National Protect Your Groundwater Day provides reminder for Marylanders on how to safeguard this precious natural resource

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National Protect Your Groundwater Day provides reminder for Marylanders on how to safeguard this precious natural resource

BALTIMORE, MD (September 8, 2015) – Every day, Americans use 79.6 billion gallons of fresh groundwater for public and private use, including for drinking water, irrigation, livestock, manufacturing, mining and more. On September 8, “Protect Your Groundwater Day,” the Maryland Department of Environment (MDE) reminds all Marylanders about the value of clean groundwater and what citizens can do to protect this essential and valuable resource.

“Groundwater may be Maryland’s most precious, unseen resource. More than two million of the state’s citizens use groundwater directly every day and all of us benefit from its connection to clean streams and the Chesapeake Bay. The more each of us can do to protect this invisible, invaluable liquid asset, the healthier and wealthier we’ll be,” said MDE Secretary Ben Grumbles.

Groundwater is created from rain that falls on the land, running into waterways or soaking into the ground. Water that soaks into the ground is filtered as it passes through various layers of sand, clay, or rock. However, man-made chemicals such as gasoline, fertilizers, and pesticides may not get filtered and can contaminate groundwater.

Below are just a few of the ways citizens can help keep Maryland’s groundwater clean:

  • Support Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay watershed restoration effort and all of Maryland’s critical clean water initiatives to reduce pollution from wastewater treatment plants, septic systems, urban/suburban runoff, and agricultural runoff and air pollution controls, which reduce the nitrogen falling on our land and water from power plants, cars, and trucks.
  • Seventeen million gallons of gas are spilled each year in America during the re-fueling of lawn mowers — fuel your lawn mower over impervious surfaces and be careful to not to overfill your tank.
  • Ensure your septic system was installed per current code standards and consider installing nitrogen reducing technology, which protects your drinking water and is good for the Bay. Also, stay alert for opportunities to connect to available sewer systems in your area.
  • Apply fertilizers and pesticides sparingly to reduce polluted runoff that can contaminate groundwater and water wells.
  • Use water wisely: Don’t pour water down the drain when there may be another use for it, such as watering your indoor plants or a garden, and don’t run a faucet when you’re not using water while brushing your teeth.
  • Owners of fuel storage tanks either above or below ground, should do periodic checks for evidence of leaks or replace old single lined tanks with newer double lined models.

Learn more about groundwater and Protect Your Groundwater Day here.