The Environmental Protection Agency chose August as National Water Quality Month, a time to reflect on water quality around the world. Here in the Grand Valley we have four domestic water providers; the City of Grand Junction, Clifton Water District, the Town of Palisade and Ute Water Conservancy District. Clifton Water District relies on the Colorado River for their source water (water prior to being treated). The remaining three agencies rely on the snowpack on the Grand Mesa. Their source water is stored in high mountain reservoirs prior to arriving at our treatment facilities, making our customers the first users of the water. Grand Valley Water Providers take a precautious effort in protecting our source water from the various possible contaminates. Consumers can review a full list of possible contaminates by downloading their water providers Source Water Assessment Report.
Here Are 10 Ways You Can Protect Our Water!
Each of us has an impact on our local water supplies, both in terms of water quality and the amount of water we use in times of drought. Here are 10 things you can do to help protect our water quality and 10 tips to conserve water. By taking these actions, you can help ensure that we have enough water to meet the needs of generations to come.
1. Don’t use antibacterial soaps or cleaning products.
Most of these contain trichlosan, a registered pesticide that has been found to harm aquatic life. The American Medical Association warns that our use of antibacterial agents may lead to “superbugs” that will be antibiotic resistant. Regular soap and water kills germs just as effectively.
2. Never flush unwanted or out-of-date medicines down the toilet or the drain.
Mesa County has a prescription take-back program where you can discard your unwanted or expired prescription drugs.
3. Don’t put anything except water down storm drains.
These drains carry storm water to our local waterway, the Colorado River. Used motor oil, detergents, lawn fertilizers, pesticides, and other contaminants get carried by stormwater to local waterways and cause unnecessary harm.
4. Fix leaks that drip from your car and put down a liner in your driveway to collect oil and other materials.
These leaks and drips contribute to stormwater pollution.
5. Avoid using pesticides or chemical fertilizers.
They pose a serious threat to your health and safety and they pollute both ground and surface water.
The best way to keep from polluting is to use products that are not dangerous to the environment in the first place. For some suggestions of such alternatives, go to www.homesafe-home.org.
7. Pick up after your pets.
Like other contaminants, pet waste can run down the storm drains, spreading bacteria.
8. Don’t pave your property.
The more pavement there is, the more rain water will simply run off down the storm drains, picking up pollutants on the way and causing flooding. Allowing water to soak into the ground can prevent flooding, recharge groundwater supplies, and dilute contaminants. Planting native plants that do not require much water also helps save our precious supplies.
9. Spread the word and be a water advocate.
Talk to your neighbors about how they can help too, and work with your local elected officials to ensure that pesticides, antibacterials, and other toxic chemicals are not used at schools, local parks, and other public areas. Attend your local water district meeting and tell your political leaders and water agencies to support local, state, and national policies that conserve water and stop pollution.
10. Keep informed.
Make sure you receive your annual drinking water quality report from your water provider (also known as a Consumer Confidence Report). You can download the Consumer Confidence Report by visiting your local water providers website.