It’s clear. It’s good for cooking, showering and quenching your thirst. It shows up every day, without fail right from your tap. But how well do you know the basics about your drinking water? As I sat in front of my laptop to compose a blog for American Water Works Association’s Drinking Water Week (May 7-13), the 2017 theme “Your Water – To Know It Is To Love It,” jumped out at me and gave me a thought. What would drinking water’s profile be on an online dating site? I asked myself, what would water say to make that perfect splash? More importantly, I then considered, what would the savvy, eligible “water bachelor or bachelorette” look for in a tall drink of water?
In the spirit of Drinking Water Week, I offer you my take on the criteria people who want to have a long-term relationship with their water might look for.
1. Must be clean, neat and into healthy living. Water quality reports can help you assess this by comparing the quality of water supplied by your utility against standards established by the EPA.
2. Must come from a strong family background. Water quality reports can also help with this through their descriptions of local drinking water sources.
3. Must be reliable and punctual. Look at what it takes to keep water flowing reliably every day to understand what makes water consistently clean and available. Remember, American Water invests more than $1 billion annually in our water systems to ensure continued reliability for our customers, who count on us every day.
4. Science and technology geek preferred; I like someone who stays ahead of the curve to make themselves and me happy! With its rigorous testing protocols, water epitomizes using modern technology to deliver better results. For example, American Water’s lab in Belleville, Illinois, supports research through sophisticated testing and analysis, and sets the standard for water utilities. The lab has a history of being on the forefront of monitoring, testing, identifying and controlling contaminants before specific federal regulations are put in place. In fact, the United States Environmental Protection Agency regularly taps into our lab and our research team to help develop federal drinking water standards and regulations.
5. Must have a vulnerable side too; I like to support and help better the lives of the people I love! Protecting our most valuable resource offers powerful ways for anyone to make an impact on current communities as well as the future of water. Numerous local groups and organizations exist that work on community-based environmental projects to improve, restore and/or protect watersheds and community water supplies. Through American Water’s environmental grant program, we help support those of you who are in many cases “on the ground” and getting your hands dirty to protect our nation’s rivers and watersheds, as well as to advance sustainability initiatives. Every individual and community can make an impact by getting involved.
6. Must be young at heart. Here, water may need to do a little work before landing its soulmate! As we’ve addressed many times in this blog, much of the water infrastructure across the country is aging and in need of repair or replacement. But, our engineering and operations teams work closely with our communities every day to “restore youth” to water infrastructure by identifying problem areas and putting upgrade plans into action.
When you think about, an individuals, we have a longer and more intimate relationship with water than with anyone else. Moreover, it’s a relationship that starts before we are born and lasts our entire lives! So isn’t it worth getting to know your water better? The more you understand it, the more you can truly appreciate—and LOVE—it!