Private wells, of which there are thousands across Cape Cod, do not come under the aegis of the EPA. Households whose water comes from private wells should take proactive steps to ensure their water is safe for their families.

August 6, 2018

August is National Water Quality Month

Let’s raise a glass to water! As we celebrate National Water Quality Month in August, it is a good time to take a closer look at the quality and safety of the Cape’s water supply, and to work toward ensuring clean water for everyone.

Although Cape Cod is surrounded by water, we do have a limited supply of fresh water for drinking, cooking, washing and bathing. And that water is not always as clean and pure as we would like it to be. The Cape water woes have been well documented, from occasional flare ups of E. coli contamination, to the ongoing battle against the “plume” of contaminants and toxins that is slowly seeping into our groundwater.

Public water supplies are regulated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which monitors contaminants and other factors affecting the health and safety of the public water supply. But private wells, of which there are thousands across Cape Cod, do not come under the aegis of the EPA. Households whose water comes from private wells should take proactive steps to ensure their water is safe for their families. A good start is to have a professional test your water. Once contaminants are identified, they can recommend a water treatment or filtration system to improve the water quality and provide peace of mind.

Here are some additional ideas to help protect the quality and availability of clean, fresh water on the Cape:

  • Properly dispose of pollutants. Used motor oil, antifreeze, paint, batteries, unused fertilizer, unused medication and other similar contaminants can be recycled at your local solid waste plant. Recycling will help prevent these dangerous substances from entering the water supply.
  • Pick up pet waste. One ounce of dog waste contains 23 million microorganisms of disease-causing fecal coliform bacteria. Either flush your pet’s droppings or put it in the garbage.
  • Install a rain barrel. During the summer months, garden and lawn watering make up about 40 percent of a household’s total water consumption. Use a rain barrel to collect runoff from your roof and use that to irrigate lawns and gardens.
  • Wash your car on the lawn. Many of the soaps and detergents used to wash cars contain phosphorus and other nutrients that can be good for the grass, but not for our water sources. When you wash your car on the lawn instead of the driveway, the runoff goes into the ground as opposed to storm drains where the harmful chemicals can negatively impact lakes and rivers.
  • Don’t litter. Recycle, reuse or put waste in the garbage for proper disposal. Plastic that is tossed aside to litter our roadways will not decompose in our lifetime, and can harm animals and fish as well as pollute our water.

It is easy to turn the tap and expect a steady flow of clean water. But many health hazards are unseen, and that stream of water may become a trickle unless we pay closer attention. National Water Quality Month is the perfect time to get “water wise.”

If you would like a free test of your home’s water quality, call us at (508) 388-1009. Our AquaSafe division can help you determine the levels of the most common toxins such as arsenic, lead, nitrates, bacteria, and pH balance; as well as offer filtering solutions that can help ensure the water you drink is safe and healthy.

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