National Drinking Water Week kicks off today

Published 12:00 am Sunday, May 1, 2011

The first week of May is National Drinking Water Week. Take some time this week to notice all the ways you use water.

How much would your life change if the water wasn’t there each time you turned on the faucet, pulled the handle or pushed the button?

Some of us never give a thought to the water that comes from our taps. But residents living in Rural Lawrence County during the 1970s, know the worth of water flowing from their faucets.

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Prior to the installation of water mains by Hecla Water Association, rural residents pumped water from their private well or cistern. After access to a clean, safe public water supply became available, private wells were abandoned due to concerns about their water quality.

Once Hecla Water Association water mains were installed, changes began to happen in rural Lawrence County. Outhouses began to disappear from the rural countryside.

Clothes could be washed inside the house in a new washing machine instead of the ringer washer on the back porch. Water storage tanks started popping up on top of hills. As the Hecla Water system began to grow, rural Lawrence County also began to grow. New homes were built in these public water service areas.

Today’s younger generation takes for granted that water is always there when they have the need to turn on the faucet. There is no worry of the water smelling like sulfur, or the water changing color due to local ground minerals such as red iron or black manganese.

They don’t have to worry about the well running dry before the laundry is finished.

Even though we have the convenience of water at our fingertips, we should not waste this precious natural resource. The amount of water on the Earth is limited. Water moves in a continuous cycle from the Earth to the atmosphere and back through the process of precipitation and transpiration, known as the hydrologic cycle.

Water Week is a good time to make note of ways your family can conserve water. Have a discussion with your family members about their water use. Find out the biggest water waster in your house. See who qualifies as the best water conservationist.

It’s a fun way to help your family members become aware of the importance of water and ways to reduce their water use, as well as your water bill.

All public water systems are required by EPA to test the water for certain contaminants.

The results of these tests are published in a Water Quality Report and mailed to customers. Hecla Water will be mailing this report at the end of May. Copies of this report are also available at the office located on State Route 141, Ironton.

Regina Howard Hoffman, director of public relations and marketing, has been employed at Hecla Water Association for 26 years.