Next Tuesday is National Protect Your Groundwater Day!

PROTECT YOUR GROUNDWATER DAY: A call to protect public health and the environment

 

The Eaton Conservation District and the Michigan Water Stewardship Program join the National Ground Water Association (NGWA) in encouraging the citizens of Michigan to protect public health and the health of the environment by protecting groundwater beginning on Protect Your Groundwater Day, September 10.

 

In Michigan, 2,910,000 residents rely on individual household water wells while another 1,675,765 residents rely on public water supplies that use groundwater in all or part.

 

For household water well owners, how they manage their well systems and property can make a difference in their water quality. People who do not use household wells also can make a difference in groundwater quality, for instance, by how they store, use, and dispose of hazardous household substances, or how well they maintain their septic systems.

 

Additionally, with drought gripping much of the United States, protecting groundwater through conservation is more important than ever.

 

Protect Your Groundwater Day is an occasion for every citizen to ACT: Acknowledge the issue, Consider how it applies to you, then take Action. Here are some action steps individuals can take courtesy of the NGWA:

 

1. Acknowledge the causes of preventable groundwater contamination

• Everyone

o There are hazardous substances common to households

o Most household water use occurs in a few areas around the home.

• If you own a water well

o Wellheads should be a safe distance from potential contamination

o Septic system malfunctions can pollute groundwater

o Poorly constructed or maintained wells can facilitate contamination

o Improperly abandoned wells can lead to groundwater contamination (read related article).

 

2. Consider which apply to you

 

• Everyone

o What specific hazardous substances are in and around your home?

o Where do you and your family use the most water?

• If you own a water well

o Is your wellhead a safe distance from possible contamination?

o Is your well/septic system due for an inspection?

o Are there any abandoned wells on your property?

 

3. Take action to prevent groundwater contamination

• Everyone

When it comes to water conservation:

o Modify your water use (more water saving tips)

o Install a water-saving device.

When it comes to hazardous household substances:

o Store them properly in a secure place

o Use them according to the manufacturer’s recommendations

o Dispose of them safely.

• If you own a water well

o Move possible contamination sources a safe distance from the wellhead

o Get current on your septic system inspection and cleaning

o Get an annual water well system inspection

o Properly decommission any abandoned wells using a professional.

 

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