Across the country, water professionals continue to work to ensure drinking water is available at your tap when needed.
This week we’re celebrating National Drinking Water Week, May 3-9, with the American Water Works Association as we remember the importance of water, whether it’s for handwashing, bathing, cooking, washing clothes or drinking.
This year’s theme, “There When You Need It,” highlights the around-the-clock work done by professionals.
“With so much changing around us nowadays, it is comforting to know that our tap water is readily available for hygienic and drinking purposes,” said American Water Works Association CEO David LaFrance in a statement. “Even during the coronavirus pandemic, water professionals across North America continue to report to work to collect, treat and distribute water to ensure the health and safety of their communities.”
The Brazos River Authority is responsible for providing water to municipalities, industry, agriculture, and mining within the Brazos basin. However, besides water supply, the BRA works to ensure the continued high quality of the water within the basin by providing services such as potable water treatment, wastewater treatment, and continuous monitoring for specific contaminates through the Texas Clean Rivers Program.
The BRA operates the Sandy Creek Water Treatment Plant under contract with the city of Leander. The BRA owns and operates the East Williamson County Regional Water System adjacent to Lake Granger, which serves the city of Taylor, Jonah Water Special Utility District, and other customers in Williamson County.
Protecting our water sources is ongoing work.
LaFrance said that shortly after the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus a pandemic, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention each reminded the public to trust our tap water as we normally would for hygiene and hydration.
“This proved to be extremely important because handwashing is an important way to stop the spread of the virus,” he said in the statement. “We couldn’t do that without high-quality drinking water.”
Be a part of the solution at home by helping keep water clean. Here are some ideas:
• When using fertilizers on lawns and gardens, follow the manufacturer’s instructions and avoid using too much. In addition to potentially damaging your turf or plants, excess fertilizers can wash into our storm drains after a heavy rain. Water that enters these drains eventually ends up in a nearby stream, river or lake, which is likely a source of drinking water.
• Be careful as well when putting pesticides on lawns and elsewhere outdoors. Just like with fertilizer, excess pesticides can wash into our streams and reservoirs through storm drains-then into our drinking water.
• How about a good spring cleaning of old, unwanted chemicals you’ve been storing? Throwing them away is not the answer. They will end up in a landfill, where they could seep into our groundwater supply. Pouring them down the drain is worse. Instead, why not gather them and drop them off at your nearest hazardous household waste collection center.
• Don’t flush old, unwanted medicine! While water treatment plants can remove some chemicals, at this time, wastewater systems are not designed to remove pharmaceuticals. If you have old medicine, take it to one of the regularly scheduled drug takeback events held around the country.
• If you use a septic system, make sure it is properly installed and regularly maintained. Septic systems must also be placed a safe distance from water bodies, wells and other areas where they could seep into water supply.
Today and every day, remember to celebrate our access to clean water.