April Showers: Indiana Groundwater
Rainy days and thunderstorms might not always be convenient for our plans to get outdoors, but they’re actually a cause to celebrate! Consistent rainfall with spring showers is what keeps our Indiana groundwater supply at healthy levels. And without a reliable source of groundwater, our entire supply of freshwater would be put at risk.
It’s all too common to forget this simple fact. That’s why April is such a great month to raise awareness for groundwater and its irreplaceable value in our lives!
Challenges with Groundwater Being a Hidden Resource
Out of sight, out of mind. That’s part of the reason why the 2022 World Water Day was dedicated to groundwater. Keeping track of groundwater levels is critical for ensuring we have enough freshwater to go around. But this is a constant challenge. Measuring our supply of surface water is much easier, and yet without updated status reports, populations around the world (and throughout our own state) can be in danger of water shortages.
According to the Indiana DNR, Central Indiana groundwater supply conditions range from fair to good. We’re lucky because the state of Indiana receives around 40 inches of rainfall every year. That being said, monitoring our groundwater isn’t just about the water volume in our aquifers. We also need to verify that the water supply is actually safe.
How to Protect Indiana Groundwater
Water contamination is fairly nuanced, and when it comes to groundwater, prevention can be even trickier. Because the problems are happening below the surface, communities may not realize the safety hazards until it’s too late.
Noticing trash and even oil spills, or other chemicals and waste pouring directly into the creeks and reservoirs is one thing. It’s quite another when contaminants are gradually seeping into the ground and reaching down to the water table. Some of the common threats to our local groundwater supply conditions and water quality include leakage from underground pipelines and sewers, poorly-constructed private wells, and chemical storage. Here’s how we can help:
- Avoid using pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers
- Don’t pour household chemical down the drain
- Pick up after pets outdoors—put waste in the trash
- Schedule regular inspections for septic systems
Utilizing the Carmel Household Hazardous Waste Collection Center makes it a lot easier for all of us to do our part in protecting our groundwater. There are plenty of other local hazardous waste disposal sites too! Some quick online research can give you the information you need. After all, we need the Central Indiana groundwater supply to recharge and refill with clean rainfall—not contaminants!
Contaminated Groundwater and Drinking Water Quality
We can safeguard our water supply by paying closer attention to our relationships with the environment and conservation. Nevertheless, we also need to understand that our efforts to prevent water contamination can only go so far. There are always going to be factors outside of our control, and even our municipal tap water can still come with some risks.
The water treatment process has strict procedures in place to help keep us safe. Yet a lot can happen to our tap water as it travels through the city pipelines to our homes and where we work. For example, older infrastructures can put us at risk for lead in drinking water. There are also concerns surrounding nitrate contaminants that are coming from fertilizer runoff. While the water treatment plants have systems to address this problem, the allowable limit for nitrate in tap water is 10 mg/L for it to leave the facility. Wouldn’t we all prefer that number to get down to zero?
In order to effectively remove lead, nitrate, and other contaminants from our water, though, we need more powerful filtration right at the tap. An RO water filter gives us just that. Along the way, these home filers also work to improve the taste of our water.
Having the assurance that our drinking water is truly safe and clean starts with a reliable groundwater supply and the gift of fresh rain. Without these spring showers, we couldn’t enjoy this precious resource and have it flowing from our taps. We hope you’ll raise a glass to that!