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Help Keep Our Water Clean

Sallie Yakowicz, Program Assistant – NDSU Extension Service

August is here, which means the summer days are hotter and we are drinking more water. Coincidentally, August is National
Water Quality Month, so we need to be confident that the water we are drinking is clean and safe to consume.

Although the U.S. has some of the cleanest tap water in the world, millions of Americans are affected by contaminated water. The water supply can be tainted from a variety of factors, but the most overlooked are attributed to us. Here are some steps can we take to reduce this pollution of the water we drink:

  • Do not flush items not meant to be flushed. This may seem simple, but if nondegradable products such as baby wipes or sanitary linens go down the drain, they can harm the sewage treatment process and end up littering beaches and spoiling our drinking water.
  • Don’t dump questionable chemical products down the sink. If you are not sure, do not dump it. Paint, used oil, chemical cleaners and other household products that go down the drain may filter into the water supply and contaminate our drinking water from the tap.
  • Pick up after pets. By scooping up pet waste, you are preventing potentially harmful runoff from getting into storm drains and water supplies.
  • Maintain your car. Good car maintenance will reduce the amount of leaking oil, antifreeze and other chemicals that can seep into groundwater supplies. Also choose a car wash instead of self-washing to ensure cleaning chemicals are disposed of in the proper place.
  • Use proper disposal procedures to make sure what you are putting in your toilet, sink or car does not end up in your next glass of water.

Visit the North Dakota State University Extension Service’s Water Quality website at to learn more.

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Sponsored in part by the Sanford Health Foundation.

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