Did you know that August is Water Quality month? Water is such a vital part of of our everyday lives. Do you ever think of how many times a day you use water? Below are great tips of everyday things that you can do to help with water quality!
Tip #1- Auto Maintenance
Did you know that by using commercial car washes, you can cut down on polluted stormwater runoff? This is because dirty water from commercial operations is properly redirected to water treatment facilities that remove pollutants from the water. If you do wash your car at home, be sure to park it on a grassy area or other permeated surface so that water can soak into the ground, which will filter out most pollutants.
Tip #2 – Lawn Fertilizers
The use of phosphorus-rich lawn fertilizers is a common source of water pollution. Runoff from lawns flows into stormwater drains, draining directly into rivers, lakes, and streams. Phosphorus stimulates excess algae growth, which eventually decays and deoxygenates the water, robbing fish of their oxygen supply. Choose a fertilizer blend with 0% phosphorus, the middle number in the 3-number series on the label (Nitrogen/Phosphorus/Potash) and apply it sparingly.
Tip #3 – Rain Barrels
Rain barrels are a simple and effective way to help prevent water pollution. One inch of rainfall falling on a 1,000 square foot roof will produce 600+ gallons of stormwater. Rain barrels can divert that excess water from municipal storm drains, in turn, protecting our local water bodies from runoff pollution.
Tip #4 – Paint
Paint and other household chemicals such as cleaners and pool sanitizers can have harmful effects on water quality. Proper disposal of these chemicals at Hazardous Waste Facilities reduces the risk of exposure to community water systems.
Tip #5 – Landscaping
Installing a rain garden is a great way to utilize areas of lawn to soak up excess rain. These gardens are typically planted with native vegetation and wildflowers, letting rainwater fill low areas with a few inches of water and slowly filter into the ground. This prevents about 30% of water runoff from entering stormwater drains and recharges groundwater.