may assume that clean drinking water isn’t a very big problem stateside. After all, you don’t hear a whole lot about it outside of isolated instances (such as Flint, Michigan). But the fact of the matter is that our country is teetering on the edge of more disasters if something doesn’t happen soon.
“It is in part an infrastructure crisis, but it is also a case of gaps in government oversight at all levels, of ill-thought austerity and of not being aggressively proactive in taking the job of protecting, treating and distributing drinking water as a public health issue,” says Lynn Thorp of Clean Water Action.
The key phrase here is “public health issue.” Water is something that we all need and use on a daily basis. If there’s anything that could be classified an important public health issue, it’s drinking water safety.
Contaminated drinking water can directly impact physical health, mental health, pregnancy, and child development. In other words, it can affect us all.
8 Ways You Can Do Your Part
The issue is that most people don’t really understand how they can promote cleaner and healthier water. After all, doesn’t it all go back to the water treatment plants? Well, not exactly. You can do your part by following these tips and suggestions:
- Don’t Use Antibacterial Soaps
Did you know that most antibacterial soaps contain trichlosan, which is a registered pesticide that’s known to harm aquatic life? Furthermore, chronic use of antibacterial soap leads to “superbugs,” which are antibiotic resistant. There’s no sense in introducing more antibacterial soap into the water system than is already there. Regular soap and smart hand washing habits work just the same.
- Don’t Treat the Toilet Like a Trash Can
Your toilet is only designed for, well, toilet things. Don’t treat it like a trashcan. Flushing tampons, baby wipes, and old medication down the toilet does nothing but clog up your pipes and cause a huge mess at sewage treatment centers. Stick to using the bathroom to relieve yourself and throw everything else in the trashcan.
On a related note, your sink shouldn’t be used as a garbage receptacle either. Pouring paint, chemicals, household cleaners, and other hazardous waste into the sink is strictly prohibited. If you’re unsure of what to do with hazardous liquids, contact your local sanitation or health department.
- Fix Leaks From Cars and Machinery
Good car maintenance is super important – not only for the environment, but also for your investment. And while it’s smart to change your own oil, antifreeze, and coolant, be very careful when doing so. When these liquids spill or aren’t properly disposed of, rainwater can carry the chemicals down the driveway, into the storm drain, and eventually into the water supply. Remain cognizant of this and take extra care to clean up after yourself.
- Use Organic Fertilizers
Try your best to avoid using chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Not only do they pose a serious threat to your health and safety, your pet’s health and safety, and the soil and ground itself, but they also tend to mix with rainwater and contaminate the local water supply.
If you absolutely must have some sort of fertilizer for your lawn, go with organic fertilizers. “Organic fertilizers come from natural plant, animal, and mineral sources,” gardener Beth Huxtra notes. “Once these products are applied to the lawn, soil microorganisms break down the nutrients into a form that plants can take up.” You should have no trouble finding them at your local landscape supply retailer.
- Pick Up After Pets
When you take your dog on a walk and he leaves behind some waste, you should always immediately pick it up. That’s just part of being a good neighbor, right? Well, picking up after your dog is also part of being a responsible caretaker of the local water supply. How so? Well, pet waste is filled with bacteria that often runs into storm drains and ends up in the water supply. In order to avoid this unfortunate scenario, pick up the waste, put it in a recycled plastic bag, and throw it away in the trash can.
- Don’t Over-Pave Your Property
“The more pavement there is, the more rain water will simply run off down the storm drains, picking up pollutants on the way and causing flooding,” Clean Water Action explains. “Allowing water to soak into the ground can prevent flooding, recharge groundwater supplies, and dilute contaminants.” You can also do your part by planting native plants that don’t require much water to thrive.
- Regularly Test Your Water
The only way to know if your own home’s water supply is clean is by regularly testing it for quality. There are plenty of DIY tests available and you should be on the lookout for harmful contaminants like lead, chlorine, sulfur, radium, and more.
- Be an Advocate
Once you start doing your part, the next step is to speak up. Let other people know what you’ve learned and help them practice responsible clean water habits. Many people simply aren’t aware and don’t realize what they’re doing. Change starts with one person and you never know how vital of a role you’ll play in leading local change.
Test Your Home’s Water With TestAssured
While the first step is to prevent issues in your neighborhood and city by being a responsible steward of the land, you also need to be hyperaware of the quality of water that’s entering your home.
There are a variety of ways in which you can test your home’s water quality, but you should start by ordering one of our home water testing kits. They’re cheap, easy to use, and give you a reading on 10 different contaminants within just minutes. Please contact us today with any questions you may have!