Take a moment to think about the impact you are making on water quality where you live. Let’s leave our kids and grandkids a legacy of safe, clean water.

I’m thinking what this article should be about as I dodge all the water puddles in the yard from the recent rains. Of course, let’s talk about water, or more specifically, the impact you personally make on water quality where you live.

For example, can you name the watershed you live in? The term watershed means the accumulating site where all water in a given area has the potential to end up. That means a lake, river, etc.

Can you list the pathways that water follows when it flows off your property? My house sits near a highway and I have a good portion of my yard French-drained so that excess water drains into the ditch beside that road. That ditch takes the water down to a nearby creek that empties into another creek that eventually empties into the Arkansas River.

Do you apply fertilizers or pesticides to your lawn? The residual from those applications has the potential to end up in water coming off your property. Do you take the time to calibrate and space applications so you are not overapplicating? I practice minimal application so I feel my water run-off is pretty safe coming off my property.

How do you dispose of hazardous substances such as paints, stains, polishes, solvents, automotive oil, etc.? Pouring them down a sink, toilet or in a ditch is obviously not a safe practice. I take used motor oil (and the filters) for reclamation at a local automotive parts store. I use all containers until they are empty and dispose of containers according to manufacturer’s instructions. Disposal of medications, too, needs to be addressed. Did you know the Paris police department has a drug take-back station in its office?

Thought should even be given as to how you hand wash your vehicle at home because that run-off water, too, ends up in a ditch that drains to some place else.

One extremely critical watershed is the area that drains into the Paris city lake - just think how many households and businesses in Logan County rely on that water to be safe!

Take a moment to think about the impact you are making on water quality where you live. Let’s leave our kids and grandkids a legacy of safe, clean water.