Although you probably know how to conserve water, often people are unclear how to protect the water we already have. There are many sources of groundwater that are unusable due to pollution. Although soil has some ability to filter chemicals before it reaches water sources, many pollutants can still harm the water you drink. Follow these easy tips to protect the water around you for use later on.
Protect the water supply by using the proper amount of fertilizer for your lawn and garden. Over watering of your lawn can wash away fertilizer off your lawn and into storm drains, so be sure you are watering in short amounts throughout the day. Also make sure you are not overusing fertilizer. Rain can carry this fertilizer through town drainage systems and into a nearby lake.
Also make sure that when you are doing other lawn work, such as mowing or raking leaves, that you properly dispose of the waste. Although washing a few leaves down the storm drain may seem harmless, these leaves as they decompose can add harmful chemicals to the water supply. Bag organic waste and dispose of it properly, or consider beginning a modest compost pile to use the waste as free organic fertilizer.
Resist pouring paint, oil, or other chemicals down the drain in your sink. Not only can some of these chemicals harm your pipes, but they can also harm the water supply. Instead, dispose of these items using the instructions on the label. Call your local waste management center; they should have a place where you can bring hazardous materials for disposal.
Careful treatment of a pool or spa can help the impact this feature has on the environment. During the winter, when your pool is not in use, be sure to drain it to prevent stagnant water. Do not drain the used water into storm drains or into your yard, this is a harmful manner of polluting and often illegal. Instead, make sure to drain your pool into the sewer portal for your home. If you are unsure how to do this or where your sewer drain is, call a pool service company to do this maintenance for the first time.
When your pool is full, keep it covered. This will prevent leaves and insects from polluting the pool, but will also prevent evaporation. In areas where there are great amounts of evaporation, like the southwest, many towns offer rebates and discounts for pool covers. Call your local government to find out if they have such a program.
If you have dogs, pick up after them regularly. Bacteria present in animal stool can work its way into the water supply. Cleaning up after your dog is a common courtesy as well. Try to pick up waste in your yard regularly as well.
If your water is hard and you are considering a softener, make sure it does not use heavy amounts of sodium. Water softeners that use high amounts of sodium in turn release this into the water supply, which can damage wildlife and almost always must be filtered out. Instead, look for a salt free system or a potassium based water softener. Both of these options are comparable in price and just as effective.
Almost all of these tips are completely free and require no extra time out of your day. The important thing is to be aware of small actions you can change to help your local water supply. Follow these tips and look for others offered by your local water authority. They will be glad that you want to help.