About Water and Pollution
Why is water precious?
Planet Earth does not have a lot of fresh water, and we can’t make more than what is on Earth. The state of water can change (liquid, solid, gas) as it moves through the water cycle, but the total amount of water doesn’t change. Our lakes and rivers supply drinking water for many Indiana residents. We boat, fish, play, and swim in lakes and rivers. Wildlife also need healthy lakes and rivers for food, water, and shelter. In other words, lakes and rivers are precious resources that we need to protect!
What about groundwater?
Besides lakes and rivers, groundwater (water stored below ground in soil and rock) is an important drinking water resource for many Indiana residents, too. The way we treat our lakes and rivers can impact the amount and quality of our groundwater.
How does our water get polluted?
When it rains, water collects on driveways, sidewalks, and yards. Some of it is absorbed into the ground, but most of it flows into storm drains, then to pipes under the street and into a river or lake. (We call this water ‘runoff’ or ‘stormwater’.) As it runs off, the water mixes with pollution that’s on the ground – pollution like trash, other litter, oil from cars, chemicals like fertilizer, and animal poo, to name a few! Once in our lakes and streams, this pollution can harm wildlife, create too much algae (that green stuff on the surface), or make the water unsafe for swimming or boating.