The Garden Club of East Hampton believes that clean water is of major importance for sustaining all life on earth. We must do all
that we can to protect and preserve our clean water supply. Our water on the eastern end of Long Island comes from a sole source
aquifer. Whether you have a private well or public water, it all comes from the same underground aquifer. Therefore, what is put on
top of the ground leaches into the aquifer and ends up in our drinking water. With this in mind, the following information is
In the Home
Conserve water by using less. Furthermore, be sure to not dump or flush any chemical materials into toilets, drains, indoors or out.
These include left over medications, cleaners, polishes, paints, motor oils, fertilizers, and pesticides. It is also important to learn
about our watersheds.
Over 15 million private wells supply drinking water to American families. Many private wells are used in the Springs area of East
Hampton. Well water is ground water and needs to be tested periodically. The EPA does not require testing, but homeowners with
wells should test their water for bacteria and nitrates at least once a year and for chemicals every three years. If gastrointestinal
illness develops among well water users, the supply should be tested immediately and the local health department consulted. The
department will have the names of local water testing laboratories. The National Testing Laboratories can be reached at 1-800-458-
3330 or on the Internet at www.watercheck.com.
Well owners should be aware of the aquifer that supplies their water. Is there new development in the neighborhood that would
threaten draw down? Could there be contamination in the area?
Public water systems are required by the Safe Drinking Water Act to test their water on a regular basis and report the results to the
state and the EPA. You can get these results by calling your water company. If you want to have your own tap water tested, use a
laboratory certified by the EPA. Your state water agency can give you the name and number of your water company and the name
and number of testing laboratories in your area.
In the Garden
Water is a resource that needs conserving. Gardeners can set a good example by determining when to water, how to water and
how much to apply.
Maintain a small lawn and keep the rest of your yard with trees, shrubs and native plantings that require little water.
Collect rain runoff (rain barrels under gutter downspouts), use rain gauges, water timers and water only when necessary. Water
deeply, not often.
Do not water during the heat of the day, between 10 am and 4 pm, because of high evaporation loss. The best time is early morning
to prevent diseases.
Soaker or drip hoses provide water without the evaporation caused by sprinklers and prevent erosion and runoff.
Water systems with moisture sensors can greatly reduce water usage.
2-4” of mulch reduces the evaporation of moisture from the soil. Pine bark mulch is preferred – it is a byproduct of the timber/paper
industries. When it breaks down, it adds organic matter to the soil. Ground up leaves, such as oak, and pine straw are also good
Avoid applying toxic chemicals to lawn and garden that will leach into our ground water.
The Garden Club of America