07 Nov HOW CAN WE HELP KEEP OUR WATER SUPPLY CLEAN
Let’s talk for a moment about water. It’s the source of all life, and without it, a human being can survive only about three days. So, it’s to our benefit to safeguard our water supply, right? Now, you might be thinking, “What can I do on my small property to help safeguard our water supply?” A lot! From small shifts in your yard to larger ones in your community, the average homeowner has several options for doing their part. Here are our suggestions.
Garden organically. If you apply synthetic (non-organic) chemicals to your lawn and garden, when it rains, those chemicals run off into the water supply. How does this happen? Water runs off your lawn and out of your garden, taking trace chemicals with it, then runs down your street and into the storm drain. When the water supply is polluted with chemicals, it takes a significant amount of resources to clean it up before we can use it. And remember — what’s in our water goes into our bodies.
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Use biodegradable cleaning products. There are many benefits to using green cleaning products, one of which lessens water pollution. Many toxic household cleaning products will go down the drain and into our sewer systems, where wastewater treatment facilities will filter out harmful chemicals. Unfortunately, our facilities are not able to filter every single toxic chemical, and will eventually end up causing harm in our water ecosystems or even ultimately our own drinking water. Research some easy DIY cleaning recipes or opt for green cleaning products offered at the store that use ingredients that can break down easily in our wastewater facilities.
Conserve water. By limiting the times you flush your toilet or run your water faucet, you are lessening the load on your sewer system and sewage treatment plants. Capturing rain water to reuse in your garden or landscape is another way to reduce demand on existing water supply, and reduces run-off and soil erosion. You can even look into more efficient ways to water your garden, like drip irrigation systems.
Read More: 5 EASY AND INEXPENSIVE GARDEN WATERING HACKS
Clean up after your dog. Not only is picking up your animal’s waste the responsible and respectful thing to do, it actually protects our water quality. Runoff from sprinkler systems or storms carry pet waste into waterways. This adds nitrogen and phosphorus to the water, which will deplete the oxygen that fish and other aquatic life need to live. Pet waste can also contaminate the soil and water with harmful bacteria such as E.coli, salmonella and leptospirosis. No thank you! Reuse old grocery bags or bring biodegradable pet waste bags to protect the health of our water systems and planet.
Create a rain garden. Rain gardens are deliberate garden areas designed to capture and filter storm water before it has a chance to run off into our drains and water supply. The plants and soil in a rain garden help to filter pollutants, so these types of gardens are not only attractive, but highly functional as well. Win-win! Do some Internet research to find out more (like reading up on Plants That Clean Water), or contact a local landscape designer to help you create a rain garden on your property.
Get active and involved. If you still feel your home gardening efforts just aren’t significant enough, consider getting involved in your local development and environmental initiatives and ordinances. Issues like controlled burns/fires in watershed areas and proposed development in drought areas are important for us all, and worth getting being educated in. Encourage and motivate your neighbors and friends to learn more about these issues, and start participating in town lobby gatherings to continue the conversation. Your community leaders can’t know what’s important to you if you don’t tell them!