Imagine what life would be like without easy access to clean water. While 70% of the planet’s surface is water, only 1% of that water is easily accessible from the lakes, rivers, groundwater, and streams around the world. That is why it is so important that we all do what we can to protect this water – not just for ourselves, but for the planet as well.
Weston’s drinking water originates from the Quabbin and the Wachusett reservoirs. Filled naturally through rain and snow fall, the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) treats this water to make it drinkable. There are actually over 1,600 water samples performed every single month, and the results are regularly posted on the MWRA website, as well as Weston's Water Division's web page. Testing ensures that our water meets the strict state and federal regulations, and makes sure that the water coming out of our taps is safe and clean.
Water Use and Runoff
The water that flows out of Weston comes from many sources – natural sources like rain and snow, but also from our sinks, toilets, lawns, and driveways.
Weston does all it can to prevent pollution into these waterways:
- catch basins keep trash or other debris from entering the waterways and are cleared frequently, but they can’t catch everything
- annual street sweeping program, or even cleaning up a roadway after an accident in a timely manner, keeps harmful debris from entering drainage systems
- monitor private property developments to include the proper use of erosion control devices and proper stormwater management during construction to help eliminate illicit discharges into the Town’s closed drainage system and/or streams and brooks
The water used in our homes goes through our septic systems, where it is cleaned and treated; however, we have less control over the water that flows into the drains in our roads - or even directly into our rivers, streams, lakes, and ponds - unless we are being mindful about what goes onto our lawns or left on the ground.
Make a Difference
We all can protect our natural water systems by being mindful that we all live downstream. Here are just a few ways to reduce pollution of our local waters:
- clean up after your pets on Town sidewalks, trails, and yards
- reduce or eliminate pesticides and fertilizers
- properly dispose of chemicals, oils, and pharmaceuticals
- be smart with outdoor water usage
Learn more from the National Water Quality Month website about how important these water sources are not just to humans, but also to the plants and animals that rely on these ecosystems. By thinking about the little things that you do on a daily basis that could have a negative effect on water quality, you’ll be one step closer to making a difference.