August is National Water Quality Month, which makes it the perfect time to look at what you can do to help improve your water quality. Before you start implementing these suggestions, though, you should look at where your water comes from and the quality of your local watershed.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency maintains a thorough database, called Surf Your Watershed. The database allows consumers to locate their local watershed based on zip code and then presents a variety of information specific to the watershed that feeds that zip code. One of the items listed is ‘Impaired Water for this watershed’ and that is where you can find out what toxins are prevalent in your area. Not surprising, one of the most prominent impairments in my watershed is copper. I live in Arizona, which is known as a copper mining state.
Now that you know more about your local watershed, it is time for you to take a few steps to help improve water quality.
1. Don’t flush unused medicine, contact your local pharmacy to inquire about safe medicine disposal programs.
2. Appropriately dispose of hazardous household waste including compact fluorescent light bulbs, automotive fluids and electronics.
3. Don’t pour grease down the drain, it can clog the pipes and lead to blocked drains and ultimately sewer overflows.
4. Use native species in landscaping projects. This isn’t just good for water quality, but is also an important part of a water-friendly yard.
5. Don’t put anything in storm drains, including grass and tree clippings.
6. Use a rain catchment system to reduce runoff or direct your storm gutters to empty onto grass or plants.
7. Choose appropriate lawn and garden fertilizers, consult a local gardening expert for more advice.
8. Pick up and properly dispose of pet waste, if you don’t it will ultimately find its way into storm drains.
9. Properly maintain septic tanks to prevent leaks or overflows.
Have you taken the time to research your local watershed and take measures to improve water quality in your community?
This content was created by SC Johnson and originally appeared on their website here: