How to Prevent Water Pollution: 12 Effective Methods
Concerned about water safety? Want to know how to prevent water pollution? Here are 12 methods to save our water.
An investigation by USA Today found that up to 63 million Americans have faced exposure to potentially unsafe water at least once over the past ten years — From the rural countryside of California to the boroughs of New York City to the inner city of Flint, Michigan.
Although the US enjoys some of the safest and cleanest water in the world, there have been numerous cases of water pollution, from industrial dumping to water-pipe deterioration, each of which can contribute to unsafe water.
The good news is that there are many things we all can do to prevent water pollution.
1. Dispose of Toxic Chemicals Correctly
You may not think twice about pouring toxic chemicals down the drain. Even the most eco-conscious people flush bleach down the toilet, right? Well, if enough of us do this, we could cause a more serious water-pollution issue.
Instructions on the chemical packaging or a quick internet search could tell you how to properly dispose of that particular chemical.
Also, did you know that you can recycle many toxic chemicals? Another internet search should tell you if your community has a recycling center.
2. Never Flush Medicines Down the Toilet
You have probably seen a label on the side of your medicines that warns you never to flush leftover pills down the toilet. And yet, many people don't listen to this advice.
It's been shown that up to 50 percent of the medicines that get flushed into the sewer system could escape the filters of treatment plants and end up in your drinking water. The best place to dispose of medications is to take them to disposal locations that your medical provider recommends.
3. Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is
Do you shop with water pollution in mind? Around 73 percent of millennials are happy to spend more on environmentally friendly products that are manufactured with non-toxic chemicals. Such products include household cleaning supplies, fertilizers, and pesticides.
While they may cost a little more than traditional products, you may find the effort to ensure you have cleaner, safer water a worthwhile one.
4. Avoid Phosphate Cleaning Products
Phosphate can end up in our water supply because it's often used to manufacture cleaning products such as detergents and dishwashing cleaner.
However, there are many phosphate-free cleaning products on the market, and if you'd like to stop using phosphates, simply look on the packaging for the following chemicals:
- Sodium tripolyphosphate
- Tetrapotassium pyrophosphate
- Trisodium phosphates
If you spot one or more of these, look for an alternative.
5. Don't Pour Fat and Grease Away
You know the fat that comes from cooking a pan of bacon or a pound of ground beef? You shouldn't pour this down the sink. Instead, throw any cooking oils, fats, and grease straight into the trash.
Excessive coagulations of fat and oil in the drain can cause water pipes to clog up and sewers to overflow. In fact, around 47 percent of 36,000 sewer overflows across the United States were caused by oil and fat poured down the drains.
6. Review Your Sump Pump
Does your home's basement have a sump pump? The purpose of this pump is to protect your home from water damage, but it could also be causing water pollution.
The device could be draining water away from your home's foundations into the local water pipes and flooding the clean water system with toxic chemicals and heavy metals.
It may be difficult to discover where your sump pump drains by yourself, so we recommend getting in touch with your local authority's pollution control unit.
7. Switch to Organic Ingredients
Around 30 percent of households in the United States eat organic foods for a variety of environmental and health reasons.
Organic fruits, vegetables, grains, meats, and dairy products are ostensibly produced without the toxic pesticides and chemicals that are used to produce non-organic foods. Switching to organic foods can help you do your part to reduce water pollution.
Remember, the foods you buy can have a significant environmental impact.
8. Eat Vegetarian Food
Up to 8 percent of Americans say that they're either vegan and vegetarian. Many people switch to vegetarian diets for animal welfare or health reasons, but there are also convincing environmental arguments as well.
A surprisingly high amount of water is required to produce the meat that ends up on your plate. Moreover, the antibiotics and waste caused by meat production can also negatively impact the water system.
The good news is that you don't need to totally eliminate meat from your diet to help protect your water supply. You can start by eating less meat and adding more vegetarian-friendly dishes more often.
9. Always Report People Polluting Water
Up to 63 percent of Americans feel concerned about water pollution. And concerns are only growing as pollution continues.
You may see instances of intentional water pollution in your community such as a neighbor pouring harmful chemicals down the drain or a local corporation not disposing of its trash properly.
When you spot a water polluter, report it to your local authority.
10. Support a Water Protection Group
If you're concerned about water pollution and environmental damage, you're not the only one. You could support the campaigns of environmental groups locally or nationally by donating money on a monthly or annual basis. Even a small amount can make a difference!
You can also volunteer during your free time. You never know what skills and experience you can contribute to the cause, and there are a wide range of activities that can help.
11. Use Less Plastic
Do you often feel as though plastic is everywhere? It is, and it's essential to our modern lifestyle. However, plastic waste can last for decades in water. Plus, the plastic can contain chemicals that pollute the water as well.
But, there are ways to reduce your plastic waste such as buying reusable grocery bags, cleaning and recycling your used plastic, and finding other uses for plastic bags and containers.
You could also go to the growing number of zero-waste stores popping up everywhere, which can significantly reduce your pollution impact.
12. Plant Lots of Trees
One research group found that planting one billion hectares of trees could fight climate change. However, planting trees can also help to reduce water pollution and other environmental problems.
If you have a backyard, you could plant trees throughout your garden. This will not only reduce water pollution, but will also improve the air you breathe and even make you happier.
If you don't have space in your yard, you could join a local group to help plant trees near where you live. You could also support the efforts of the search engine Ecosia to plant more trees around the world.
We at WaterZen encourage you to pick one or more of these methods to prevent water pollution. There are small changes everyone can make to improve the safety of our water and make a real difference.
We're here to help you drink well and live healthy. Get in touch with us.
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