Thursday, March 3, 2016

Groundwater Awareness is Important to You!

by Cliff Treyens, Director of General Public Outreach, National Groundwater Association

National Groundwater Awareness Week is March 6-12, 2016. Now well into its second decade, Groundwater Awareness Week spotlights one of the world’s most important resources — groundwater.

Who should be “aware” of groundwater? Quite simply, everyone.
Groundwater is essential to the health and well-being of humanity and the environment. Whether you’re on a public water system or a private well, whether you are a health care official, policymaker, regulator, an environmentalist or a groundwater professional, you can get involved in protecting this vital resource.

Groundwater Awareness Week is a great opportunity to raise awareness in your community about the importance of groundwater to all of us. Even if we don't have a water well ourselves, groundwater is an integral part of life on Earth.

Forty-four percent of the American population depends on groundwater for its drinking water supply — reason enough to act to protect groundwater. Another reason is that contaminated groundwater can harm the environment, including the ecosystems that depend on groundwater.

All people by their living habits can protect or harm groundwater — our nation and the world's most abundant freshwater supply. The first step toward protecting groundwater is to become aware of how it can be contaminated. The second step is to do your part to keep from contaminating groundwater. 

We challenge you to take this pledge:
I pledge to take one or more of the following actions to protect groundwater from contamination.
  1. Properly store hazardous household substances* in secure containers
  2. Mix hazardous household substances over concrete or asphalt where they can be cleaned up or absorbed
  3. Dispose of hazardous household wastes at an appropriate waste disposal facility or drop-off
  4. Do not put hazardous household wastes down the drain or in the toilet
  5. Do not put any wastes down a dry or abandoned well
  6. If I own a septic system, I will service it according to local health department recommendations
  7. If I own a water well, I will get a yearly maintenance check to ensure sanitary seals are intact
  8. Decommission abandoned wells on your property using a qualified water well contractor
  9. Fix or replace any leaking aboveground or underground tanks storing hazardous substances.
For more information about National Groundwater Awareness Week, please visit NGWA's website

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