There are 785 million people living without access to safe water. Unfortunately, this number is increasing due to the steady pollution of our groundwater. March 8th kicks off Groundwater Awareness Week and it’s never been more critical to pass along the importance of protecting this valuable resource.

The lowdown on groundwater

Three percent of all the water on Earth is freshwater. However, only 1% of that is usable. And, of that one percent, 99% is groundwater. Thirty-three percent of all the water used by U.S. municipalities is groundwater, 53.5 billion gallons of groundwater are used each day for agricultural purposes, and 44 percent of Americans depend on groundwater for their drinking water. Overall, the United States alone uses roughly 349 billion gallons of fresh water every day. It’s plain to see that groundwater is a resource we simply cannot take for granted.

Yet, every day our groundwater is being contaminated. When you think about groundwater contaminants, you might think of gasoline, chemicals, and/or oil. And, you would be right. Those man-made products do degrade our fresh groundwater supply. However, in the same capacity, do you think about salt? Probably not. But, it accounts for a massive portion of groundwater pollution and it cannot be treated at your local water treatment plant. In fact, one of the most common salt polluters is something residential and commercial users utilize every day. It’s our waters softeners!  They dump 3 billion pounds of salt per day into our wastewater. Whoa!

Water softeners are such a common part of residential and industrial life that little to no thought has been given to how they might be affecting our environment and our water supply. Until recently, that is. Several states are now implementing bans and fees to try and get a handle on the salt pollution generated from softeners.

Now that you know the startling facts, the logical question is ‘what now?’

How we can help with groundwater awareness

Thankfully, there are several things we can do to help answer the ‘what now?’ conundrum. First, use Groundwater Awareness Week to help educate those in your sphere of influence on how essential groundwater conservation is.  Second, be sure to always dispose of chemicals, motor oil, and other contaminants correctly. Third, if you are focused on water conservation, you will also be protecting it from degradation.

Lastly, partner with The Salt Miner! We’ve developed an add-on that can fit any water softener. It collects the salt generated from the softener and prevents it from entering our wastewater! This salt bucket can then be disposed of safely. It’s low cost and easy to install. It’s also one of the simplest ways you can make a difference all year.

Groundwater Awareness week will be here before you know it, so be prepared and make a plan. Continue getting educated on groundwater conservation, pick three people you are going to share with, and reach out to us today for questions. We’ll happily answer all your queries and help you learn how you can use The Salt Miner to effect change.