Take action on the Bay Area's behalf -- and your own. Here are some ways you can protect yourself and your family and help safeguard drinking water in our region.
- Stay informed. As a bill-paying customer, you should receve a consumer confidence report. (You can review consumer confidence reports online at www.awwa.org/utility/C.cfm.) Review the report. If it does not contain information you want or you cannot understand it, contact your water utility. You can also call the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Safe Drinking Water Hotline at (800) 426-4791.
- If you are pregnant or think you may become pregnant, have a weakened immune system, or have concerns about the quality of water in your area, consider using a home water filter. It should be certified by the NSF (National Sanitation Foundation) to remove the contaminants of concern and must be regularly and carefully maintained. NSF's website provides guidance on choosing filters.
- Improve your tap water by protecting your watershed. Reduce the use of pesticides and other chemicals on your lawn and garden and in your home. Limit your use of toxic chemicals such as paint thinners and varnish removers, and always dispose of them properly -- never down the sink or in the street; call (800) CLEANUP to learn about safe disposal. Do not dispose of your old prescription or over-the-counter medications down the drain or by flushing them. Use natural cleaning products, such as vinegar and baking soda. Buy organic products to support farmers who do not use pesticides.
- You'll find lots more ways to conserve and protect water in our guide to saving water and keeping it clean. (For still more Bay Area green-living tips, see all our Green Gate Green Guides.) And to keep informed and take action on the latest issues affecting the Bay Area and the rest of California, join NRDC's California Activist Network.