Surface water serves many purposes. The leading utilization of surface water include drinking-water and other public uses, irrigation uses, and for use by the thermoelectric-power industry to cool electricity-generating equipment. The majority of water used for thermoelectric power, public supply, irrigation, mining, and industrial purposes came from surface-water sources.
About 70 percent of the freshwater used in the United States in 2015 came from surface-water sources. The other 30 percent came from groundwater. Surface water is an important natural resource used for many purposes, especially irrigation and public supply (supplying people with drinking water and for everyday uses).
Surface Water Quality Standards
The Surface Water Quality Standards form explicit goals for the quality of streams, rivers, lakes, and bays throughout the state of Texas. The Standards are developed to maintain the quality of surface waters in Texas so that it supports public health and enjoyment and protects aquatic life, consistent with the sustainable economic development of the state.
Water quality standards identify suitable uses for the state’s surface waters, including recreation, public water supply or drinking and aquatic life. The criteria for evaluating support of those uses include temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen, dissolved minerals, toxic substances, and bacteria.
Surface Water Sampling
Protecting the quality of water in aquifers and ground wells is crucial to protecting the drinking water. The use of chemicals, pesticides and other pollutants can risk the safety of the drinking water.
CRG Texas Environmental Services works hand in hand with testing laboratories to offer complete sampling and correlation analysis for public and private water systems to evaluate the safety of the water in wells and aquifers. Drinking water is regulated by the EPA in compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act, and water systems and bottled water manufacturers must meet strict standards for the quality of the drinking water provided to consumers.
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Surface Water Environmental Tips
- Healthy water is essential: Keep your water as clean as it can be.
- Taking time for water inspections are worth the investment.
- Watch for dingy or cloudy water: The moment you notice something seems off with your water—odor, taste, or appearance, it is smart to have your water tested.