What Are Some Ways to Prevent Water Pollution?

To prevent water pollution, avoid overwatering lawns and gardens, use native plants that require less water, and apply natural fertilizers that retain water and moisture. At home, avoid flushing foreign objects and disposing of harmful chemicals, paints, oils and cleaning solvents down drains or sinks.

Properly disposing of pet waste to keep it out of water supplies and storm drains can also help prevent water pollution. Hazardous household chemicals also need to be disposed of safely through a city or county public works and sanitation department to avoid cleaners, pool chemicals and insecticides flowing into storm drains or sinks and contaminating local bodies of water. Pharmaceuticals and personal-care products should also not be disposed of in sinks or drains.

Prevent water waste and pollution by using professional car washes where the water runoff is recycled, instead of washing vehicles at home. Many professional car washes maintain sewer systems that treat the water to eliminate the various automotive fluids. When maintaining a vehicle, prevent water pollution by recycling used motor oil instead of dumping it into gutters or storm drains. Just one quart of motor oil can pollute up to 250,000 gallons of drinking water, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council.