National Drinking Water Week, May 1-7, is a time to reflect on the importance of groundwater—a vital but little understood resource which makes up a portion of the water supply for nearly half America’s population, according to the National Ground Water Association (NGWA).
There are about 12 million private household water wells and nearly 146,468 groundwater-supplied public water systems operating in the U.S. In addition to the 83.3 billion gallons per day in ground water withdrawals used for drinking and other purposes, groundwater feeds almost 500 billion gallons per day to America’s surface water bodies such as lakes, rivers and streams.
"Groundwater is important to our nation’s drinking water supply. It’s a valuable national resource," said NGWA President Larry Lyons, MGWC (Master Ground Water Contractor). "Whether or not your drinking water comes from the ground, there is something each of us can do to be a good ground water steward."
Here are some action steps that any person can take:
+Practice smart water efficiency. Whether in the home, garden, or yard, try to practice conservation at all times;
+Get an annual water well maintenance checkup and water test. Not only will this help ensure reliable service, it can protect aquifers from contamination;
+Maintain proper separation between your well and buildings, waste systems, or chemical storage areas. Your professional water well contractor is familiar with the applicable local codes;
+Dispose of hazardous wastes properly. Improper disposal such as dumping waste oil on the ground can lead to ground water contamination; and
Periodically check the well cover or well cap. Make sure it is in good repair and securely attached to keep insects and rodents out of the well and to prevent tampering.
To learn more about ground water and wells, visit www.wellowner.org  or www.ngwa.org.