At DiscountFilters.com, we strive to provide our customers with the tools to produce only the purest quality of drinking water in their homes. Although indoor water quality is important, there is a greater problem of great significance. Natural water sources such as lakes, rivers, and streams are susceptible of contamination from a wide variety of man-made contributions. August is National Water Quality Month, so it’s the perfect time to learn how small changes you can make around the home can help preserve the quality of the water in our lakes, rivers, and streams.
Don’t dump anything down storm drains.
Some people may think that they can dump hazardous wastes such as motor oil, household cleaners, antifreeze, and pesticides into their storm drains. They believe that these wastes will be carried to a sewage treatment facility. Here’s the thing: storm drains and sanitary sewers are not the same thing. A sanitary sewer takes household waste water then transports it to a waste water treatment facility where it is thoroughly treated before being placed back into a lake or stream. Storm drains transfer storm water directly to a stream or river.
Choose your lawn fertilizer wisely.
Fertilizer you put onto your lawn can run off during melting snow or a summer rainstorm and contaminate the water. Fertilizers that contain phosphorus can be particularly damaging to lakes, rivers, and bays. Phosphorus causes algae to grow out of control, turning our waters green, lowering water quality, and even killing fish. Typically, only new lawns require phosphorus for root growth, so choose a fertilizer that is phosphorus-free.
Buy non-toxic products
This one seems like a no-brainer. Water facilities are unable to remove many toxins found in common household goods. Make sure to try and buy non-toxic products and dispose of containers responsibly.
Don’t pour unused cleaners down the drain
Going along with the previous tip, many chemicals found in cleaners cannot be treated at the sewage plant and end up contaminating our lakes and rivers. The best and easiest option for dealing with cleaning products is to keep them and use them until they are depleted. If this is impossible, try giving them away. Try reading the label of the cleaner to find instructions for proper disposal and recycle plastic containers where possible.
Divert rain spouts onto grass or landscaping
By aiming your rain spouts onto grass, it will reduce water speed. The soil absorbs water and increases the time it takes for rainwater to enter the drain system. Water running on sidewalks and driveways to not allow runoff to seep back into the ground.
Take used motor oil to a disposal site
Motor oil can damage or kill underwater vegetation as well as aquatic life. To recycle your used oil properly, you can either take it to an oil change facility that accepts oil containers or to a household waste recycling facility near you. Just one gallon of used motor oil can contaminate 1 million gallons of water.
Don’t pour grease down sink drains
While it might not cause immediate damage to your pipes, the grease will harden in the sewer line and begin to build up. This restricts the capacity of the pipes and can even block the pipes completely. This leads to overflows of raw sewage into streets, basements, storm drains, and waterways.
Clean up after your pets
It is important to pick up and dispose properly of your pets’ waste. Oftentimes, dog and cat droppings can contain roundworms and other parasitic nematodes. Along with other forms of bacteria and oxygen-consuming materials, this waste can enter our waterways by being left out exposed to natural elements.
Take unused pharmaceuticals to a disposal center
When you pour unused pharmaceutical drugs down the drain, you are causing a lot of problems for the health of natural water sources. Water treatment facility plants are not equipped to remove pharmaceuticals from wastewater. These drugs end up in our lakes and rivers where they can then harm wildlife reproduction. To dispose of your unused pharmaceuticals responsibly, you can locate an authorized collector in your area. If there are no DEA-authorized collectors or medicine take-back programs in your area, you can also follow these simple steps to dispose of most medicines in the household trash:
- Mix medicines (do not crush tablets or capsules) with an unpalatable substance such as dirt, kitty litter, or used coffee grounds;
- Place the mixture in a container such as a sealed plastic bag;
- Throw the container in your household trash;
- Scratch out all personal information on the prescription label of your empty pill bottle or empty medicine packaging to make it unreadable, then dispose of the container
Plant native species in your garden.
By integrating native plants into your outdoor spaces, you can decrease water dependence, the need for fertilizer and pest control, and create a renewed sense of place for birds and other wildlife.
These are just a few of many steps you can take to help prevent the contamination of natural water sources. If more people make the choice to make these habit changes, we could see a dramatic revitalization of natural water sources, wildlife would be able to thrive, and we could enjoy the benefits of improved quality of natural water. This National Water Quality Month, I encourage my readers to try to do at least one of the above suggestions and continue reading articles this month dedicated to improving water quality. As always, buy discount water filters like the Ukf8001, MWF, ADQ36006101, EVOLFLTR10 or the DA29-00020B to remove impurities from your drinking water.