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Continuing to Protect Our Nationís Waters

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Author: Elizabeth Catalanotto

Is our nation's water as clean as we would like to believe it is? The Clean Water Act was enacted in 1972 to prevent the discharge of pollutants in surface waters throughout the country. According to the Sierra Club, approximately 70% of the nation's waters were unsuitable for fishing or swimming in the 1960s. But has the CWA been effective at protecting and restoring our water resources?

Since the enactment of the Clean Water Act, the Water Environment Federation (WEF) feels that improvements have been made in the advancement of water treatment. Although America has one of the cleanest and safest water supplies in the world, the EPA agrees that water problems do exist in certain parts of the country. While most of our waters have achieved safe standards, more than 1/3 of the nation's waters continue to fail to meet the standards for their designated use.

Recently, industry groups have continued to push for further leniency of the regulations that govern industrial pollution. For quite some time, dredge and fill permits have been issued for specific industrial projects. Although these permits are already allowing substantial damage to be caused to many national waters, these groups are seeking to gain nationwide permits, which would allow them to legally pollute waters throughout the nation by the means of certain industrial activities.

With the population of our country continuing to grow, so are the demands that we place on our water resources. As these demands increase, we must strengthen the importance of water protection and restoration in the United States; otherwise, legalized pollution may begin to affect our water quality more and more each year.

So how can you help to ensure that the water in your area is clean and safe? Take a step toward improving the water quality in your community by participating in the annual World Water Monitoring Day. The program seeks to raise public awareness and involvement in protecting water resources. By administering simple monitoring tests and reporting the data to the WEF, you can help to improve the water quality in your area. To learn more about participating visit

You can also help by informing your senators and state representatives that you want clean water by visiting Let them know that you are opposed to weakening the safeguards of the Clean Water Act. Clean water should be available to everyone in the country. Do your part to ensure that water in your area as well as the rest of the country is clean and safe.

About the author: Elizabeth Catalanotto is a representative for Mid South Chemical,, a leading manufacturer of water treatment chemicals.

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