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National Drinking Water Week – Protecting the Source

Written by Chronicle Staff. Posted in Community News & People in the News, Health & Wellness

Published on May 09, 2018 with No Comments

The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) is celebrating Drinking Water Week, May 6-12, a week that recognizes the vital role water plays in citizens’ daily lives.

IDEM is participating in the celebration by reminding Hoosiers about the importance of protecting the state’s drinking water sources so future generations will have access to a safe and sustainable drinking water supply.

Hoosiers can participate in protecting Indiana’s drinking water sources by:

  • Following the label when using and storing cleaners, fertilizer, pesticides and herbicides, as well as when disposing of unwanted cleaners, paints, used motor oil, old gasoline, fertilizer, pesticides and herbicides. Never pour household chemicals or harsh cleaners down the drain or a sewer or on the ground. These substances can be properly disposed of at “tox-away days,” which are hosted by local solid waste management districts.
  • Maintaining septic systems and inspecting them regularly.
  • Reporting accidental spills to IDEM’s 24-hour spill line: 888-233-7745.

First passed in 1974, the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) ensures that the drinking water supplied by a public water supply is safe and meets quality standards. Since more than 5.4 million Hoosiers are serviced by a public water system, IDEM works closely with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to ensure those standards are met at the more than 4,000 public water supply locations across the state. IDEM staff assists these water systems through site inspections, technical assistance and financial programs.

Within the SDWA, public water systems are required to send out a Consumer Confidence Report every year to show customers that their water meets health standards known as Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs), which include microorganisms, disinfectants, disinfection by-products, inorganic chemicals, organic chemicals and radionuclides. The report contains information on the specific sources of drinking water, the levels of any detected contaminants and educational information regarding the water.

In addition to ensuring that Hoosiers have clean, safe drinking water, IDEM oversees the protection of Indiana’s streams, rivers, lakes and aquifers that serve as a source of drinking water. To protect these sources from potential contamination, Indiana developed and implemented a Source Water Protection Program, which identifies the sources of public drinking water, assesses the susceptibility of water-supply systems to contamination and informs the public of the results.

For more information about Drinking Water Week, visit the American Water Works Association’s website at www.awwa.org.

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