Most people don’t stop to think about what a day without water would cost them – no drinking, bathing, cooking or cleaning. But access to clean tap water does so much more for our region. It’s the backbone of our economy and keeps us safe from fires and diseases.
We use about 135 million gallons of water per day in Hampton Roads and it takes a lot of work to make it happen. Water must be drawn from a source, pumped to a treatment plant for cleaning and testing, and then pumped through more than 6,500 miles of pipe across Hampton Roads before it comes out of your tap.
No one enjoys paying water bills, but utility companies have to charge customers for the services they provide, and when you pay your bill, you are helping to pay for:
• Electricity used to pump the water into your home and for the chemicals to treat the water
• The cost of managing the watershed
• Protecting water quality
• Repairing and replacing the pipes, dams, treatment plans and other infrastructure
It seems we do take clean, available water for granted. Often when we hear of beach closures in the summer time that is due to the presence of bacteria, which is an indication of fecal matter. To prevent this always remember to pick up after your pets, do not feed ducks, geese or other waterfowl, always pump out your boats at an approved pump put station, and never dispose of dirty diapers on the beach. In addition, fertilizer and trash can increase bacteria levels in area waterways so fertilize responsibly and always stash your trash in the proper receptacles and recycle as much as you can!
askHRgreen.org has a fun water awareness promotion coming up on May 3 in concert with Drinking Water Week, a national campaign to raise awareness about the importance of our drinking water. To celebrate, we’ll be asking everyone in Hampton Roads to find our magic faucet, stationed somewhere in Hampton Roads, and also consider a donation to Help to Others as part of Give Local 757. The Help to Others (H2O) program is an assistance program for those in Hampton Roads facing disconnection of water services as the result of an unexpected crisis (loss of a job, death, illness, etc.). Funds are used locally, tax deductible and go directly to families in need. Those who can track down the faucet will receive an askHRgreen.org goody bag and a chance to win tickets to local attractions and gift certificates. Check out our Help to Others Facebook page for more information!