For more than 30 years, communities across the United States have joined the American Water Works Association in recognizing the essential role that water plays in our daily lives by celebrating National Drinking Water Week (NDWW). 

This year Evanston has chosen the theme “100 Years of Clean Water” to recognize the importance of water and the Water Department’s work in providing clean, safe and reliable drinking water to our community for the last century.

Among the activities of NDWW were an art contest for third-grade students, a photo contest for middle-school students, a rain-barrel project for high-school students, a sunset canoe trip along the North Shore Channel, water sports at Chandler-Newberger Center, a drinking-water trivia contest at the Levy Center, rain-barrel workshop at the Ecology Center, after-school activities at the Ecology Center and a presentation on keeping waterways clean – one of CGE’s Green Drinks evenings at the Firehouse Grill.

Residents are invited to view the entries from the art and photo contest, from 3 to 4:30 p.m. on May 11 at the Main Library, 1703 Orrington Ave. There will also be a presentation on “100 Years of Clean Water.”

The City offers the following ways to conserve water and “protect the tap:”

• Use the Drip Calculator from the American Water Works Association to estimate water waste, cut down on leaks and water waste in the home.

• Consult http://www.awwa.org/resources-tools/public-affairs/public-information/dripcalculator.aspx.

• Look for safer alternatives to control weeds and bugs, and reduce or eliminate the use of pesticides or fertilizers, as they can travel through runoff and soil and contaminate ground water.

• Recycle or properly dispose of used motor oil, grease and parts cleaners and antifreeze. One quart of motor oil can contaminate more than 250,000 gallons
of water.

• Use non-toxic cleaning and household products whenever possible.

• Volunteer with a beach, stream, or wetlands cleanup project.

• Properly dispose of prescription medications and other products that are too often flushed into the wastewater system and out to the environment.