Congress passes laws to combat water pollution, but bureaucracy cannot solve the whole problem. Protecting water resources is the responsibility of every water user. You can help in many ways:
• Get familiar with local water resources. You can learn safe ways to dispose harmful household wastes, so they won’t end up in sewage treatment plants that cannot handle them or in landfills not designed to receive hazardous materials.
• Preserve existing trees and shrubs. You can keep your property attractive by planting new greenery. This prevents soil erosion and reduces run-off because the soil retains water longer.
• Try to limit chemical fertilizers, pesticides and chemical weed-killers in your yard. There are readily available, eco-friendly alternatives such as grass clippings and biodegradable pesticides and weed-killers.
• Avoid purchasing heavily packaged products in cartons, boxes, bottles, etc. Their polluting dyes seep into groundwater in landfills.
• Recycle to reduce trash at municipal landfills.
• Conserve water by turning off the tap while brushing your teeth, taking quicker showers, and flushing toilets less often.
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by Felicia C. Daniels,
Hearts & Minds intern