From 1776 to the present day, July 4th has been celebrated as the birth of American independence, with festivities ranging from fireworks, parades and concerts to more casual family gatherings and barbecues. It is one of America’s most cherished holidays.
The Rural Water family prides itself on its love for this country and dedication to their community. Rural Water professionals across this great land are some of the unseen heroes that work every day to provide safe, clean drinking water while safeguarding the environment and protecting the health of millions of Americans.
Water touches every part of our Independence Day festivities including barbeques, outdoor activities, and most prominently, fireworks. The American Pyrotechnics Association estimates that more than 14,000 professional firework displays light the skies on July 4. Another 238 million pounds of amateur fireworks are discharged from backyards, parks and streets across the country. The same rural water sources that provide quality drinking water to these areas are the same sources that provide local firefighters with water to extinguish fires caused by fireworks.
According to the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA), thousands of injuries and fires are caused by fireworks each year in the U.S. On average, fireworks are the source of 18,500 fires per year in the United States, and more fires are reported on July 4 than any other day of the year.
Benchmarks vary by jurisdiction, but one standard requires water systems be able to supply an extra 250 gallons per minute over the utility’s maximum daily rate, sustained for at least two hours. That’s the rough equivalent of the daily water use of the average house every minute.
Rural Water professionals make roughly 30,000 on-site technical assistance visits annually, that include everything from hands-on repairs and leak detection to managerial assistance and rate studies. Rural Water also trains over 100,000 utility personnel every year to ensure communities can provide both the quality of water necessary for drinking and the quantity needed for fire protection.
NRWA would like to thank all water and wastewater professionals who dedicate their life’s work to protecting communities, small and large from coast to coast, and the vital role you play so Americans can celebrate its independence safe and sound.
The National Rural Water Association and the rest of our Rural Water family hopes everyone has a happy and safe Fourth of July!