Here at WATER MANAGEMENT CONSULTANTS our emphasis is on industry and and how to minimize its impact on the environment. We plan on covering many other loosely related topics as well, though, including the role the Internet and social media and networking can play in advancing environmental causes.
They say we often don’t appreciate something until it’s gone. That’s certainly the case with clean water. Cliff Treyens of the National Ground Water Association talks to AFBF’s Johnna Miller about how to protect this valuable resource.
Groundwater is the most abundant supply of available fresh water in the world. 95 percent of available fresh water is actually in the ground in aquifers. This is particularly important in rural areas in the U.S. where as many as 90 percent of the households are on private household wells. So protecting that resource is really helping to reduce the risk to the water supply that people depend on.
“There are many things people can do to significantly reduce their water use. For instance, when you turn on the water in the shower and wait for the water to get hot, you could put a bucket under there, capture that water and water plants with it. You can get high-efficiency toilets that use half the amount of water that a conventional toilet uses. I have two rain barrels at my house and we use them in the summer watering the garden. If you do these things over the course of a year you could literally save thousands and thousands of gallons of water. One more example, a dripping faucet over the course of a year could use over 1,200 gallons of water just down the drain.”
Treyens says it’s also important that people don’t pollute the water by improperly disposing of household chemicals like paint thinner and pesticides. He also recommends having your water tested annually for bacteria, nitrates and anything of local concern and your system checked by a trained contractor.
“Water well systems are out of sight, out of mind in a sense because most of it’s underground and so people just don’t think about it until it breaks. We emphasize several things. One is that existing water well systems, you ought to have inspected by a qualified water well contractor once a year. It’s not unlike taking your car to the shop for a maintenance inspection. It just makes sense to have it looked at periodically to make sure everything is in good working order. It’s like preventive medicine. The money you spend to get it inspected and fix things when they’re fixable, in the long run is going to be less expensive than if you ignore it and have a catastrophic breakdown of your system.”
“One is to keep contaminants away from that resource. So this could mean things like properly storing, using and disposing of hazardous household waste. Hazardous household waste can be anything from pesticides and fertilizers to cleaning products, paints, paint thinner, used motor oil. These are all things that we want to store properly, use properly and then dispose of properly. The other part of groundwater protection is wise use of ground water. Basically don’t waste it. It’s a precious resource.”