National Water Quality Month is dedicated to making the most of the relatively small amount of fresh water we have, because having clean water is vital to our individual health, our collective agricultural needs, and the needs of our environment. Just try to imagine what life would be like without easy access to clean water. There would be no fountains to quench your thirst when you’re out on a hot day. No more pools, and no more lakes and rivers clean enough for recreational activities. No more hour long showers. No more drinking water straight from the tap, or even filtering it through your Brita. No more running water in your house, period. In short, our lives would be totally different, and not for the better.
National Water quality month reminds us to take a moment to consider how important these water sources are not just to humans, but also to the other 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. By thinking about the little things that you do on a daily basis that could have a negative effect on water quality, you’ll be one step closer to making a difference.
There are easily thousands of factors that can have a negative impact on the quality of your local water sources ranging from industrial pollutants like metal particulate, oils, and other chemicals to the pesticides we use in our own backyards.
There are 4 major sources of freshwater pollution: Dumping industrial effluents When companies that own manufacturing factories don’t uphold strict policies for their disposal of industrial effluents, they are effectively polluting their local waterways. Agricultural runoff Fertilizer runoff from commercial farms into the waters cause excess algae growth which suffocates fish and other aquatic life. Leakage of untreated waste Without regular maintenance, public infrastructure like our sewage systems fall into states of disrepair, letting untreated or inadequately treated municipal sewage leak into our groundwater and surface water, especially in developing countries. Products and chemicals used at home Even the pesticides that we use on our backyards, outdoor recreation centers, and golf courses pose a serious threat of contamination to our lakes, rivers, and aquifers.
The Women's Club of Pittsford is a member of GFWC New York, which is a member of the Middle Atlantic Region. MAR includes New York, Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. MAR is one of eight GFWC Regions.