Source water is the water in lakes, rivers, and aquifers from which we derive our drinking water. While the individual states regulate the quality of the water sources from the public, there is still so much more than individuals can do to ensure safer source water for everyone. If you have a personal well or septic tank that is not regulated, you need to directly know how to keep up and protect the water you are consuming on your own. The goal of water protection is to prevent the water sources in both a quantitative and qualitative way – and below are some ways in which you can help.
It is a fact that water is never really pure H2O. Water always has some kind of minerals or chemicals bound to it. Sometimes, these compounds come from nature, and other times the chemicals or minerals are a result of human toxic waste that are dangerous to consume. Even naturally present compounds in water have the capacity to be harmful to people. Things like metals, radioactive elements, and microorganisms can be found in water sources as a result of the water passing through the soil and rocks that are rich in those contaminants.
Most of the trouble with water comes from human contamination. Compounds leeched into the environment from industrial factories, agriculture, and urban environments can downgrade the quality of the water. Urban development, for example, cuts off the water from reaching the soil. Instead, water runs off the streets and has higher potential of coming into contact with trash and dangerous toxins.
Types of Water Pollution
Contamination for source water can come from a point source and a non-point source. Point source pollution comes from specific sources that are known. These can be Industrial discharges, landfills, abandoned mining sites, septic systems, or underground leakages.
Non-point pollution comes from sources that cannot be specifically located. These sources of pollution come from spilled pollutants over the land through which the water flows. These could be agricultural pollution, urban runoffs, petroleum products, and acid precipitation.
Steps Towards Protecting Water Sources
We know that water is very often mixed with other chemicals, many of which can be dangerous. So what can we do to protect our water sources and guarantee the purest water possible for our families and communities?
- Cut down on waste as much as you can. You can also reuse, recycle, and compost food products
- Dispose of chemical products such as cleaners, solvents, and others at a local hazardous waste disposal depot. Do not throw away these products in the trash or pour them down the drain
- Do not throw away your toilet paper in the toilet
- Dispose of pharmaceutical products at a designated health department or pharmacy container
- Use biodegradable products. You can always check the policies of the companies that you purchase products from to see what they do to protect the environment. Use certified biodegradable cleaning products, or make your own at home
- Wash your vehicle with biodegradable products. Take your car only to a wash that takes care that the chemical runoff does not enter the sewers
- Pick up after your pets, as their excretions eventually end up in the water
- Redirect rainwater caught by your gutter into a rain barrel to be used later for watering the yard
- Use non-chemical pest control alternatives
- Post up signs reminding people of the ways to prevent pollution of water in the area
- Join a community that collaborates in cleaning water sources
- Keep contamination sources, fertilizers, and pesticides away from your well
Protect Source Water
Source water depends on government policies and change in company politics regarding waste management. However, each one of us can take simple steps to minimize the impact made on the water that we depend on for life. Cleaner water means a brighter future towards which we can all contribute.