With all the attention surrounding the quality of the water at the Rio Olympics, it's interesting that the United States is also celebrating National Water Quality Month.
Now is a good time to educate yourself, and to understand where your source water comes from. Knowledge is key to helping to protect our water quality.
Water that goes into your home comes from one of two places – either it comes from surface water (lakes, rivers, reservoirs) or from groundwater. It’s important to know your water source because protecting it from contamination like pollution and trash can help the quality of water that comes into your home. In most of San Antonio, our water comes from the Edwards, Carrizo and Trinity aquifers, and in some areas, surface water from Canyon Lake and Lake Dunlap.
San Antonio Water Systems hosts an interactive map on their site. By clicking on your home area, you can pull up a full report of the water quality in your home.
And though all water contains some contaminants, there are lots of ways we can help our water stay clean - and get cleaner.
Make an effort to keep your water sources clean
Use non-toxic house products.
Do not dumb anything other than water down storm drains.
Do not flushing medication down the toilet or sink.
Fix leaks that drop from cars and putting liners in driveways to collect oil and other materials
Don’t over-water your lawn. Over-watering can increase the flow of fertilizers deep into soils and eventually groundwater supplies, which are an important drinking water source. Walk on your lawn to find out if it is thirsty – if your footprints remain, it is time to water.
Wait for dry weather. Check the forecast before applying fertilizers, pesticides and other lawn care chemicals.
Pick up trash and pet waste. Make sure your trash always goes in the trash can or recycle bin. Put pet waste in the trash or flush it down the toilet. When walking your dog, try to stay away from streams and other waterways. Walk your pet in grassy areas instead.
Use rain barrels. Rain barrels are a great way to catch rain water off running off of your roof. Instead of flowing to the storm drain, the water collected can be used to water garden plants or wash windows and cars. Be sure to check local regulations before installing a rain barrel – some areas have laws that prohibit them.
Take steps toward cleaning up waterways in your community and conserving water in your home. The J.M. Smucker Company and its Adams, Laura Scudder’s and Smucker’s Natural Peanut Butter brands are working with NPCA to encourage actions such as picking up litter along the waterline on your next hike at a park. Just tell us how you’ll make a natural difference when you visit Make a Natural Difference online and they’ll donate $1* to NPCA.