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.
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.
Groundwater protection: Take the pledge
As the saying goes, “A journey...begins with a single step.” NGWA wants to help you to take the first step on your journey to protect groundwater. We challenge you to take this pledge:
I pledge to take one or more of the following actions to protect groundwater from contamination.
Properly store hazardous household substances* in secure containers
Mix hazardous household substances over concrete or asphalt where they can be cleaned up or absorbed
Dispose of hazardous household wastes at an appropriate waste disposal facility or drop-off
Do not put hazardous household wastes down the drain or in the toilet
Do not put any wastes down a dry or abandoned well
If I own a septic system, I will service it according to local health department recommendations
If I own a water well, I will get a yearly maintenance check to ensure sanitary seals are intact
Decommission abandoned wells on your property using a qualified water well contractor
Fix or replace any leaking aboveground or underground tanks storing hazardous substances.
* Examples of hazardous household substances are paints, paint thinners, petroleum products, fertilizers, herbicides, insecticides, and cleaning products.
There is something every person can do to conserve water. Americans are some of the largest users of water, per capita, in the world. In the United States, Americans use 79.6 billion gallons of groundwater every day — the equivalent of 2,923 12 oz. cans for every man, woman, and child in the nation.
Most surface water bodies such as lakes, rivers, and streams are connected to groundwater. So, whether your water supply comes from groundwater or surface water, conservation matters.
Almost three-quarters of water used inside the home occurs in the bathroom, with 41 percent used for toilet flushing and 33 percent for bathing. The remainder of indoor water use is divided between clothes washing and kitchen use, including dishwashing, according to the U.S. EPA.
Outdoor water use varies greatly across the country. For instance, in California, 44 percent of all household water use is outdoors, while in Pennsylvania only 7 percent is used outdoors.
Understanding where you use water most can provide hints on where the most water can be conserved.
Groundwater conservation: Take the pledge
As the saying goes, “A journey...begins with a single step.” NGWA wants to help you to take the first step on your journey to conserve groundwater. We challenge you to take the following pledge.
I pledge to take the following actions to protect groundwater from contamination.
Never pour water down the drain when there may be another use for it
Repair dripping faucets and toilets; one drop per second wastes 2,700 gallons a year
Retrofit household faucets by installing aerators with flow restrictors
Choose appliances that are water- and/or energy-efficient, such as low-flow toilets
Don't run a faucet when I'm not using the water, such as while brushing my teeth
Only run the dishwasher when it is fully loaded
Operate clothes washers only when they are full, or set the water level to match the load size
Plant native and/or drought-resistant grasses, ground cover, shrubs, and trees
Use a shutoff nozzle on the hose for car washing that can be adjusted to a fine spray
Avoid overwatering my lawn; a heavy rain eliminates the need to water for up to two weeks
Raise the mower blade to a higher level to hold soil moisture and strengthen the root system.
800 551.7379 (614 898.7791 outside the United States)
8 a.m.-5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday
fax 614 898.7786
PO Box 715435
Columbus, OH 43271-5435
National Ground Water Association
601 Dempsey Rd.
Westerville, OH 43081
(614 898.7791 outside the US)
fax 614 898.7786