Groundwater & You
THE GROUNDWATER IS OUR DRINKING WATER
BTWD and homes that have a well, get their water from groundwater. Groundwater is simply the water that lies beneath the Earth's surface. The term "aquifer" refers to the geologic deposits that the water is drawn from.
The problems with groundwater is that we can't see it and aren't always aware of it. But we live on top of our drinking water. If we aren't careful it can be easily contaminated. For example, gasoline or chemicals spilled on the ground or in nearby streams or drainage ditches can seep through the soil and reach the groundwater. Faulty septic systems can allow bacteria and viruses to enter the groundwater system. Because groundwater moves slowly, chemicals like pesticides and fertilizers can accumulate in the groundwater.
Once groundwater is contaminated it is almost impossible to clean. Filtration or other methods of treatment are sometimes possible but are very expensive. Usually the only option after groundwater becomes contaminated is to abandon its use as a water supply.
WHAT IS BEING DONE TO PROTECT THE GROUNDWATER?
The Town of Brunswick and Topsham have adopted aquifer protection zoning ordinances that restrict certain land uses and activities in the "aquifer protection zones". The Brunswick Zoning Ordinance, for example, limits the amount of petroleum products that can be stored to less than 10 gallons. It is not possible, however, to limit all activity. Residential use of fertilizers and pesticides is not prohibited.
HOW CAN I HELP?
~Be aware that we are living over our drinking water and use care when doing anything that could contaminate the groundwater.
~"Think First, Spray Last": Do your research when using pesticides and fertilizers. Regular use of pesticides or fertilizers in the aquifer zones could contaminate the water supply. Do your research on alternative methods to keep your grass green and your plants bug free.