Do You Know Your Water Quality?

8/11/2014 10:24:22 AM

Water utilities in the U.S. treat nearly 34 billion gallons of water every day and Americans drink nearly one billion glasses of tap water daily! The next time you fill your glass, think about where your drinking water comes from.

Source water from streams, rivers, lakes and underground aquifers provides public drinking water and supplies private wells. Water utilities treat most drinking water before it enters your home, but the cost of treatment and risks to public health can be reduced by protecting our source waters from contamination.

Be aware of possible contaminants that can be in drinking water and how to check for water quality. (Juri Samsonov/iStock/Thinkstock)

August is National Water Quality Month, the perfect time to brush up on ways you can help protect drinking water sources. Simple actions at home can reduce the amounts of pollutants - like oil, trash, pet waste, fertilizers and pesticides - that enter our waters during the next storm.

- Use fertilizer and pesticide sparingly. Read the label and wait for dry weather to apply.

- Always pick up after your pet and throw the waste in a trash can.

- Keep trash out of streets and storm drains. Make sure trash cans have tight-fitting lids.

- Never dump household waste outside or in a storm drain. If you no longer need a product, take it to a local household hazardous waste collection program.

Want more information about drinking water and water quality where you live?

Credit: Earth Gauge

Find local drinking water quality information, including annual drinking water quality reports and state drinking water office contacts. EPA's publication Water on Tap: What You Need to Know provides detailed information about drinking water sources, treatment, safety and more.

Visit EPA's How's My Waterway for information about the condition of your local water body. Use a smart phone, tablet or computer to find out if your local stream or river is polluted and what's being done to address the problem.

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