Groundwater quality is important for maintaining human uses of groundwater and protecting the environment. The quality of groundwater is especially important for ensuring safe drinking water. The National Ground Water Association estimates that 49% of the U.S. population depends on groundwater for its drinking water supply from either a public source or private well. For more information on drinking water issues, see TGPC's Groundwater as Drinking Water Page.
Preventing contamination from occurring preserves groundwater quality. Removing contaminants from an aquifer can be costly and at times technologically infeasible. Pollution prevention is a much wiser, cheaper, and safer way of preserving the use of groundwater. To learn about groundwater quality in Texas, look at the TGPC's Joint Groundwater Monitoring and Contamination Report (see the TGPC Publications webpage for the current version).
Pollution Prevention for Public and Private Entities
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) has a host of programs for helping public and private entities reduce or eliminate pollution.
- EPA's Nonpoint Source Outreach Toolbox - a comprehensive set of Web-based resources designed to assist communities across the U.S. conduct locally effective watershed education and outreach activities.
Prevention in the City
- TCEQ's Take Care of Texas Community Involvement webpage.
- TCEQ Brochure Used Oil Recycling Handbook (PDF. Help with PDF.)
- TCEQ's Recycling webpage
- TCEQ's Household Hazardous Waste: A Guide for Texans provides information on various hazardous household wastes and their disposal.
- One can reduce the use of pesticides with Integrated Pest Management (IPM). Information is available on Texas A&M AgriLife Extension's Texas IPM Program website and from the Texas Department of Agriculture's Structural Pest Control Service program.
- The Groundwater Foundation's Ways to Protect and Conserve Groundwater webpage.
Prevention in the Country
- TCEQ's Recycling webpage
- TCEQ's Consumer Information on Household Chemicals and Waste provides information on various hazardous household wastes and their disposal.
- Tex*A*Syst has a series of webpages and slide shows on preventing pollution in a variety of ways, including pesticide and fertilizer handling and storage, septic tanks, hazardous waste, and farming activities.
- EPA's Agricultural Management Practices for Water Quality Protection
- National Small Flows Clearinghouse helps small communities and homeowners solve their wastewater problems to prevent pollution and protect public health and the environment.
- U.S. Geological Society's Groundwater and the Rural Homeowner Website
- U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Healthy Water
For reporting unauthorized discharges and spills, please call Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) within 24 hours after occurrence at 1-800-832-8224.
TCEQ Emergency Response
For reporting historic contamination, please submit written notification to the appropriate TCEQ Regional Director within 10 days of discovery. Find your Regional Director. Please include as much information possible about:
- the exact address and location of the contamination
- date and method of discover
- the nature of historic contamination
- possible sources of contamination
- estimation of the extent of contamination
- the current property owner or operator of the site
- any other appropriate information