Jump to main content or area navigation.

Contact Us

Water: Source Water Protection

Quick Things You Can Do!

Put up signs.

Post signs along the border of your source water protection area to notify people that any pollution in that area can affect the quality of local drinking water.

Properly dispose of hazardous products

Use and dispose of harmful materials properly.

Don't dump them on the ground! Hazardous waste that is dumped on or buried in the ground can contaminate the soil and can move down into the ground water or be carried into nearby surface waters by runoff during rainstorms. You might be surprised to learn that a number of products you use at home contain hazardous or toxic substances. Products like motor oil, pesticides, leftover paints or paint cans, mothballs, flea collars, weed killers, household cleaners and even a number of medicines contain materials that can be harmful to surface water and ground water.

Don't overuse pesticides or fertilizers.

You might apply fertilizers to make your grass thick and green, your flowers colorful and your vegetable crop abundant. You also might use pesticides to keep bugs from ruining what the fertilizers have helped to produce. What you might not know is that many of these fertilizers and pesticides contain hazardous chemicals that can travel through the soil and contaminate ground water. If you feel you must use these chemicals, use them in moderation.

Volunteer in your community.

Find a watershed or wellhead protection organization in your community and volunteer to help. If there are no active groups, consider starting one. Use EPA's Adopt Your Watershed to locate groups in your community, or visit the Watershed Information Network's How to Start a Watershed Team.

Identify ways you can help prevent runoff pollution from your home, business or farm.

Check out Give Water a Hand (for students) or the National Farm*A*Syst/Home*A*Syst Voluntary Assessment Programs (for farmers and homeowners) to find out how you can be part of the solution instead of part of the problem.

Join in a beach, stream or wetland cleanup.

You can make new friends while you help protect source water.

Prepare a presentation about your watershed for a school or civic organization.

Discuss water quality threats, including polluted runoff and habitat loss. Highlight things people can do to protect water quality, including limiting fertilizer use and eliminating the use of herbicides and pesticides. Research your presentation using EPA's Nonpoint Source Program.

Organize a storm drain stenciling project.

Stencil a message next to the street drain reminding people "Dump No Waste - Drains to River" with the image of a fish. Stencils are also available for lakes, streams, bays, ground water and oceans, as well as the simple "Protect Your Water" logo with the image of a glass and faucet. Produce and distribute a flyer for households to remind residents that storm drains dump directly into your local water body.  

Jump to main content.