It’s time for one of our favorite events of the year: the American Water Works Association’s Drinking Water Week!
Celebrated annually during the first full week of May, 2021’s observance runs today through Friday.
Each day this week, we’ll be sharing important information and resources on Facebook and Twitter — even a photo contest and downloadable activities for kids (more on that later).
Why is Drinking Water Week so important? Because every day, millions of us turn on the tap, but give little thought to the hard work, dedication and expertise behind the clean water that comes out — until there’s a problem.
Utility employees are essential, working around the clock to ensure that you have clean and reliable water service all day, every day.
This has been especially true during the COVID-19 pandemic, when LCA employees on (and under) the street, in mobile worksites, in treatment plants, in labs, at home, and in offices are working tirelessly to keep the water flowing.
“Our employees are unsung heroes! They are essential every day as they work to deliver high quality, safe, and reliable water services to your home,” says Liesel Gross, LCA’s Chief Executive Officer. “During this Drinking Water Week, please remember the people providing services to you as you turn on your tap.”
(To learn more about how LCA brings water services to homes and businesses across the Lehigh Valley, read “Where Does My Drinking Water Come From?” You can also learn more about the water in your municipality on the About Your Water page.)
A Water World
Although the Earth is composed largely of water (about 71 percent), most of that water (about 97 percent) is found in the ocean or sea; another two percent is frozen. What’s left that’s suitable to use is a little less than one percent, and that number is shrinking due to pollution and growing demands.
Adding to that challenge is the nation’s crumbling water infrastructure, which in some places is more than 100 years old. The American Water Works Association estimates more than $1 trillion is needed over the next two decades to replace aging systems all over the country. In Allentown alone, LCA expects water systems will need $150 million in improvements over the next 10 years.
There was good news this week, though, when the Senate passed the $35 billion Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act of 2021. The importance of this bill cannot be understated: Our water infrastructure is critical to the health and safety of the nation. Many of the improvements in the health, prosperity, and longevity of the U.S. population over the last 100 years can be attributed to improvements in water quality. The Senate vote was a beacon of light that those improvements can continue; we’re hopeful that the House will also answer the call.
It’s a Celebration
Meanwhile, there is much to celebrate! Our long-term plan to improve infrastructure in Allentown and all our service areas is steadily progressing. And in January, LCA was awarded a low-cost state loan as part of those efforts, which will help us upgrade essential equipment and keep rates low.
Over the next five days, we hope you’ll take a moment to join us in some Drinking Water Week celebrations.
One way you can take part — and possibly win $100 — is through the American Water Works Association’s photo contest.
Just snap a picture of a moment when water is “there when you need it,” and follow the instructions at the link for a chance to win a $100 Amazon gift card!
Fun for Kids, Too
We also have a number of games and puzzles available, so that young children can join in the fun while learning about water. Just click the links at the descriptions, below, to get started.
“We have a great team working to protect public health and the environment each and every day,” says CEO Liesel Gross. “Please join me in celebrating our essential employees during this Drinking Water Week!”