Home *A* Syst - Home Assessment Guide (WQ51)

Home *A* Syst - Home Assessment Guide (WQ51)

Home*A*Syst chapters cover essential topics that every homeowner or resident should understand. Each chapter contains key points, along with tables of assessment questions, to help you understand which risks apply to your situation.

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What’s inside?

Chapter 1: Site Assessment: Protecting Water Quality around Your Home
Chapter 2: Managing Household Trash: Preventing Waste, Reusing, Recycling and Composting
Chapter 3: Managing Hazardous Household Products
Chapter 4: Lead in and around the Home: Identifying and Managing its Sources
Chapter 5: Indoor Air Quality: Reducing Health Risks and Improving the Air You Breathe
Chapter 6: Energy Savings for Your Home
Chapter 7: Managing Stormwater around Your Home
Chapter 8: Conserving Water around Your Home
Chapter 9: Caring for the Yard and Garden
Chapter 10: Protecting Your Drinking Water Well
Chapter 11: Managing Household Wastewater: Septic Systems and Other Treatment Methods
Chapter 12: Managing Liquid Fuels Safely: Gasoline, Heating Oil, Diesel and Other Fuels

What is Home*A*Syst?

Home*A*Syst is a confidential self-assessment program you can use to evaluate your home and property for pollution and health risks. In every home, potential pollution sources exist that can affect the health of your family, your community or the environment. Drinking water, for example, can be affected by many contaminant sources: poorly maintained septic or sewage systems, leaky fuel tanks, fertilizers, pesticides and hazardous household products.

Getting started

You can do Home*A*Syst’s risk assessment exercises one at a time or all together—it’s up to you. The main idea is to take the time to find out if there are risks to your family’s health or pollution threats to your environment. Then, where feasible, take action to reduce those risks and prevent problems. This publication helps you accomplish three important objectives: 1. Identify environmental risks, concerns or problems in or near the home. 2. Learn how to better manage your home and property and how to find further information. 3. Take preventive actions to safeguard your health and the environment.

It’s up to you!

These Home*A*Syst chapters are not difficult to complete, and the results can benefit you and your family. For example, working with your children can be a great educational experience for everyone. And actions you take to eliminate risks may improve your property’s resale value. If you value a clean environment and healthy surroundings, then by using Home*A*Syst—and making changes—you can invest in your family’s future and invest in your community.

Why is it important to take action?

Simply identifying risks does not prevent problems. Consider the following reasons for making voluntary improvements, particularly for responding to medium and high risks identified in your home.

To safeguard your health!
You probably spend a lot of time in your home. Dangers in the water you drink or from hazardous chemicals in your home must be eliminated quickly and effectively.

To prevent contaminating water supplies and other natural resources!
Protecting groundwater and surface water quality is essential to you and your neighbors and to others downstream. This is important whether your drinking water comes from a private well or a municipal system. Everything is connected, so what you do affects others.

To protect your financial investment!
Your home is often your most valuable investment. Knowing about potential risks or problems can help prevent costly cleanups, repairs and legal troubles. And it pays not only to take care of your own property but also to make sure others around you are using good management practices. Property values and tax burdens can be affected by pollution problems on your property and in your neighborhood or city. In addition, taking steps to cut your use of water or other resources can save you money.

Residential Environmental Assurance Program

Do you want to be a certified environmentally responsible neighbor and be in the forefront of leadership on residential environmental practices in your community?

Do you want everyone to know the effort you have made to make your home and community environmentally safe?

The Michigan Groundwater Stewardship Program and its partners encourage you to become certified through the Residential Environmental Assurance Program (REAP).

REAP the benefits for your family and neighborhood in making changes to protect your health, home, water and much more. The assessments in each chapter indicate what is needed for certification.

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