Groundwater is important to every person, and there is something every person can do to be a good groundwater steward: That’s the core message of the 2011 National Ground Water Awareness Week March 6-12.

“We all have a stake in groundwater, so every person should consider what he or she can do to preserve and protect groundwater,” said Cliff Treyens, public awareness director for the National Ground Water Association (NGWA), which began the annual recognition week more than a decade ago.

“Many people taking just a step or two to protect groundwater can make a big difference,” Treyens said. “Groundwater Awareness Week is all about taking that first step.”

Treyens explained that consumers’ daily habits can effect on groundwater quality.

“How you store, use and dispose of hazardous household substances can affect groundwater quality. In the same manner, whether you regularly maintain your water well or septic system, or properly decommission an abandoned well can impact the groundwater that serves as someone’s water supply,” Treyens said.

“In addition to privately owned wells, many public water systems use groundwater. Just about everybody has a stake in protecting groundwater,” he said.

NGWA’s Ground Water Awareness Week Web page provides action steps people can take in two categories: groundwater protection and groundwater conservation.

The public, particularly well owners, can learn more about groundwater stewardship at NGWA’s other Web site, This site contains more useful information about groundwater protection as well as water testing and treatment.

“Water wells can provide an excellent supply of good quality water. For generations wells have been the only means for obtaining a reliable source of drinking water for millions of Americans in many parts of the country,” Treyens said. “That’s why it’s important to continually educate the public about how matters such as water well flooding, abandoned water wells, naturally occurring contamination and poor well maintenance can affect groundwater quality,” Treyens said.

To learn more about National Ground Water Awareness Week or obtain an Awareness Week logo for use in print or the Web, contact Treyens at


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