You probably didn’t circle Water Week on your calendar, but even as it ends May 12, its 2018 theme, “Protect the Source,” strikes close to home at the Granger-Hunter Improvement District.
It’s something we take seriously as the renovation of the Central Valley Water Reclamation Facility gets underway. While water covers 70 percent of the world, only three percent is clean, fresh water, the stuff you get when you turn on the tap.
And what leaves your house, through the toilet and drains, heads to the wastewater treatment plant where we can clean up to 75 million gallons of wastewater a day. Where does it go from there? Back into Utah’s waterways, where it returns into the water cycle.
What can you do to make our job easier? For starters, your support of the plant’s renovation, updating its 30-year-old infrastructure to better filter out the various pollutants will put us in full service by 2025. In addition, there are things you can do at home to prevent them from entering our water sources in the first place.
• Fertilizers are a common pollutant, especially as we move outdoors for our summer activities. They go directly into the ground source without a run through the CVWRF. If you’re using fertilizers, aim for the spring and fall when plants readily absorb their nutrients. And don’t overwater your lawn, which drives the fertilizer deeper into the ground. Best call? Find a natural option.
• But that doesn’t get you off the hook when it comes to cleaning up after your animals. Pet waste contains harmful bacteria and parasites and again, the rain that sweeps it out of sight puts it on the fast track to your water source.
• Now that you’ve heard this, you’ll probably think twice about pouring used engine oil into the ground or rinsing heavy-duty suds from your car wash into the street drain. Storm water run-off from urban and suburban communities is a double-whammy. By running across hard surfaces and carrying pollutants directly to the storm drains, it doesn’t go through Earth’s natural filtration system – soil, plants and rocks – or our wastewater plant.