From the Harford County Department of Health:
On Wednesday, March 11, 2015, Maryland Secretary of the Environment, Benjamin H. Grumbles, will visit Harford County in observance of National Groundwater Awareness Week, March 8–14, 2015.
The event was planned as a partnership between the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE), the Harford County Health Department and Harford County Public Schools. Secretary Grumbles is scheduled to arrive at Hickory Elementary School shortly before 2:00p and will engage a classroom of fifth grade students with a presentation and discussion about the importance of groundwater to the health and well-being of humanity and the environment.
About a quarter of all U.S. rainfall becomes groundwater, which provides much of the flow of many streams and lakes into the underground water table. The majority of public water systems in the United States use ground water as their primary source and nearly half of the American population depends on groundwater for its drinking water supply.
The Maryland Department of the Environment and the MD Dept. of Health & Mental Hygiene in conjunction with its local health jurisdictions, collaborate closely on a variety of important initiatives of mutual interest and importance to both environmental protection and public health. Comments Harford County Health Officer Susan Kelly, “All people by their living habits can protect or harm groundwater, our nation and the world’s most abundant freshwater supply. The first step toward protecting groundwater is to become aware of how it can be contaminated. The second step is to do your part to keep from contaminating it.”
Although generally considered safe to use in the United States, groundwater is susceptible to naturally occurring or man-made contamination from pesticides, industrial and agricultural wastes. Failures in treatment of municipal sewage or improper disposal into the environment also can pollute groundwater where human exposure to contaminants at harmful levels can lead to acute and chronic illnesses.
To learn more about the importance of groundwater, visit The Maryland Department of the Environment website at www.mde.maryland.gov or the Harford County Health Department website at www.harfordcountyhealth.com.