Public Water Sources: Too Far Gone to Save?

Public Water Sources

Has Our Infrastructure Collapsed to the Point It Is Dangerous Now

According to a U.S. study,( Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston and Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts) the water supply to more than six million Americans contains unsafe levels of industrial chemicals. The toxic chemicals have been linked to certain cancers to include kidney and testicular cancers along with hormone disruption, high cholesterol, and obesity.

The chemicals are known as PFASs (polyfluoroalkyl and perfluoroalkyl substances). The chemicals are used in fire-suppression foams, food wrappers, clothing, and non-stick cookware to name a few.

According to one researcher that was part of the study, the chemicals have been in use for the past 60 years. Why are we just known finding this out, if the chemicals have been in use for six decades? One possibility is better testing methods and another possibility is that construction for several decades or so has been expanding to where homes are now being built in places they were never intended to be built 60 years ago.

People need water and the water sources are typically close to large metropolitan areas where industry is humming along. Industrial areas are always close to railroad and highway hubs around large cities.

Even though you may not live in town, as it were, runoff from heavy rains can get in the rivers and streams from far upstream and thus, get into reservoirs that supply cities and towns with their drinking water. Some rural areas do get their water from local municipalities, because you are inside the city limits and yet do not live in the city proper.

Most of the waste treatment plants that supply water to city dwellers do not have the capability of filtering or otherwise removing the chemicals mentioned above from the water source. Filtering, boiling, and/or chemical treatment will not remove the toxic chemicals.

There are methods, of course that would reduce the chemicals to a so-called safe level, but they are extremely cost prohibitive.

Drinking water from 13 states accounted for 75 percent of the unsafe supply, led by California, New Jersey, North Carolina, Alabama, Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York, Georgia, Minnesota, Arizona, Massachusetts, and Illinois.

The study conducted did not test water from smaller public water systems and private wells that serve roughly one-third of the U.S. population or about 100 million people.

Yes, private wells can become contaminated if they are not designed properly, in other words, not capped correctly, or dug deep enough. Improperly capped wells allow ground runoff to enter the well from the top. You do not have to live near an industrial site or city to have your well contaminated. Runoff from farms, septic systems, roadways, and parking lots can contaminate your well, as would any floodwaters from rivers or streams in the area that may contain toxins from industrial sites miles upstream.

The Earth is a Natural Water Filter and Water Purifier but It Has Its Limits

As water seeps through the soil certain soil clay particles, which have a negative charge will attract any constituents in the water that have a positive charge, such as some heavy metals, salts, organic chemicals, and pesticides. Another mechanism is the formations of covalent bonds (sharing of electrons).This sharing helps soil retain many organic chemicals, pesticides and some inorganic constituents (Pierzynski, n.d.). 

Well-constructed wells receive water from aquifers, underground springs, or artesian wells deep underground. Water has traveled many feet, hundreds of feet in some cases, through the soil to replenish the underground water supply, and for the most part the water is safe to drink unless the soil in the area is heavily contaminated.

It is important that you test your well water and take corrective action at the user end, such as more or better filtration and purification methods. Mother Earth at times needs helps to purify water so make sure you test regularly and make changes to your system as needed.

Those receiving your water from a municipality must keep track of testing and read the reports carefully. All public water supplies must be tested and the findings made public. You can test your tap water as well, and if you find and abnormalities, then call in the professionals to do a follow up test. In the meantime consume bottled water, and depending on the contaminates you find, you may be able to shower, water plants and do laundry without any ill effects, but knowledge is key along with regular testing.

As we have stated in previous articles, when a crisis strikes you may very well be on your own. As the government expands into more and more of our lives the more it seems we are on our own. Fair, unfair, right or wrong, it doesn’t matter, you as an individual must do what you need to do to ensure the safety of you and your family. Waiting on the government to do what is needed is not the answer when an emergency arises.

Pierzynski, G. M. (n.d.). Retrieved 2016, from http://www.wqpmag.com/soil-earth%E2%80%99s-largest-natural-filter

Reuters. (2016, August 10). Retrieved 2016, from http://www.foxnews.com/health/2016/08/10/toxic-chemicals-in-drinking-water-for-six-million-americans.html