National Groundwater Awareness Week is an annual occurrence sponsored by the National Ground Water Association (NGWA). During National Groundwater Awareness Week, NGWA aims to educate the public on the importance of groundwater and of preserving this precious resource. Many companies in the water industry, including Tata & Howard, support NGWA to help spread the word about groundwater.
All About Groundwater
Life as we know it would be impossible without groundwater, or the water that fills cracks, voids, and other openings in soil, sand, and bedrock. About 99% of the available freshwater on Earth is groundwater. Because of this, it is the world’s most extracted natural resource, at the rate of about 259 trillion gallons per year, with about 60% of that withdrawal going towards agriculture. Groundwater also supports our world’s ecosystems. People with wells use groundwater for drinking water, and most groundwater flows directly into streams, rivers, and lakes from beneath.
Do Your Part!
- If you own a private water well, have your water tested annually or if there is a change in the odor, taste, or smell.
- Don’t overapply pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers. Use them only in the lowest recommended amounts. Better yet, try organic gardening and lawn care.
- Don’t dispose of any hazardous substances by dumping them on the ground, pouring them down the drain, or flushing them down the toilet.
- Contact local waste authorities about proper disposal of hazardous substances such as pesticides, herbicides, paint and paint thinner, antifreeze, fertilizer, oil, PPCPs and EDCs, or other chemicals.
- Only handle hazardous substances over cement or pavement to avoid groundwater infiltration or runoff into surface water from accidental spills.
- If you own a septic tank, have it inspected and serviced regularly to ensure that it is functioning properly and to prevent a breakdown that could pollute groundwater.
- Decommission abandoned wells on your property using a qualified water well contractor.
- Fix or replace any leaking aboveground or underground tanks (USTs) storing hazardous substances.
- Don’t wash your car at home where the contaminated water runs back into the ground; rather take it to a certified car wash where proper wastewater management is required.
Groundwater is essential to human life and a healthy environment. Not only is it imperative that we protect groundwater from contamination by chemicals and waste, but it is also important to remember to conserve water wherever we can. Groundwater sources are being withdrawn at a faster rate than they are being replenished, and we cannot continue to utilize our world’s most precious resource with such abandon. Help NGWA spread the word during National Groundwater Awareness Week to ensure we all remember to do our part.