August is National Water Quality Month in the United States. Many Americans have always had the convenience of safe drinking water and that’s all due to the highly regulated system the United States has in place. There are many different facets at play to ensure water is held up to the standard we know and trust. The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), originally passed in 1974, is upheld by the EPA “to set national health-base standards for drinking water to protect against both naturally-occurring and man-made contaminants that may be found in drinking water.”
Where does my water come from?
According to the EPA, “source water” (water that can be used as drinking water) is found in surface water (streams, rivers and lakes) or ground water (aquifers.) To help you find your specific source of water, the EPA created the Drinking Water Mapping Application to Protect Source Waters (DWMAPS). Using this interactive map, you can find out where your tap water is sourced from and where the reservoir is located.
Threats to Drinking Water
SDWA protects our drinking water from a number of daily threats including:
- Improperly Disposed of Chemicals
- Animal Wastes
- Human Threats
- Wastes Injected Underground
- Naturally-occurring substances
Stormwater Regulations – Protecting our Source Waters
While states differ in their enforced regulations on stormwater runoff and treatment, the threat from potential contamination to our drinking water is very real. When stormwater runoff is generated from rainfall or snowmelt it can pick up harmful pollutants such as trash, chemicals, oils and dirt. Our best way to regulate this overflow of water is through Best Management Practices (BMPs). The three main contributors to stormwater runoff pollution are Municipal Storm Sewer Systems (MS4s), construction and industrial sites. According to the EPA, the benefits of proper stormwater runoff management include:
- Protection of wetlands and aquatic ecosystems
- Improved quality of receiving waterbodies
- Conservation of water resources
- Protection of public health
- Flood control
How Can I Prevent Stormwater Runoff and what Permits/Regulations Affect Me?
The EPA provides numerous resources to help maintain BMPs on Construction, Industrial, Municipal and Transportation sites. You can find those resources here.
Furthermore, being prepared with the proper equipment is an important first step. CP Lab Safety offers a wide selection of Stormwater Management products including:
- Curb, Basin and Gutter Guards
- Dewatering bags
- Storm Drain Protection
- Filter Socks for Drain Pipes
- Pollution/Contaminate Filters for drains and inlets
- Oil and Debris Absorbents
- Passive Oil Skimmers
- Other products to remove sediment, oil and hydrocarbons
Promoting public health best practices is a top priority at CP Lab Safety. If you require any stormwater management products that are not listed on our website, please don’t hesitate to contact us!