2022-09-02 15:30Blog post

5 Ways You Can Protect Water Sources from Harmful Storm Runoff

At American Water, your safety is our number one priority. So, in September, we take time out to ready ourselves, our families, our homes and our communities for when disaster strikes with National Preparedness Month.

In recognition of this month and in support of your safety, we recommend that everyone reference the resources available to protect themselves and their families (the U.S. Government provides countless resources for keeping everyone protected during emergencies). But, protection from disaster doesn’t end there. Once your safety has been accounted for, it is important to remember how we can protect our natural resources from disaster.

For example, this month we simultaneously enter peak hurricane season. Thankfully, for many across the country, the worst of this will come in the form of a heavy storm that can be avoided by staying indoors. Unfortunately, our natural resources, such as local water sources, don’t have the same option. As rainwater hits developed land, it picks up pollutants and contaminants and carries them into the earth and storm drains that lead back to important water sources.

Checklist: Preventing Harmful Storm Runoff

You can’t control how much it rains or where the rain goes, but there are some simple ways to help prevent the next storm from carrying more harmful contaminants into local water supplies. With that in mind, here’s a few items to add to your storm preparedness checklist:

  • Reduce use of fertilizers. These types of chemicals are easily washed into storm drains with rain, so use them sparingly and never before a rainstorm.
  • Avoid pesticides. There are other effective methods to managing pests (such as Integrated Pest Management techniques) that don’t pose a threat to our water sources.
  • Sweep up driveways and walkways. To reduce the chance of any waste or debris being washed away with the rain, clear up areas of pavement.
  • Pick up after your pets. Although many neighbors may prefer this at all times of the year, it is especially important during storms as the droppings could end up in local water sources.
  • Check your car for leaks. Motor oil and other fluid leaks are not only potentially harmful to your car, but also to the environment. Make sure the next rainstorm doesn’t take these chemicals with it.

By incorporating these into our preparation for storms, we can all make a difference when it comes to the safety of the sources that are not only delicate ecosystems full of life, but also provide us with water through our pipes.

For more information on preparing yourself for disasters and emergencies, visit National Preparedness Month.

About American Water

With a history dating back to 1886, American Water (NYSE: AWK) is the largest and most geographically diverse U.S. publicly traded water and wastewater utility company. The company employs approximately 6,400 dedicated professionals who provide regulated and regulated-like drinking water and wastewater services to an estimated 14 million people in 24 states. American Water provides safe, clean, affordable, and reliable water services to our customers to help keep their lives flowing.