How to improve water quality, image of a running water faucet

8 Easy Ways You Can Actually Improve Water Quality

Water quality is a topic of much discussion, as it should be. We have seen the quality of the water within the United States decline. There are whole communities within the U.S. that haven’t had safe water in a long time.

While individuals may not have the power to impact the quality of the water worldwide, we all have the ability to do our part. Thankfully, it’s easier than we might think. Here are eight easy ways you can actually improve water quality in your area.

  1. Do you remember your mother or grandmother having a fat jar by the stove where she pour bacon grease or other fat after cooking? We should bring that back. Never pour fats or oils down the sink drain. Always pour them into a jar and discard it later.
  2. If you are able, consider installing a water efficient toilet. All that water usage with each flush is generally unnecessary. If you aren’t able to install a new toilet, put a brick or 1/2 gal container in the standard toilet tank to reduce water use per flush.
  3. Never dispose of household cleaners down any drain. You likely have a local resource to safely dispose of cleaners. You may also consider non-toxic alternatives. 
  4. Use the minimum amount of detergent and/or bleach when you are washing clothes or dishes. Use only phosphate free soaps and detergents. Don’t do a load of laundry or dishes until it is full.
  5. Consider using a compost pile rather than a garbage disposal. Keep solid waste solid and cultivate healthier soil.
  6. Never dispose of medication down the drain, pills, powders, or liquids. Unfortunately, there are not state standards for safe medication disposal. Do your best. If you are not able to return unused medications and need to dispose of them safely, make sure to never throw them in the recycling and remove all personal information from the labels. Conceal bottles within other containers, and throw them away with solid waste. 
  7. Your toilet is not a trash can. Do not flush nondegradable products like wipes, tampons, and pads.
  8. Pick up after your dog. By leaving behind your dog’s poo, bacteria is making its way into our drinking water. The most practical of the planet-friendly disposal methods is to tie it in a recycled-plastic pet-waste bag and throw it in the trash, but check your local ordinances.

As you can see, improving water quality doesn’t mean you have to change the way you live your daily life. If we all take these small steps, we can make an impact on our local water supply.

The Des Moines Register has done some excellent reporting about the water quality in Iowa. They provide ideas and resources to aid in improving Iowa water quality.

Learn more about about drinking water quality.