Is Our Water Safe?
Water, like air, has been taken for granted for far too long! Americans have become accustomed to using a faucet and getting the water that won’t make them sick, or does it?
Both manmade and natural contaminants find themselves in our water; some of which can cause health problems over long-term exposure.
Believe it or not, a lot of our water is contaminated naturally. Due to recent innovations in water testing, we can now find contaminants like radium and arsenic; both of which occur naturally in the earth’s crust. Consuming water with an unsafe concentration of radium is unhealthy and can cause cancer. Arsenic, on the other hand, is odorless, tasteless and enters our drinking water supply from natural deposits in the earth. Consuming water with an unsafe concentration of arsenic can cause arsenic poisoning.
In addition to nature, humans are also to blame for water contamination. Pollution, caused by our Earth’s rapid population growth, ruins our Earth’s natural resources and has become a serious concern for our health and the health of our children. Toxic chemicals can enter our drinking supply through garbage dumps, farm runoff and pharmaceutical waste, just to name a few.
The Safe Drinking Water Act
The EPA has set standards that our water suppliers must meet when delivering water to our homes and businesses here in the United States. The Environmental Protection Agency set these standards with the Safe Drinking Water Act of 1974. This law was amended in 1986 and again in 1996, where the only updated quality standard was increasing protection against microbial contaminants such as cryptosporidium.
Due to recent advancements in science and technology, we can now detect contaminants much more accurately. In addition, new harmful contaminants could exist in our water that was unknown in 1996, let alone 1974. This is clearly evident from the chart above.
Due to this, many argue that with the advancement of new testing procedures, the EPA should update the standard of quality drinking water. The USDA updated the food pyramid in 2011. Isn’t it time to update the standards of quality drinking water as well?
What can you do?
- Research the violation level of your local water authority. The Environmental Working Group has collected test results from the EPA in every state. They summarized the results in an easy-to-understand format that can help every American learn about what’s really in their water.
- Keep you and your family healthy by removing the contaminants found in your water with a home water purifying system.
- Make sure your local government finds and punishes companies who pollute the earth and contaminate our drinking water.
- Get involved! Contact your local government and demand updates to the EPA Safe Drinking Water Act.