Ideas for Consumers
- Manage household hazardous waste properly (cleaners,
paints, vehicle fluids, fertilizers, pesticides, etc.) - Only purchase
what you need. Donate unused portions to friends or community
organizations. Recycle leftovers when possible. To find
recycling/disposal locations visit www.earth911.com or call
- Avoid dumping – Never put anything down the sink, toilet or storm drain as it can end up in drinking water sources. Dispose of cleaners, medicines, oil/grease, etc. properly.
- Clean up – Pick up after yourself and your pets. Use trash receptacles and recycle whenever possible. Pet waste can enter storm drains and spread bacteria.
- Use alternative products – Avoid using products that may contain harmful materials such as perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS); use cast iron or stainless-steel pots and pans instead of non-stick pots and pans.
- Find your source - Identify your source of water and check where you live and work relative to source water areas. An example tool that can be used to find this information in the U.S. is DWMAPS.
- Conserve water - Use water efficiently to ease the burden on water sources and save money. Repair leaks, use a rain barrel, install low flow devices to toilets and showers, wash full loads of laundry and dishes, etc. For more steps to save water visit https://www.epa.gov/watersense.
- Limit use of fertilizers and pesticides – Reduce the amount of materials used on your lawn or consider natural alternatives.
- Service your septic system – Have a professional inspect your septic system every 3 years and have it pumped every 3-5 years.
- Participate in volunteer activities - Attend events such as removing invasive plants and replanting natives, stormwater drain stenciling, rain barrel workshops, litter cleanups, etc. Watershed groups are often familiar with upcoming local events.
- If you see something, say something - Report any spills, illegal dumping, or suspicious activity to authorities.
• 10 ways to protect our water (cleanwateraction.org)
• Easy Things You Can Do To Protect Drinking Water Sources (US EPA)