Maybe you consider yourself somewhat of an environmentalist. You recycle bottles, cans, and newspapers, religiously reuse the plastic grocery bags you accumulate, and you never, ever litter. Those are all great places to start, but have you considered the ways you may be polluting your water supply? Believe it or not, even the most well-meaning naturalists sometimes make these mistakes, all of which have the potential to contaminate our most precious resource:
- Don’t flush medications or pour them down the drain! This doesn’t mean that you have to keep them indefinitely or throw them in the garbage where they could be retrieved and misused, though. Many hospitals, pharmacies, and police stations offer medication take-back programs that safely dispose of these potentially harmful chemicals.
- If pesticides and fertilizers are necessary, distribute responsibly. Even if you’re using organic products, runoff from rain water can send these chemicals into local water systems where they are NOT a natural part of the ecosystem. Use as little product as possible and avoid spreading them when rain is expected.
- Clean up after your pets! Who cares? It’s YOUR yard, right? True, but the bacteria found in pet feces seeps into groundwater, storm drains, and other water supplies. If you don’t have pet waste disposal bags handy, this is a great way to reuse plastic grocery bags or the bags that cover your morning paper.
- Avoid pouring household cleaners down the drain. Think about it: If a cleaning product can literally dissolve mineral deposits, do you want it in your water supply? If it can sanitize an entire swimming pool, do you want your kids drinking it? Check your local waste management website to find out which days they collect hazardous waste. If the answers you search for are nebulous, try searching Earth911 to find out where you can dispose of these chemicals.
- Remember that the toilet is not a trash can.Those baby wipes, oil blotting papers, and threads of dental floss may seem harmless, but they’re not. These and other non-flushable items not only muck up the water decontamination process, but they are also often the causes of major plumbing mishaps. To avoid temptation, place a garbage can next to your toilet so you can put trash in its proper place.
A SpringWell Whole-House Water Filtration System can go a long way in providing your family with safe, great-tasting water. Still, we must all do our parts for those who don’t have the benefit of a filtration system and, instead, rely on local water sanitation facilities to keep them safe.