Passage of Clean Water for Delaware Act, Clean Water Initiative
for Underserved Communities are Reasons for Celebration
As the calendar turns to August, Delaware recognizes National Water Quality Month on a tide of momentum from Governor Carney’s signing of the Clean Water for Delaware Act, hailed as landmark legislation for reviving many of the state’s waterways and ensuring all Delawareans have access to clean water.
The act is buoyed by a new $50 million Clean Water Trust to fund drinking and wastewater projects across the state, and supports the Clean Water Initiative for Underserved Communities that will enable the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control through its environmental justice mission to work toward achieving clean water for all Delawareans.
DNREC will also celebrate the completion of the Lewes Canal project, a joint effort to enhance an existing living shoreline. A method of shoreline stabilization and protection for wetlands, living shorelines absorb storm energy and protect property while reducing the potential for shoreline erosion issues. They also improve water quality by removing nitrogen that can cause algae blooms that are detrimental both to human health and aquatic life.
In addition, DNREC launched an interactive, online quiz about water quality. Anyone can test how attuned they are to the critical role water has in every aspect of human life – including the importance of drinking water and the proper treatment of wastewater. Meanwhile, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which initiated National Water Quality Month in 2005 – linked to the passage three decades earlier of the Clean Water Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act – offers water education resources that include a drinking water activities website for students and teachers.
Water Quality Month provides the opportunity to learn just how precious water is for survival, and how much we should value it for sustaining human life – with only about 3% of the world’s water being freshwater, and just 1% of that freshwater potable or drinkable.
DNREC wants the public to know that everyone can help the state achieve the water quality standard for clean water and safe drinking water that all Delawareans deserve. The DNREC Division of Water section recommends taking the following actions to help improve the state’s water quality:
- Properly store, use and dispose of chemicals and hazardous liquids (thus keeping them out of the water supply)
- Properly maintain your septic system
- Properly dispose of your outdated medications at a take-back event
- Test your soil to determine if fertilizers are needed
- Reduce use of lawn fertilizers and herbicides and pesticides, especially when rainstorms are imminent, and consider fertilizing with an alternative such as compost or compost tea
- Volunteer for a community or statewide cleanup
- Use rain barrels to collect rainfall for watering your lawn and garden
- Start a rain garden that will thrive with little need of watering
- Wash your car at commercial car wash locations where wash water is collected for proper disposal
The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control protects and manages the state’s natural resources, protects public health, provides outdoor recreational opportunities and educates Delawareans about the environment. The DNREC Division of Water manages and protects Delaware’s water resources. For more information, visit the website and connect with @DelawareDNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.