The quality of water that is used for drinking and for irrigation needs to be maintained. Water quality in a city is often the result of treatment plants that remove contaminants. Homes with well water will need to use water softeners and filters to achieve adequate water quality. There are many ways for local homeowners to help maintain suitable water quality.
Water runoff from paved surfaces typically flows to ditches and storm sewers. If there are oils and other chemicals on paved surfaces, then they can easily cause water quality issues. The water available for drinking will come from surface water or ground water. The storm drains used in a city typically lead to a river or other body of water. This means the contaminants in water from a storm drain will have a negative impact on water quality.
Mowing the lawn produces grass clippings that can negatively effect water quality. Another type of yard waste is the accumulation of leaves. Yard waste that is pushed to the edge of a driveway or other paved area wash away and can lead to water quality problems. One way to help reduce yard waste is to mulch grass and all leaves that fall to the ground. Mulching will reduce the need to use chemical fertilizers as natural nutrients that seep into the soil. This will lead to fewer chemicals causing an issue with water quality.
The downspouts on a residential home or commercial business need to be directed onto the lawn. If the downspouts direct water onto a driveway or other paved area, then debris and other material is taken to the nearest storm drain. This runoff will have a negative effect on the water quality for a city.
Fertilizer is used to help a lawn to grow and be healthy. Homeowners who fertilize will need to apply a product that does not contain phosphorous. This is a chemical that will easily wash into a wetland area or into nearby lakes and accelerate algae growth. Reducing algae growth will help to maintain water quality in a local town, city, county, and state.
Many homeowners who keep their vehicles well-maintained will wash them once a week at home or at a local car wash. Residents in a city should wash their vehicles in their yard. This will prevent soap and dirt from washing into the storm sewer. Detergents and some types of soaps contain phosphorous and a variety of other nutrients that impact water quality due to its affect on algae growth.
Preventing water runoff is the best way to help maintain water quality. This can be done by installing a rain barrel to collect rain water that washes off the roof. Another way to maintain water quality is to clean out the gutter system for a home or building.
Oils and chemicals kept in a garage can cause serious water quality problems. Keeping water quality in mind will be necessary when disposing of dangerous materials.