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                                                                          EPA 810-F-99-020
                                                                          December 1999
                                       WATER FACTS
    Drinking Water Facts and Figures

      Water is the only substance found on
       earth in three forms - solid, liquid, and

      A person can live more than a month
       without food, but only about a week,
       depending on conditions, without

      66% of the human body is water; 75%
       of the human brain is water.

      75% of a chicken, 80% of a pineapple,
       and 95% of a tomato is water.

      A person must consume 2.5 quarts of
       water per day from all sources (drink-
       ing, eating) to maintain health.

      Water regulates the earth's temperature.
       It also regulates the temperature of the
       human body, carries nutrients and
       oxygen to cells, cushions joints, pro-
       tects organs and tissues, and removes

      It is possible for people today to drink
       water that was part of the dinosaur era.

  Industries as well as people need water.
   It takes on average 39,090 gallons of
   water to manufacture a new car and its
   four tires.

  62,600 gallons of water are needed to
   produce one ton of steel; 1,500 gallons
   to process one barrel of beer; and 9.3
   gallons to process one can of fruit or

  On average, 50-70% of household
   water is used outdoors (watering  lawns,
   washing cars).

  The average American  uses over  100
   gallons of water per day; the average
   residence uses over 100,000 gallons
   during a year.

  Americans drink more than 1 billion
   glasses of tap water per day.

  The average cost for water supplied to a
   home in the U.S. is about $2.00 for
   1,000 gallons, which equals about 5
   gallons for a penny.

  It costs over $3.5 billion to operate
   water systems throughout the  United
   States each  year.

                        WHAT YOU  CAN DO TO KEEP
                       YOUR DRINKING WATER SAFE
Be Aware of Your Water Source and Supplier
    Where does your water come from?

   * Who is your water supplier?

   * Has your water been tested recently?

   * Is it tested regularly?

   * How is it treated and protected from

   * Have water shortages occurred in your

Conserve Water In the Home/On the Farm
    Improve water use and management practices.

    Repair leaking faucets and toilets.

    Understand crop needs for water and irrigate

    Water your lawn wisely.

    Take short showers.

    Turn off the water while brushing your teeth.

   * Turn off the hose while washing your car.

Minimize the Production of Waste
    Compost vegetable waste.

    Recycle newspapers, aluminum cans, glass

   * Don't buy more of anything than you can use.

    Recycle used motor oil, batteries, paints,
     solvents, and chemicals.

    Think of the impact of what you do on water
Wisely Use and Dispose of Household Lawn
and Garden Chemicals
    Follow all directions carefully.

    Use only what you need.

    Sponsor or participate in pesticide collection/
     disposal activities.
Learn the Facts About Your Water
    Look for and read your consumer confidence
     report (annual water quality report). Call your
     water supplier to get a copy.

    Don't believe everything you hear or read in
     advertisements - get the facts.

    Review results of drinking water tests in your

    Attend  public meetings.

    Follow the news about drinking water matters,
     such as the development of new standards.

    Learn about potential  contamination sources of
     ground water and surface water.
Get Involved in Your Community
    Urge your water supplier and state and local
     regulatory and health officials to ensure that your
     water supply complies with all standards.

    Support efforts to educate the public and elected
     officials about the need to protect and improve
     the quality of drinking water.

    Express willingness to pay higher water rates, if
     necessary, to finance improvements in water
    Support efforts to protect water suppl