Global Water Supply – Tips to Help Keep it Clean
Water is the most valuable resource on this Earth. Whether or not we realize it, our everyday actions as humans contribute to the pollution of our global water supply. What we put down our drains and flush down the toilet, what we throw on the ground, or even how we wash our cars – all of these activities eventually impact and degrade our global water supply.
Fortunately, there are a few ways we can change our habits at the individual level to reduce our impact.
Tips to Help Keep Our Global Water Supply Clean
Don’t treat your toilet like the trash can!
Never flush anything other than toilet paper down your toilet. Items such as paper towels, cotton balls, baby wipes and feminine hygiene products have a hard time breaking down in sewer or septic tanks and are likely to cause backups and overflows that can litter our beaches and waterways.
Minimize the toxic chemicals that go down the drain
Motor oil, paint, pesticides, cleaning supplies, the list goes on – these all contain harmful chemicals that could be detrimental if released into a fragile ecosystem. Waste treatment facilities are designed to remove a lot of contaminants from wastewater, however, not all hazardous chemicals are removed and will end up being dumped into our rivers, lakes and oceans. City centers have drop-off sites for toxic chemicals, where substances can be recycled or properly disposed. To find collection sites, search by product on Earth911 or contact your local facilities.
Dispose of pharmaceuticals correctly
There are two ways that pharmaceuticals make it into our waterways: excretion from our bodies after use, and improper disposal of leftover pills. Believe it or not, nearly one-third of the medications sold in the U.S. never get taken. A simple step to minimize the amount pharmaceuticals that make it into our drinking supply is to avoid flushing any leftovers pills or liquid meds down the toilet. Many cities have medicine take-back programs that collect unused medications and responsibly dispose of them.
Keep runoff minimal
When it rains, storm water carries debris and toxins down hard surfaces, like concrete streets, to storm drains and eventually waterways…so think twice before you throw trash or dump substances on the ground. Porous surfaces, such as gravel or paver stones, lessen the chance of foreign substances reaching a water source. Additionally, when washing your car, consider using a bucket instead of a hose to contain the water and reduce runoff.
For more information on our global water supply visit these resources.