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Module 5:1

Water Quality


Module 5:2

Importance of Clean Water 

Health

Environment

Recreation

Natural beauty


Water Pollution Types of Pollution    

Chemicals Bacteria Sediment Nutrients

Sources of Pollution

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 Industry  Individuals


Surface Water vs Ground Water

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Photo credit: © American Ground Water Trust


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How do Contaminants Get Into the Water? 1.

Directly

2.

Runoff

3.

Wind

4.

Leaching


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What’s Polluting Our Water? 1.

Bacteria

2.

Sediment

3.

Nutrients

4.

Chemicals


1. Bacteria

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Sources: ď ľ Human waste ď ľ Manure, pet & wildlife deposits


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Bacteria: Health Effects 

Stomach cramps

Diarrhea

Kidney failure

Death (in rare cases)


Bacteria: Solutions 1. Proper septic system installation 2. Proper septic system maintenance

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    

Regular inspections Regular pump-outs Reduce input Protect filter bed Improve system when increasing load


Bacteria: Solutions 3. Pick up after pets

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4. Don’t feed the waterfowl

Photo credit: Wisconsin DNR


2. Sediment

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Sources:

Increased by:

Dirt roads & paths

Removing plants

Gardens & farm fields

Adding hard surfaces

Imported beach sand

Altering the natural

Construction

watercourse


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Sediment: Impacts 

Adds chemicals

Adds nutrients

Clouds the water


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Sediment: Impacts

Poor swimming

Navigation problems


Sediment: Solutions 1.

Maximize vegetation

2.

Cover exposed soil

3.

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4.

Minimize hard surfaces Avoid altering water courses & shorelines


3. Nutrients

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Sources: 

Fertilizers

Detergents & cleaners

Septic system leachate

Photo credit: Washington State Department of Ecology


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Nutrients: Impacts


Nutrients: Solutions

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1.

Use low phosphate detergents and cleaners


Nutrients: Solutions 2.

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3.

Avoid the use of fertilizers Maintain your septic system


4. Chemicals

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Sources:  Household cleaners  Paints & solvents  Gas, oil, antifreeze, break fluid & grease


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Chemicals: Impacts 

Poses health risks to us

Contaminates drinking water

Alters pH balance

Harmful to wildlife and aquatic life


Chemicals: Solutions 1. Alternative cleaners  Non-toxic  All ingredients disclosed  Plant-based  Phosphate & petroleum free

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 Biodegrade quickly

2. Vinegar, baking soda, borax


Chemicals: Solutions 3. Dispose of hazardous waste properly

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4. Maintain cars and boats


Chemicals: Solutions 5. Fill up and repair away from the water

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6. Clean-up spills properly & immediately


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Water Testing


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Testing Your Drinking Water ď ľ

Test for bacteria regularly

ď ľ

Test for other contaminants if you suspect a problem


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Interpreting Bacterial Test Results 

Only water with a count of 0 Total Coliform and/or 0 E.coli is safe to drink

Sterilize contaminated water

Identify source of problem & fix it

Adopt preventative habits


Testing Your Surface Water Professional tests:  Take samples and send to a lab

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Tests you can do yourself:     Photo credit: www.co.snohomish.wa.us/publicwk/swm/lakes

Water clarity Temperature Dissolved oxygen Total phosphorus


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Case Study: “Watershed Watch” 

Mississippi and Rideau Valley watersheds

Relies heavily on volunteer monitoring

Establishes baseline data

Will give an indication of lake health


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Every Little Bit Helps

Take action!

Encourage others

Learn more

Courtesy of: Jennifer Brownlee


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We Can Make a Difference‌Together


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