The Kentucky Division of Water recognizes Sept. 9 as national “Protect Your Groundwater Day”

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“Protect Your Groundwater Day” is celebrated by citizens of the Commonwealth to draw attention to the importance of preventing contamination and waste of this valuable resource.

Individuals are encouraged to take action to protect groundwater by recognizing the causes of preventable groundwater contamination.  The Kentucky Division of Water is charged with protecting the Commonwealth’s groundwater resources.

One and a half million people in Kentucky draw all or part of their domestic–use water from groundwater supplies and use more than 72 million gallons per day.

Most water usage occurs in a few areas around the home where potentially hazardous substances such as fertilizers and pesticides are often used.  Homeowners with a water well should ensure wellheads are a safe distance from possible contamination.  They should also contact a professional water well specialist to schedule annual well system inspections and to properly decommission any abandoned wells.  An improperly sealed well can be a direct pathway for contamination into an aquifer.  Nothing should ever be disposed of down an abandoned water well.

Septic system malfunctions also can pollute groundwater.  Septic systems should be checked every one to two years, and pumped every three to five by a professional contractor.  Also roof drains, sump pump drains, and other rain or surface water drainage systems should be kept away from the septic absorption field.  Flooding can keep the soil from naturally cleansing the waste water.

Everyone should properly use, store and dispose of hazardous household substances including gasoline, oil, paint, paint thinner, fertilizer, weed killer pesticides and cleaning products.  Proper use of such substances means following the manufacturer’s instructions.  Fertilizers, pesticides and weed killers should not be over-applied nor should any such substances be mixed or applied near wellheads.  Hazardous household substances should be properly stored in sealed containers in a secure place.  Homeowners should contact local waste authorities regarding proper disposal.  These substances should be disposed of as directed and not dumped on the ground, poured down drains or flushed down toilets.

The division’s Groundwater staff will be hosting an event at McConnell Springs in Lexington, Ky., on Sept. 9, 2014, from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. in support of “Protect Your Groundwater Day.”  Demonstrations will be provided on how to perform basic maintenance on domestic water wells.  Staff will be available to answer questions about groundwater programs.

For more information about groundwater and groundwater protection, visit the Division of Water at http://water.ky.gov/groundwater/Pages/default.aspx and the National Ground Water Association at www.ngwa.org, or contact David A. Jackson, Watershed Management Branch Groundwater section supervisor, at davida.jackson@ky.gov

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