How are you celebrating Water Quality Month?

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August is National Water Quality Month, a time to celebrate — and appreciate — the role that clean, drinkable water plays in our lives.

We’ve compiled a list of 9 things that you can do show your appreciation for, and commitment to, clean water. But don’t just do them this month: Every month should be Water Quality Month!

  1. Skip soaps and other cleaners labeled “antibacterial.” They contain chemicals that,
    the water cycle

    Teach children about the water cycle. Click on this image for a larger version. Image courtesy USGS.

    among other things, are known to disrupt hormones. In fact, the FDA banned one chemical, triclosan, from use in soaps — but it still shows up in other products, including personal care products and home cleaning solutions.

  2. Dispose of unwanted and unused medications properly, not by flushing them down the drain.
  3. Eliminate or reduce your use of fertilizers in the lawn and garden, and swap out pesticides for natural options.
  4. Pick up after your pets so that their waste doesn’t get carried into waterways and storm drains.
  5. Make sure that only water is going down storm drains: oil, antifreeze and other chemicals will go straight into waterways. (this also means you should ensure any leaks in your vehicle are fixed).
  6. Wash your car at the car wash, not in the driveway, where dirt and chemicals can also go into the storm drain.
  7. Organize a clean-up event: Gather a group and volunteer to clean up along a spring, stream, creek, pond or lake.
  8. Don’t litter. This includes cigarette butts, which cause multiple problems when they get into the water system.
  9. Teach children about the water cycle. Every drop of water we see has been here before!