When thinking about water conservation, many people imagine only water sources – streams, rivers and lakes. The land surrounding these waterways is critical to the process, too. Soil works to protect local water sources – its erosion is a problem that puts our water at greater risk of contamination.
How Soil Protects Waterways
Soil is a natural protector of our water sources. It works to filter contaminants out of water runoff before joining up with waterways. As water flows and wind blows, soil will erode. As soil is lost, water loses its natural ability to filter. The result is that more contamination is allowed to reach waterways, increasing pollutant levels.
When water is not able to permeate the ground due to poor soil management, it will run off into sewers, storm drains, and waterways, carrying with it contamination picked up along the ground. Soil erosion, either by water or wind, causes sedimentation in water supplies than can drastically affect water quality.
Preventing Soil Erosion
Keeping soil covered, through planting and structural development or the result of the spatial arrangement of the solid soil, prevents soil from wearing away and promotes water conservation.
Farmers often work to prevent soil erosion in the off season by planting cover crops. Cover crops work to keep nutrients balanced and to keep soil stable. Without something growing, soil can become inactive and is more susceptible to washing away.
At home, you can protect the soil to conserve water. Keep bare garden soil, flower beds, and other soil covered, with leaves or mulches. These coverings protect soil from erosion and retain moisture for surrounding vegetation.
Indiana American Water is committed to conserving the waterways that serve Hoosier homes. Through the use of environmentally friendly practices, our investments in infrastructure and wastewater treatment and distribution systems are working to protect Indiana streams, rivers, lakes, and groundwater sources. The result is the highest quality water delivered to your home or business each day, for drinking, bathing, and more. To learn more, visit us online at www.indianaamwater.com