Trunkline Magazine (Louisville Zoo) June 2018 | Page 20

KIDS HELPING WONDERFUL WATER Provided by: Louisville Water Company There’s something all around us that is one of our most important natural resources. We use it for drinking, cleaning, to grow our food, and even for play! Do you know what it is? It’s water! Plants, animals and other organisms all need water to live. But, because of cities, nearby water sources can get very dirty over time. We can’t just drink any water directly from where we find it; we have to make sure it’s clean first. Pollution can come from many different sources and it is not al- ways easy to identify exactly where it came from. There are two types of pollution: point source pollution and non-point source pollution. Point source pollution means you can point to the source of the pol- lution like a factory. Non-point source pollution means you can’t point to the exact source of the pollution. Natural processes like weathering and ero- sion can send dirt, rocks, sticks and leaves into the river. Humans can also impact the quality of the water with fertilizers, pet waste, salt, car oils, and pesticides. All of these are examples of this kind of pollution, but there are many more. These pol- lutants are washed off roads or carried over the ground by rain or melting snow. The polluted rainwater or snow runoff ends up in streams, lakes, rivers and oceans. It is very hard to control this form of pollution since it covers a wide area and many different land uses. Unfortunately, we all contrib- ute to non-point source pollution. Often, we don’t even realize we are doing it. When we drive in cars, spray pesticides on our plants or litter, we cause harmful chemicals and solid waste items to end up in our waterways. The more particles of these items that get into our water, the harder it can be to clean. Plus, there are other things we can’t see in the wa- ter too — like germs and bacteria. Each day Louisville Water Com- pany employees work to ensure high-quality, safe drinking water. From plant operators who monitor the treatment processes to water quality scientists who test the water, it’s a 24-hours-a-day operation. These workers help to make millions of gallons of clean drinking water for us from our water sources. Wa- ter is removed from the Ohio River and then goes through a three-day treatment process before it’s sent to our homes and businesses that are serviced by Louisville Water. It’s important that we all do our part to take care of our water source and help keep the Ohio River as clean as possible. Here are some easy ways you can help: • Pick up trash. Recycle it if you can! • Clean up after your pets • Participate in a river clean up • Use fewer chemicals when land- scaping and gardening • Clean up spills or leaking car fluids • Plant grass, trees and shrubs in open areas to prevent water run off For more information, visit Did you know? Water is a precious resource that provides life for all living things and we must all consider our role in protecting our oceans and waterways. Plastic, especially, is a large factor in water pollution as micro particles from plastic waste can find their way in our water sources, harming both people and wildlife. A great way to reduce your plastic usage is by reducing the amount of plastic bags you use on a daily basis. The Louisville Zoo went bagless last year at our gift shops. With 78,000 transactions, we prevented 78,000 plastic bags from turning into environmental waste. 20 • Louisville Zoo Trunkline • Summer 2018