August is National Water Quality Month, so it’s a good time to think about what comes out of your tap. Pure, clean drinking water is there at your command, but have you ever thought about where it comes from?
If you get your drinking water from Hillsborough County, Pasco County, Pinellas County, New Port Richey, St. Petersburg or Tampa, your drinking water comes from Tampa Bay Water, the region’s wholesale water supplier. Our diverse water supply network includes groundwater, treated surface water and desalinated seawater.
With three different sources of supply, we have three different processes to clean and disinfect drinking water—but the cleaner the source water, the less intensive the cleaning process. Protecting drinking water sources from contamination protects not only protects your drinking water, it protects environment, and saves money and energy. And it’s something we can all do.
How Can Residents Help?
Here in the Tampa Bay region, we all live in a watershed. Everything we do on land, in the water or near the water impacts the environment around us. Here are a few tips to help you protect the watershed and your drinking water:
How Can Community Organizations Help?
Community groups, non-profit organizations, teachers, schools and universities can have a tremendous impact on source water protection. That’s why Tampa Bay Water awards mini-grants annually to support these groups’ efforts that protect water resources and raise public awareness on a community level. The grants range from $2,000 to $10,000. Eligible projects include stream clean-ups, education programs, bank restoration and stabilization, tree plantings as well as training, educational seminars and school activities.
Mini-grant applications are accepted through Nov. 15 of each year. More information is available at tampabaywater.org/source-water-protection-mini-grant-funding.
Need to Know More?
If you want more information about protecting watersheds and drinking water sources in your neighborhood, there are a number of resources at your fingertips:
Southwest Florida Water Management District – Watersheds
Pinellas County – Watershed Management
US EPA – Surf Your Watershed