Published: May 12, 2017

    Nearly 30 Million Americans Exposed to Potentially Hazardous Drinking Water

    A new report issued by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) demonstrates that over 77 million people were served by water systems that violated at least at least one aspect of the Safe Water Drinking Act during 2015. The types of offenses ranged from arsenic to coliform bacteria to lead, but every single state was affected. About one-fourth of the U.S. population was exposed to possibly hazardous drinking water.

    By now it’s very apparent that the quality of drinking water in the United States is increasingly worse as the water infrastructure rapidly ages; even with proper testing and treatment some contaminants can find their way into your drinking water. However, this report has found over 80,000 different violations that impact the drinking water quality in every state in the country. This number is probably lower than the actual amount of violations in 2015 – regulations are not always enforced and many violations likely go unreported.

    Even in light of these water infractions the federal government has proposed an extreme slashing of the EPA’s funds to be effective in 2018. President Trump has stated that “crystal clear water” is very important for the wellbeing of the country, cut would effectively be cutting funding for programs that safeguard and regulate our water quality.

    Erik Olson, the Health Program Director at NRDC, acknowledged that the existing problem is two-fold – very few authoritative bodies are enforcing water laws, and simultaneously our decades-old infrastructure is decaying. These two problems were already creating episodes of water contamination throughout America, beyond just the lead contamination in Flint. But if the federal government sets its target on vital EPA programs the potential health hazards could multiply exponentially.

    The health-based violations the report uncovered affect 1 in every 12 Americans. The top causes for these violations include: disinfection products that are known to cause cancer, poorly treated groundwater and surface water that contains harmful pathogens, nitrates and nitrites that cause the well-known “blue baby syndrome,” lead, and copper.

    The proposed federal budget decrease would target all $498 million dollars that’s used each year to treat rural drinking water and wastewater systems via the Department of Agriculture. Small water-systems that serve rural Americans would be incredibly vulnerable to contamination if the budget were to be approved, signaling a period of disaster for towns and dwellings that rely on federal funding.

    What to Do

    As a citizen who doesn’t work in the political realm it’s tempting to feel powerless. But there are many steps you can take to protect your community. First, call your local, state, and federal representatives to express your support of the EPA. Hearing from constituents really does make a difference. The Town Hall feature on Facebook makes it easy to find out who represents you at all levels of government.

    You also need to prepare for the possibility of contaminated water. First, order a water testing kit to determine what contaminants currently exist in your drinking water. This is especially important if you get your water from a well, or if your water comes from a small system that only serves a few households. Don’t wait until it’s too late – get a report on your water and contact a Pelican Water specialist to determine how you should move forward.

    Then, outfit your home with a proper water filter system. Our whole house water filters are great for targeting many contaminants – the carbon filtration reduces chlorine, industrial solvents, and hundreds of chemicals. If you live in an apartment or condo, our family of EZ-Connect water filters filter every tap in the home or an NSF-Certified countertop filter can fit snugly below your kitchen sink.

    To treat hard water consider an EZ-Connect Water Filter and Softener Combo. Or, if you’re targeting a more specific contaminant like lead, purchase a specialized water filter like our Drinking Water Purification System.

    Take control of your health – reach out to Pelican Water today.