Chapter 3: Your Water

When water bodies become polluted, plants and animals are affected. Human health may be harmed when pollutants migrate into our drinking water or contaminate the fish we eat.
When water bodies become polluted, plants and animals are affected. Human health may be harmed when pollutants migrate into our drinking water or contaminate the fish we eat.

Water is essential to everyday life, from the water we drink and use in our homes, to the water that sends commerce down the Mississippi River. We use water for our daily needs, recreation, and transportation. When water bodies become polluted, plants and animals are affected. Human health may be harmed when pollutants migrate into our drinking water or contaminate the fish we eat.

3.1 Surface Water

3.2 Drinking Water

Who Is In Charge Of Water?

3.3 Fishing and Swimming

Key Points

  • Business facilities are allowed to discharge contaminants into water bodies, but only up to TMDL limits, and they must have a permit to do so.
  • Non-point source water pollution can be anything that runs off of areas including roadways, golf courses, yards, parking lots, construction sites, agricultural lands and open fields into storm drains. Storm drains connect directly to water bodies; the water does not get treated first.
  • Drinking water is protected by the Safe Drinking Water Act. Public water is routinely tested to be sure it is safe to drink.
  • If you have a private water well, you are responsible for making sure your water is safe. Test yearly or more often when life circumstances change.
  • Be cautious about eating certain types of fish, as they could contain high levels of mercury or other contaminants. Check LDEQs fish advisories before going fishing to be sure your catch is safe to eat.

Be Involved

  • Adopt a Watershed in your area – monitor water quality for any changes
  • Be aware of what goes into storm drains – it directly affects water quality!
  • Make sure water from your private well is safe to drink
  • Inform others about fish advisories in your area.

Chapter References