August is National Water Quality Month

It’s National Water Quality Month and that means it’s a good time to reflect on something that we might not think about every day but is incredibly important- the quality of your water from source to tap. As the month comes to a close it’s a good time to understand where your source water comes from so you can successfully protect its quality.

Water that goes into your home comes from the Clackamas River. It’s important to know your water source because protecting it from contamination like pollution and trash can help the quality of water that comes into your home.

Here are some ways you can protect your source water which will protect water quality. 

  • Don’t over-water your lawn. It’s hot and dry and turing brown. We get it, but your lawn needs much less water than you think. Over-watering can increase the flow of fertilizers deep into soils and eventually groundwater supplies, which are an important drinking water source. Walk on your lawn to find out if it is thirsty – if your footprints remain, it is time to water. Not sure how much to water? Check out to get your weekly watering number.


  • Wait for dry weather. Check the forecast before applying fertilizers, pesticides and other lawn care chemicals. Pesticides and other chemicals made it on the the EPA’s list for their Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule testing.  This means that drinking water providers are testing for these chemicals to find out if they’re a problem. You can do your part by keeping your chemicals out of the river and streams.
  • STASH THE TRASH! Our friends at the Clackamas River Basin Council sponsor Stash the Trash bags throughout the Clackamas Basin. You may have seen these bags at County and State Parks  in the watershed. Grab one of these free bags before you hit the water and keep your trash where it belongs.


  • Want to do more? Sign up for We Love Clean Rivers and the Clackamas River Basin Council Down River Clean-Up on September 7th. A flotilla of volunteers raft, kayak, tube, SCUBA, or canoe down a fifteen-mile stretch of the Clackamas, removing any trash they may encounter along the way to preserve and protect the river. All volunteers are treated invited to a post-event celebration which includes a free BBQ, live music, a silent auction and a whole bunch more. Visit for more info.