Earth Day Commemorates 40th Anniversary of Clean Water Act

Clean water is essential to a healthy planet. For the past 40 years, the safety of the nation’s water supply has been protected by the Clean Water Act, a landmark 1972 expansion of environmental laws originally established in 1948 under the Federal Water Pollution Control Act. In honor of yesterday?s Earth Day celebrations (April 22), as well as the 40th anniversary of the groundbreaking Clean Water Act legislation, American Water Works Company, Inc., reminded consumers that all Americans have an important role to play in preserving the safety and sustainability of the nation’s water supply.

“As stewards of the nation’s water supply, American Water strives constantly to protect the environment and promote wise use of our most precious resource,” said Dr. Mark W. LeChevallier, director of Innovation & Environmental Stewardship for American Water. “Earth Day is the ideal time to convey the message that protecting our water supplies is a shared responsibility, and that water should be valued and not taken for granted. We encourage everyone to consider the impact their own actions have on water sources and supply, and to do their part to protect them.”

With that in mind, the company offers the following five tips to make every day Earth Day concerning water:

  • Be conscious of your daily water use and take the necessary steps inside and outside your home to be water smart and help preserve this precious natural resource. Simple actions like turning off the tap while brushing your teeth or washing dishes, only running full loads in the clothes and dish washer, and using a broom instead of a hose to clean up outside walkways, can make a big difference. Also, consider replacing old fixtures with water efficient ones, such as those with the EPA WaterSense label.
  • Drink water wisely ? keep a reusable bottle of tap water near your desk, during workouts or close to hand at home for frequent water breaks. Avoid purchasing bottled water; in addition to being more expensive and less stringently regulated as tap, it is less environmentally friendly. As many as 85 percent of plastic water bottles ? an average of 38 million bottles a year ? are sent to landfills rather than recycled, despite being made of recyclable materials, according to the Container Recycling Institute.
  • Regularly check for leaking toilets, pipes and faucets ? indoors and outdoors ? and repair them promptly. American Water offers leak detection kits, which can be downloaded from the Learning Center of the company’s Web site,
  • Take care in the use and disposal of garden, lawn, garage or other home products and ensure that they do not find their way into groundwater.
  • Dispose of unused or expired medicines properly. Do not pour them directly into home drains, the sewer, street drains or the lawn, and do not flush them down the toilet.
  • The Clean Water Act created the framework for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to regulate the discharge of pollutants into U.S. waters as well as quality standards for surface water. The EPA is marking this milestone anniversary with “Water Is Worth It,” a collaborative, year-long, national dialogue on the importance of clean water.

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