Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Protect Your Groundwater Day

Nearly 2/3 of Maine people get their drinking water from groundwater, so we have a large stake in protecting our groundwater quality and quantity in Maine. We can all use this day to begin doing our part for protecting one of our most important natural resources — our groundwater!

Some things you can do to help protect our groundwater:
  • Properly maintain your septic system: make sure to have your septic tank pumped every 3 to 5 years and check for signs that your septic system is not working
  • Handle gasoline, motor oil, fertilizers, pesticides and other hazardous chemicals with care, making sure not to dump them on the ground or pour them down the sink. When you’re done with them, dispose of them properly at a recycling center
  • Inspect your heating oil tank and its piping to make sure it’s not leaking, starting to corrode or rust, or in danger of tipping over
  • Don’t throw away or flush unused or unwanted medications down the drain. Instead, properly and safely dispose of them by using Maine’s Safe Medicine Disposal for ME free medication mailback program
Public drinking water systems regularly monitor and test the drinking water they provide, but if you have your own well, you should have your water tested every year for bacteria, nitrates and nitrites, and every 3-5 years for naturally occurring arsenic, radon, and uranium.
For more information on Protect Your Groundwater Day, or to learn more ways you can protect groundwater, visit http://www.ngwa.org/Events-Education/groundwater-day/Pages/default.aspx. For information on public water systems visit the Drinking Water Program website at www.medwp.com. For more information on private wells, visit http://wellwater.maine.gov.

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