Praise Innovative Water-Safety Assessment Tool


Target: Gina McCarthy, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator

Goal: Praise innovative waterway assessment app and website

People rely on lakes and rivers for things like drinking water, swimming, and fishing. Unfortunately, American waterways often become polluted from toxic urban, industrial, and agricultural run-off. People need to know whether or not their local waterways are safe. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) needs to be praised for its new “How’s My Waterway?” app/website, which allows individuals to easily determine the condition of surrounding lakes and rivers.

The majority of Americans get drinking water from lakes and rivers. These hundreds of thousands of bodies of water also serve as habitats for all manner of fish and wildlife, including many endangered or threatened species. American waterways are precious national resources, yet many of them are in danger of becoming polluted with highly toxic chemicals, and many of them already are polluted. Urban areas are usually covered with hard surfaces that do not allow water to permeate through the ground. As a result, during large storms, streams of stormwater often carry urban pollutants like grease, garbage, animal feces, pesticides, and oil to surrounding lakes and rivers. Mining operations can release dangerous heavy metals that pollute nearby bodies of water. Farms often use fertilizers and pesticides to stimulate crop growth and to protect crops from insects. These chemicals find their way into local waterways, rendering them toxic.

To help people determine the quality of water in their surrounding lakes and rivers, the EPA created the How’s My Waterway? app/website, which allows an individual to use a smart phone, computer, or tablet to search by GPS technology, or by entering a zip code or city name, for a list of all lakes and rivers within a five mile radius. In addition, the app/website provides detailed information regarding the water quality in these bodies of water. Specifically, it will let the user know if the water in a given lake or river is safe or polluted, as well as information about the type of pollutants and how dangerous they are. The app/website also informs the user what steps, if any, are currently being taken to treat already polluted lakes and rivers.

Please sign the petition below to thank Gina McCarthy, EPA Administrator, for the development and release of the How’s My Waterway? app/website, which allows people to easily and quickly determine the safety level of their surrounding waterways.


Dear Ms. McCarthy,

I am writing to thank you and your staff at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for your recent development and release of the How’s My Waterway? app/website. The majority of Americans get their drinking water from lakes and rivers. These hundreds of thousands of bodies of water also serve as important wildlife habitats. Unfortunately, these precious waterways are regularly threatened by toxic pollutants from urban, industrial, and agricultural run-off. Americans need to know if their local waterways are safe or not and whether or not anything is being done to treat already polluted lakes and rivers.

The How’s My Waterway? app/website does exactly that. It provides an easy, user-friendly way for people to quickly determine water quality in their communities. They can know if their drinking water is safe, and they can know to pressure their local governments to step up cleaning efforts if their drinking water is polluted. Thank you again for this wonderful app/website. Your work is much appreciated.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Wusel007 at Wikimedia Commons

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