Does your water filter handle chemical runoff?

Spring is here. It’s warmer, the ground has thawed and it’s time to tend to the yard with new plantings, flower beds and grass maintenance. What you may not realize, however, is that many of the products you’re using to make your lawn beautiful contain harmful chemicals that can make their way into your drinking water and your community’s water supply. 

The United States Fish and Wildlife Service reports that homeowners use up to 10 times more chemicals per acre than farmers do. Many lawn treatment and gardening products include chemicals like glyphosate, carbaryl, malathion and 2,4-D. Agricultural runoff can contain high levels of nitrates from fertilizers and other contaminants from heavy metals, herbicides, pesticides and animal waste. Pesticides have been found to cause a number of short- and long-term adverse health effects, affecting the nervous system, reproductive system and endocrine system. They have been linked to cancer, Alzheimer's Disease, ADHD and even birth defects. 

Drinking water contamination
Contamination to your drinking water can occur when these chemicals from our yards and local agriculture leach down into the soil and groundwater supply, or when they are carried into streams by rainwater and floodwater runoff. In the event of a flood or other large-scale natural disaster, these contaminants can be displaced in high volumes and travel far to pollute individual drinking water wells and community water systems.

The Seychelle water filtration bottle
Should you be affected by an emergency event in which the chemicals your neighbors or local industries are using have polluted your water supply, it’s important to be equipped with a Plan B for access to clean and safe drinking water. 

We selected the Seychelle water filtration bottle for our Phoenix Kit to address the harmful chemicals found in agricultural runoff. Many water filters in survival kits handle bacteria, viruses and other parasites, but do not include chemical runoff. The Seychelle filter does and can be used with any type of water source—tap, rainwater, rivers, streams and even lakes (excluding saltwater). It removes 99.99% of contaminants and pollutants, from bacteria to agricultural runoff. 

Our first task as individuals who are part of a larger community is to be conscious of what products we put on our lawns and, consequently, into our water supply. We can choose non-chemical weed controls, minimizing our use of fertilizer and harmful pesticides. Beyond Pesticides, a nonprofit that works to protect public health and reduce pesticide use, has numerous educational and how-to resources on pesticides and alternatives, such as organic lawn care, understanding your weeds, and less-toxic control.   

If you are using chemical fertilizers and pesticides on your lawn or garden, remember to carefully read all labels and instructions for correct use, and take care when handling and disposing of leftover products properly.

You can’t control all the sources of potential contaminants to your drinking water, especially in the event of a flood or natural disaster, but you can be prepared. Selecting the Seychelle water filtration bottle to address the chemicals in lawn and gardening products was important for us when developing the Phoenix Kit, so that you can be confident that in the event of an unexpected emergency you’ll continue to have access to safe drinking water—the most basic of needs.

Photo by Kai Dahms