Source Water Protection Brochure

AWWA invites water utilities, sections and other partners to join the Association in declaring Sept. 26-Oct. 2 the first-ever “Source Water Protection Week.”

Throughout the week, we will be raising awareness about the importance of caring for our precious drinking water sources. Source Water Protection Week materials are now available, and many additional resources will be added between now and Sept. 26.

Why Source Water Protection Week?

The best way to assure we have high quality drinking water at the tap is to protect our precious water sources. If we keep our rivers, lakes and underground wells free from pollution, it’s easier and less expensive to keep water safe and healthy.

What You Can Do to Celebrate Source Water Protection Week

Whether you’re a water utility professional, a business leader or a drinking water consumer, there are easy ways to recognize the importance of protecting our precious water sources. In addition to the below suggestions, visit the Source Water Protection Week Materials page.

Ideas for PA-AWWA Utilities

Whether you issue a proclamation, post information on social media or use any of the other ideas provided, communicating to the public during Source Water Protection Week is integral to any successful celebration.

  • Prepare an official proclamation declaring Sept. 26-Oct. 2 Source Water Protection Week in your community.
  • Share a copy or link to your local source water assessment and/or protection plan, along with guidance on how to ask questions or provide feedback.
  • Post information to social media related to drinking water sources and source water protection. Encourage viewer engagement through comments and interactive content.
  • Take part in the #ShowYourSource social media contest.
  • Share educational materials about source water protection. Examples could include training courses, webinars, workshops, and K-12 school programs. The Source Water Collaborative Learning Exchange is a great place to start.
  • Issue a newsletter or press release that focuses on the importance of source water protection, how the utility approaches it, and actions everyone can take to protect drinking water supplies.
  • Hold a poster, photo, or essay contest for kids to show what source water protection means to them.
  • Host a live or virtual watershed tour to help people connect land use activities to the quantity and quality of water for drinking water supplies.
  • Connect with local watershed and conservation organizations to discuss ways to partner on source water protection efforts.
  • Host and/or participate in community volunteer activities that protect the environment such as watershed cleanups, stenciling stormwater drains, and planting trees or riparian buffers.
Ideas for PA Consumers
  • Manage household hazardous waste properly (cleaners, paints, vehicle fluids, fertilizers, pesticides, etc.) – Only purchase what you need. Donate unused portions to friends or community organizations. Recycle leftovers when possible. To find recycling/disposal locations visit or call 1-800-CLEANUP.
  • Avoid dumping – Never put anything down the sink, toilet or storm drain as it can end up in drinking water sources. Dispose of cleaners, medicines, oil/grease, etc. properly.
  • Clean up – Pick up after yourself and your pets. Use trash receptacles and recycle whenever possible. Pet waste can enter storm drains and spread bacteria.
  • Use alternative products – Avoid using products that may contain harmful materials such as perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS); use cast iron or stainless-steel pots and pans instead of non-stick pots and pans.
  • Find your source – Identify your source of water and check where you live and work relative to source water areas. An example tool that can be used to find this information in the U.S. is DWMAPS.
  • Conserve water – Use water efficiently to ease the burden on water sources and save money. Repair leaks, use a rain barrel, install low flow devices to toilets and showers, wash full loads of laundry and dishes, etc. For more steps to save water visit
  • Limit use of fertilizers and pesticides – Reduce the amount of materials used on your lawn or consider natural alternatives.
  • Service your septic system – Have a professional inspect your septic system every 3 years and have it pumped every 3-5 years.
  • Participate in volunteer activities – Attend events such as removing invasive plants and replanting natives, stormwater drain stenciling, rain barrel workshops, litter cleanups, etc. Watershed groups are often familiar with upcoming local events.
  • If you see something, say something – Report any spills, illegal dumping, or suspicious activity to authorities.

Other Examples:
• 10 ways to protect our water (
• Easy Things You Can Do To Protect Drinking Water Sources (US EPA)

Ideas for PA Businesses

  • Report spills immediately to proper authorities.
  • Follow regulations and permit requirements applicable to your business.
  • Demonstrate your business’s commitment to environmental stewardship by following industry environmental best practices.
  • Join your Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) to form partnerships and increase resources for hazardous materials preparedness.
  • Develop plans and procedures to respond to emergency events such as spills, extreme weather, etc.
  • Train employees on emergency response plans and procedures, spill prevention, and environmental best practices.
  • Properly store and secure chemicals, cleaners, oils/fuels, and other potentially hazardous materials. Inspect the systems regularly, including secondary containment, and cap or reroute floor drains where needed.
  • Employ conservation measures to ease the burden on water supplies and reduce water waste.
  • Identify your local water utility and check your location(s) relative to source water areas. An example tool that can be used to find this information in the U.S. is DWMAPS.
  • Host a company volunteer day and/or encourage employees to participate in volunteer opportunities for watershed protection.

Other Examples: