For General Public

Protecting source water is something everyone in the community can do.

1 – Learn More About Where Your Water Comes From

An important first step in source water protection is knowing where your drinking water comes from and what potential contaminants pose a threat to your water supply.

You can learn more about your specific drinking water source by visiting the Source Water Assessment Database. You can then incorporate pollution prevention, water conservation, and other best practices at work, school, and home to better protect drinking water sources.

2 – Take Everyday Actions To Protect Source Water


Use and Dispose of Harmful Materials Properly

A number of products used at home contain hazardous or toxic substances that can contaminate ground or surface waters, such as paints, household cleaners, motor oil, pesticides, mothballs, flea collars, and more. Visit our Resources page or click here to find out more on the proper disposal of household hazardous materials.


Think Twice about Lawn and Garden Chemicals

Many fertilizers and pesticides contain harmful chemicals that can leach into the soil and contaminate ground water. Limit the use of pesticides and fertilizers and always follow label instructions for use and disposal.


Properly Maintain Your Septic System

Malfunctioning septic systems can release bacteria, viruses, and chemicals to ground water. The average household septic system should be inspected at least every three years by a professional. Ensure your home’s septic system is routinely inspected and is functioning properly.


Dispose of Your Medications Properly

Flushed prescriptions can seep into ground water. In cities and towns where residences are connected to wastewater treatment plants, prescription and over-the-counter drugs poured down the sink or flushed down the toilet can pass through the treatment system and enter rivers and lakes. Take advantage of pharmaceutical collection programs in your area.


Volunteer in Your Community

Find a source water protection organization or collaborative in your community and volunteer to help!


3 – Focus On Conserving Water In Your Daily Life


  • Turn off the water when shaving or brushing your teeth
  • Turn off your sprinklers on days there is rain in the forecast
  • Use your dishwasher instead of hand-washing
  • Keep your showers short and sweet
  • Install water-saving showerheads and faucets
  • Check your toilets, pipes, etc., for leaks
  • Don’t pour your unfinished glass of water down the drain – instead pour it into the dog’s bowl or use it to water plants!
  • Use a watering can instead of a hose to water plants