August is National Water Quality Month. Here are 8 things you can do at home to protect your water

Can you imagine what life would be like without easy access to clean water?
National Water Quality Month reminds us to take a moment to consider how important water sources are not just to humans, but also to the inhabitants of these ecosystems - whether it be the fish that live in the waters or the plants and animals that rely on these lakes and rivers for water just like we do.
The history of National Water Quality Month originally dates back to two U.S. congressional acts that were passed in the early 1970s in an effort to protect our water sources - the Clean Water Act that was passed in 1972, and the Safe Drinking Water Act passed in 1974.
Here are some things you can do to protect water:

1. Community organizations

Organize stream cleanups, plant trees to prevent erosion, monitor water quality, adopt a watershed and start a monthly beach cleaning club.

2. Wash your car at a car wash

Even though it might cost more than washing your car at home, taking your car to a car wash saves water and prevents toxic chemicals from being flushed down your storm drains that eventually empty into our lakes, rivers, streams, and oceans. Professional car washes are legally required to drain into sewer systems so that the water can be treated before being re-used.

3. Pick up after your pet

Animal waste is full of nitrogen which can remove oxygen from the water leaving it completely unusable for aquatic life.

4. Around the home

Installing a rain barrel will not only save you money, but can also be used for watering your lawn or washing your car. Don’t hose down your driveway, use a broom. This will help you conserve water. Here are some more tips to conserve water and save money.

5. Don’t use fertilizer made with phosphorus

After heavy rainfall or watering, these chemicals can leak into nearby groundwater sources. Try using organic materials or waiting for drier weather if you absolutely need to use lawn care products.

6. Do not flush expired or unwanted medication down the toilet

These products have toxic chemicals that should not be flushed down the drain.

7. Oil or antifreeze

Take used oil or antifreeze to a service station or recycling center.

8. Antibacterial soaps and cleaning products

Avoid using antibacterial soaps or cleaning products in your drain as they are also toxic to marine life.