The drinking water for nearly everyone in southwest Ohio comes from water under the ground that is stored in the aquifer. We need our water to be safe and clean for drinking. Throughout the Miami Valley, many communities have source water protection areas where special care is given to land uses that minimize the risk of groundwater contamination.
We all do things around the house that can affect our water. So let’s keep it clean Miami Valley! Every year, we ask our communities to promote and protect their groundwater supply and this year we are urging you to focus these efforts in your own backyard.
Ask yourself, where does my water come from? When was the last time I tested my water? What actions have I taken to ensure my family’s water is safe and protected from contaminants? More than 43 million people—about 15 percent of the U.S. population—rely on domestic water wells as their source of drinking water and experts recommend having these systems inspected every year.
Protect Your Groundwater Day serves as an annual reminder that we can all take steps to protect our water!
Water Wise Tips
Report spills, abandoned drums and other environmental emergencies 24 hours a day at 1-800-282-9378.
Use pesticides and fertilizers sparingly.
Pesticides and fertilizers can run off your lawn and enter rivers, lakes and streams. Their harmful chemicals can kill aquatic life and affect drinking water.
Dispose of household cleaners, paint and chemicals safely.
Many cleaning products in homes and garages are too dangerous to be thrown in the trash or poured down the drain. Anything marked “Poison” or “Danger” should be taken to your local hazardous waste center.
Take care when changing your car’s motor oil. Dispose of the oil safely.
One quart of motor oil can pollute 250,000 gallons of river water, so use a large pan if you are changing motor oil yourself. Never pour leftover oil down storm drains or into the trash. Drop it off at your local hazardous waste center.
Fix car leaks promptly.
Leaky cars can leave drips or puddles of motor oil and other fluids on your streets and driveways. When it rains, those fluids run through the storm drains and into your rivers. Fix car leaks and clean stains off of your driveway.
Pick up after your pet.
When it rains, bacteria from pet waste left in the yard can run into storm drains, polluting rivers and streams. Pick up after your pet at home and on walks.
Dispose of unwanted medication safely – don’t flush it.
Small amounts of prescription drugs can find their way to your rivers and streams if they are flushed down the toilet or sink. Take unwanted prescription drugs to local drop-off sites.
Be water smart – test your well.
If your water comes from a private well, it’s important to have it tested every year for potential problems, including nitrates, E. coli, and arsenic.
Enjoy your waterways – kayaking, canoeing and fishing.
The Dayton Region features the largest state-designated water trail system in Ohio with 265 miles along the Great Miami, Mad, and Stillwater rivers. Get out and enjoy all they have to offer.
No matter where you live, work, or play, the land drains to a river and sometimes to the aquifer. Join a community group in your area that works to protect our water.