Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Ground-Water Awareness Week 11-17 March

Sure, I can give this event a plug. People growing up in urban areas may not give much thought to the source of their water, other than that it's provided by the water company. But in many areas homes are supplied by their own individual wells, and for some of these people the reliability of their water supply is a very serious issue. The National Ground Water Association is sponsoring a week to encourage people to be more aware of this resource and is providing tips and information on ground-water conservation.

From the NGWA:
Ground Water and Wells: America's Lifeline

If you have a household water well, you depend on ground water for your water supply. If you don't have a water well, you still depend on ground water in many ways.

Whether you are a well owner or not, here are some things you should know about ground water from the National Ground Water Association.

Ground water makes up more than 90 percent of the available fresh water in the world. Because it is so widespread, nearly half of Americans rely on ground water, either from private wells ore community water systems. Not only that, ground water supplies 58 billion gallons a day of water for agricultural irrigation. It also feeds 492 billion gallons a day to surface water bodies such as rivers, lakes and streams.

If you own a well, get an annual well maintenance check and water test. Private well owners are responsible for making sure their water supply is safe, so regular maintenance and water testing for nitrates and anything else of local concern is important.

If you don't own a well, you still have a responsibility to protect ground water. Improper storage or disposal of hazardous household substances can pollute ground water. These include herbicides and pesticides, antifreeze, fertilizer, paint and paint thinner, oil and chemicals. What you dump on the ground, pour down the drain or throw in the trash could end up in the ground water. Store hazardous household substances in secure places using proper containers. If possible, dispose of such substances at hazardous waste drop-off sites.

Use water wisely, whether you own a well or not. There is no shortage of ground water nationally, but demand on a local or regional basis can create water scarcity. It only makes sense not to waste water. Consider:
  • Fixing leaky toilets or faucets to save thousands of gallons of water a year.
  • Using water efficient appliances
  • Using low-flow shower heads
  • Watering the lawn or garden, not the sidewalk or street.
  • Running the dishwasher only when it's full.
You can probably think of dozens of other ways to conserve water.

Learn about well maintenance, water testing, ground water protection and conservation by talking with a qualified ground water professional or going to the National Ground Water Association Web site, Wellowner.org at www.wellowner.org.

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