Thursday, January 24, 2019

Penn State Extension: Great Time To Make Resolutions To Protect Water For The New Year

New year, fresh start! If you’re looking to make some positive changes for 2019, how you manage water resources are a great place to start!
-- Have your private well water tested: Nearly half of homeowners have never had their water tested. As a private well owner, it’s up to you to take action to have your water tested to be sure it meets drinking water standards.
-- Create a wellhead protection zone: The 100 foot radius around your well is the most critical and the most susceptible to immediate impacts to your water supply. Keep any potential pollutants out of this area – pesticides, fertilizers, pet waste etc.
-- Reduce stormwater impacts with best management practices: Install a rain barrel on a roof downspout. Consider permeable pavement for your sidewalk. Try landscaping practices like a rain garden for wet areas in your yard. All of these things can help reduce stormwater runoff to local waterways.
-- Decrease your use of unnecessary lawn chemicals: Consider more earth-friendly alternatives or just use less! Always follow the label and don’t over-apply to reduce runoff impacts to local waterways.
-- Pick up after your pet: Dog waste is a pollutant too! Not only does it introduce bacteria to our waterways, but it can contribute to nutrient overload causing overgrowth of algae and nuisance plants.
-- Pay attention to litter and anything you put on the ground: Paper waste, oil and gas from a leaky vehicle, yard waste and grass clippings – all of these things end up in storm drains and contribute to pollution of local waterways. Recycle whenever possible. If you wouldn’t drink it…don’t dump it!
-- Make a stormwater plan for your property: Look at areas on your property where runoff is causing erosion. Check streambanks that may be eroding or falling in. Are there changes you can make to redirect stormwater? Are there some best management practices that you can try?
-- Install water-saving devices in the home: Low-flow showerheads, faucet aerators and water-efficient appliances are all ways to reduce your water use and conserve resources. Everything doesn’t have to be replaced all at once, but when you do replace, consider more water-efficient choices.
For more information on drinking water and stormwater management, visit Penn State Extension’s Water Resources webpage.
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