The Suffolk Groundwater Guardians, a coalition of the Suffolk County Water Authority, Citizens Campaign for the Environment, Long Island Farm Bureau, Scotts Miracle-Gro and Stony Brook University, have announced that Tuesday, September 11 is “National Protect Your Groundwater Day.”
“National Protect Your Groundwater Day” is intended to remind individuals, businesses, and policymakers that their daily actions can impact the quality and quantity of Long Island’s groundwater. Long Islanders receive 100% of their drinking water from an underground system of aquifers. Because of this unique water source, the protection and preservation of groundwater is of the utmost importance. While Suffolk County is not in danger of water shortages, the underground aquifers from which its residents draw their drinking water are still vulnerable to contamination from above.
“We only have one source of drinking water in Suffolk County – our groundwater,” said Carrie Meek Gallagher, Chief Sustainability Officer at SCWA. “In honor of ‘National Protect Your Groundwater Day’, we urge every resident to take one small step toward helping protect this vital resource.”
The Suffolk Groundwater Guardians coalition is encouraging Long Islanders to do the following in their homes or businesses to protect and preserve the water source in their communities:
- Don’t pour any hazardous or toxic household materials down the drain or toilet – old paint, cleaners, degreasers, oils, etc. Check with NYSDEC for proper disposal locations.
- Properly dispose of all expired or unused medications by dropping them off at the local Suffolk County Police Department precinct’s drop box, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
- When using fertilizers or pesticides on lawns and gardens do so according to the directions. In this case, more is not better.
- Rainwater is often sufficient to keep lawns healthy throughout the summer because a typical lawn needs about an inch of water a week to stay healthy. If watering is necessary, do it in the morning to avoid wasteful evaporation, and keep water nozzles aimed at the lawn rather than the driveway or sidewalk. Irrigating a lawn less frequently and for a longer duration promotes deep root growth and improves the lawn’s ability to slow and filter rainwater before it returns to the groundwater.
- Support open space preservation initiatives in your community.
The Suffolk Groundwater Guardians coalition formed in 2011 with the goal of educating the public about the value of Long Island’s groundwater through awareness campaigns such as poster contests, public policy initiatives, classroom education, and promoting best management practices. For more information, visit the Suffolk County Water Authority website at www.scwa.com.