Friday, January 25, 2019

BLOG: Groundwater Fly-In

If you don't speak up for groundwater, who will?

Let your voice be heard and take advantage of the opportunity to talk with elected officials in Washington about groundwater issues at the 2019 NGWA Groundwater Fly-In and Water Resources Congressional Summit March 5-6, 2019.

Working together with the Irrigation Association and the Water Quality Association, the Fly-In will increase the water industry's profile on Capitol Hill regarding the availability, quality, and safety of our nation's water resources. It will help make members of Congress aware of the important role groundwater plays in providing drinking water, supporting agriculture, and fueling various sectors of the economy.

The current government shutdown shouldn't have an impact on the Fly-In, as Congress is still in session each week so meetings with congressional delegations will go on as scheduled. If the shutdown remains ongoing or begins again, the agenda for the policy briefing could be affected as officials from the administration are invited.

This year's groundwater focus topics include:

  • Obtaining federal support for the detection and remediation of PFAS contamination
  • Increasing efforts to promote groundwater recharge
  • Bolstering support for drinking water infrastructure improvement.
The Fly-In will open on March 5 with a keynote luncheon, followed by congressional and policy speakers, an NGWA policy briefing, and a reception. On March 6, the day will start with an informal breakfast, then meetings on Capitol Hill throughout the day (the schedule for meetings will vary based on congressional availability), closing with an optional happy hour with Fly-In participants.

Make sure your voice is heard - register today!

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

It's Water-Wise Wednesdays with Frannie the Fish! {Level Up Your Sustainability in the Shower}

Last week, Frannie challenged you to take shorter showers: only 5 minutes, in fact.  But did you know that there are many other ways you can up your sustainability game just in your shower or bathtub? 

Here are a few unique ways you might not know about:

1. No one likes to step foot in a cold shower. While you wait for the water to get hot, put a bucket under the faucet or showerhead.  Instead of letting that water run down the drain, you can use it to water your garden or household plants!

2. Consider replacing an old showerhead with a WaterSense showerhead. The WaterSense label means that the showerhead uses 20% less water per minute than a standard showerhead but is just as comfortable and works just as well at washing you off. 

3. Stop the clock! No, don’t literally stop the clock, but consider turning the shower off when you’re lathering up or waiting for the recommended amount of time on your conditioner bottle. Think of this as the next level of turning off the faucet when you brush your teeth.

4. Reuse the captured water from the beginning of your shower or plug the sink and gather a small amount in the bottom to rinse off your razor. By using a small amount of water instead of running water, you can shave gallons off your monthly water bill (excuse the pun).

5. Replace some of your bath products with natural or biodegradable substitutes. Not only will you feel good about taking steps to protect your water quality, but many popular organic and biodegradable soaps and shampoos contain aloe or coconut oil to leave your skin feeling soft and clean.

Frannie wants you to try to level up this week by using one or more of these tips. Let her know how the challenge is going on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter!

Good luck!

Thursday, January 10, 2019

BLOG: Seven Ways to Maintain Your Private Well

by Jennifer Wemhoff, Groundwater Foundation

Well maintenance is an important part of protecting groundwater. For a private well owner, understanding and practicing the basics of regular well maintenance can reduce the risks to the water supply as well as money by preventing costly maintenance issues.

Here are seven ways to maintain your well:

1. Never try to service your own well.
It's always best to contact a professional water well contractor - they use specialized equipment, materials, and techniques to keep your water safe and well system up and running. A homeowner who attempts to service their well in some way may accidentally introduce contamination into the well, drop objects into the well, or cause damage to the pump. It's always a best practice to use a professional!

2. Regular maintenance costs less.
It's much better to catch and address a small issue with a well system early before it turns into a much larger and much more expensive issue.

3. Learn what a well check-up or service should include.
A well maintenance check should include a flow test to determine system output (along with a check of the well's water level before and during pumping, pump motor performance, and general water quality), an inspection of the well equipment, and a test of the water for bacteria and nitrates (and any other potential contaminant of local concern). You should also receive a written report detailing the check-up that explains results, recommendations, and test results.

4. Maintain your well on an ongoing basis.
Check out this Homeowner Checklist from for ways you can protect your well and groundwater every day - doing things like keeping chemicals far away from your well, sloping the ground away from your well for drainage when landscaping, and keeping your well records in a safe place.

5. Use qualified professionals.
When your well needs attention or inspection, find a qualified professional to do the job. Use this handy tool to find a certified contractor near you.

6. Ask questions and understand the problem.
Don't be afraid to ask questions of the well contractor. It's their job to help you understand what's going on and help you find ways to correct the issue. You'll get a better understanding of how your well system works and what happened to cause the problem in the first place.

7. Find old, unused wells on your property.
Abandoned wells should be properly sealed by a professional - not only do they provide a direct pathway for contaminants to enter an aquifer, they're also a safety issue, particularly abandoned hand-dug wells that are large enough to fall into. Find out more about old, unused wells.

Find out more about wells and well maintenance, and remember that maintaining a private well is the well owner's job!

Adapted from

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

It's Water-Wise Wednesdays with Frannie the Fish! {5 Minute Shower Challenge}

Frannie knows how important it is to save water every day, so she limits herself to a 5 minute shower. A quick shower uses 20-30 fewer gallons of water than taking a bath or a 10 minute shower!

Frannie wants YOU to take the 5 Minute Shower Challenge. It's easy! Just follow these directions:

  • Take a timer and set it for 5 minutes. 
  • Make sure you are finished with your shower when the timer goes off. 
  • Use the 30by30 mobile application, available on Android and iOS platforms, or start a journal to track how much water you have saved!
  • Challenge your family members to do the same. Encourage your family to use the 30by30 app to track how much water your entire family has saved!
  • Share the results of your 5 minute challenge with us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. We'd love to see how much water you've saved!