If you keep up with current events, you probably know about the issues with water treatment and contamination across the United States.
In 2014, it was reported that the water in Flint, Michigan had dangerous levels of lead in the water resulting in many residents using bottled water for consumption and cleaning. In 2016, USA Today reported on the same issue in Ranger, Texas.
While these cases are recent and beyond our control as residents, there are some best practices that can be put into place to help reduce and prevent other types of water pollution and contamination. All water sources are vulnerable to pollution from chemical and debris runoff. As you might suspect, larger-populated areas are even more vulnerable. However, there are regulatory agencies that oversee the safety of one of our most valuable resources – water.
In 1972, the Clean Water Act (CWA) was expanded from the Federal Water Pollution Control Act of 1948. The CWA became law and gave the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the authority to implement pollution control programs. Unfortunately, even with these protections in place, water contamination continues to be a challenge among many communities. According to the Center for Environmental Finance (CEF), 15 million children under the age of five die each year because of diseases caused by drinking water. More than 40% of U.S. rivers and lakes are polluted and considered unsafe. And 80% of water pollution is caused by domestic sewage.
As residents and good community citizens, we can help by police ourselves by staying vigilant on what we pour down our drains. Signs can also help communicate what can be done to preserve our natural resources. Storm drain markers are specialty signs, usually placed on curbs, to increase the public’s awareness about water pollution prevention. Most communities are in need of volunteers, like you, to help place visual reminders of water contamination prevention throughout the city.
It’s up to all of us to do our part to help protect our natural resources.
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