August is National Water Quality Month


It’s summer and chances are you have been enjoying our abundant water resources through fun activities such as fishing, swimming and boating. August is National Water Quality Month. I love a quiz which brings out my competitive side, and I hope you do, too. Here is a short eight question quiz to determine your water IQ.

Q: Water is the only substance found naturally on Earth in three forms. What are they?

A: Water is unique in that it is the only natural substance that is found in all three physical states at the temperatures normally found on Earth: solid/ice, liquid/water, gas/water vapor.

Q: What percentage of the water on Earth is fresh water?

A: Approximately three percent; however, most of that is tied up in polar ice caps and glaciers, leaving only one percent for human use worldwide.

Q: What percentage of the world’s fresh water is found in the Great Lakes?

A: About 20 percent.

Q: What is karst?

A: Areas in which the underlying bedrock are made up of highly permeable rocks such as limestone, which over time are dissolved away, creating pathways for contaminants to reach groundwater. In Delaware County, karst can generally be found in the Scioto and Olentangy watersheds.

Q: How much more water do we have today than when George Washington was president?

A: We have the same amount of water today as when the dinosaurs were here. Water is constantly recycled.

Q: What is the longest river in the United States?

A: According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the Missouri River stretches 2,341 miles, beating out the Mississippi River at 2,202 miles. Together, these form the longest river system in North America. By comparison, the Ohio River is 981 miles long and the Scioto is a mere 230 miles.

Q: What is a hellgrammite?

A: Hellgrammites are also referred to as dobsonfly larvae and can be found in riffles, the places in a stream where water runs fast over the rocky bottom. These creatures, referred to as macroinvertebrates because they do not have a backbone and are visible to the naked eye, are pollution intolerant. If a stream has a high number of hellgrammites, along with a wide variety of other pollution intolerant species, that provides a relative view of its overall water quality.

Q: What is nonpoint source pollution?

A: Nonpoint source pollution occurs when rain or snowmelt moves over the ground and carrying any pollutants with which it comes in contact. This untreated water then runs directly into the stormwater system or road ditch and then into the nearest stream, river, or lake. Examples include erosion from development, logging, and agriculture; animal waste from livestock and house pets; fertilizer; herbicides; pesticides; motor oil; failing home sewage treatment systems; yard waste; and litter.

Water is considered a nonrenewable resource. The same amount is recycled over and over again. While we can’t increase the amount of water on Earth or its distribution, each of us has the ability to influence its quality. Ten central Ohio soil and water conservation districts, including Delaware Soil and Water Conservation District, are partnering to share ideas on how we can all “be the change for clean water.”

Visit to learn how you can do your part to protect our water resources, one drop at a time! There is no life without water.

We will be at the Delaware County Fair, Sept. 14-18, located next to the sheep and lamb barn. To learn about our various activities, check out our website at and find us on Facebook and Instagram.

By Bonnie Dailey

Delaware Soil & Water Conservation District

Bonnie Dailey is deputy director of the Delaware Soil & Water Conservation District. For information, go to

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