Long Island is completely surrounded by water, so it is important to keep our water clean. Long Island’s surface waters are being contaminated by excess nitrogen and the drinking water, which comes from aquifers under-ground, is being contaminated by nitrogen, pesticides and other chemicals.
Here are the top five things homeowners can do to protect Long Island’s water:
There are many nitrogen fertilizers on the market today, but by cutting your lawn a little higher and leaving the clippings on the lawn, you can reduce the need for fertilizer. When you use fertilizer, make sure the number on the bag is 10 or below. High nitrogen fertilizers with numbers in the twenties and thirties are contaminating our water.
Trace amounts of hormones and other pharmaceuticals are currently found in our drinking water supply. Take any used drugs to participating drug stores or your local police station.
Paints, stains, motor oil and other household chemicals can wreak havoc on the environment, especially a water supply. Keep hazardous chemicals in a safe place and take them to your town’s next S.T.O.P. (Stop throwing out pollutants) day. Check your town website for dates and locations.
Pets depend on clean water too. Make sure their waste doesn’t wash down storm drains and contribute to the nitrogen problem.
Water lawns only when necessary and permitted, keep showers to a reasonable amount of time and don’t leave the water running while you wash your car, do the dishes or brush your teeth.
For more information about Long Island’s water problems and the Jump In! campaign, please visit www.LIWater.org.
—Submitted by Jump In!