Water Contaminations Continue to Flow Into Our Lives
Have you ever noticed that the closer you look at a subject, the more you see?
I guess that makes sense. The more you gaze into the sky at night, the more stars you observe. The more you research a topic – especially on the Internet – the more you learn about it.
But I’m still amazed about this. When I hear about someone or something new to me, I find there’s already considerable related information waiting to be accessed. What’s new to me is not necessarily new to others. And vice versa.
An example is water contamination in America. We’ve all heard about the high-profile cases in Flint, Michigan and Newark, New Jersey. But when you look closer at the subject, you discover it’s going on all over the country.
The Problem Is Widespread
I could write a book about all the cases of water contamination that have come to light in the last 10 years. But I’m guessing you wouldn’t want to read it. I mean, it might be pretty depressing.
Instead, today I’ll just mention some recent incidents making headlines in America.
First, though, here are a couple of general comments about the subject. A 2021 Consumer Reports investigation regarding drinking water in the U.S. revealed concerning results.
Water samples were taken from systems serving close to 20 million people. A vast majority of people drinking this water tested positive for various levels of contaminants. Such as lead and arsenic. As well as PFAS (perfluorooctanoic acid or perfluorooctanseulfonic).
Last year, the Environmental Working Group cited more than 600 locations with high levels of PFAS. They stretched across 43 states.
Dayton Water Lawsuit Targets Military
OK, now for some specifics. The City of Dayton, Ohio recently filed a drinking water contamination lawsuit. It seeks damages of up to $300 million.
The suit was filed against Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. And the Department of Defense (DoD). It accuses them of failing to stop water containing PFAS from flowing into the city’s Mad River Wellfield.
This wellfield is one of several Dayton uses. They supply drinking water to more than 400,000 customers in Dayton and Montgomery counties. PFAS can affect surface water, groundwater and soil.
The contaminants are contained in fire-fighting foam. It’s used on many military bases across the country. These contaminants also show up in water-repellant fabrics and non-stick products. Plus waxes and polishes. As well as in some food packaging.
There’s Some Wiggle Room
Lawsuits pertaining to PFAS are challenging to win. That’s because PFAS are not federally regulated.
The EPA issues guidelines, but nothing enforceable. And some say the agency’s guidelines are too lenient.
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base officials claim there is no cause for concern. They say the level of PFAS in groundwater near the base boundary is below the EPA’s recommended action levels.
City officials say the lawsuit could be lowered to $10 million. That’s if the base and DoD are willing to launch treatment options to stop the contamination flow.
Residents Drinking Bottled Water
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is testing for drinking water contamination in Campbell. It’s located about five miles north of La Crosse.
Hundreds of private wells in the area recently tested positive for PFAS. The state is providing free bottled water to residents during the testing.
It’s suspected the contamination originated from foam sprayed at the nearby La Crosse Regional Airport. For decades.
The City of La Crosse accepted responsibility for contamination in 100 wells southeast of the airport. But not for wells outside its testing area.
Paper Mill Pays Hefty Settlement
One successful lawsuit regarding PFAS in drinking water was filed in Parchment, Michigan. It’s near the southwest corner of the state. A settlement of $11.9 million was reached.
The class-action lawsuit was filed in 2018 after tests revealed high levels of PFAS. In fact, the levels were 20 times higher than the EPA considers safe.
The contaminants allegedly came from a Georgia-Pacific paper mill. The money is slated to be paid out to residents who filed a claim.
Some of those residents said the money will be used for medical monitoring. They are concerned about potential long-term health issues. Some money will also go to defray property damages.
Filtering Water Is a Preemptive Strike
Obviously there are many problems connected with drinking contaminated water. It can cause a wide variety of serious health issues.
One of the biggest problems is that contaminations are rarely discovered before damage has been done.
It takes people getting sick and experiencing other health problems before the cause is revealed. And even then, it takes a while for the issue to be resolved.
Worst of all, these water contaminations are being discovered all across the country.
The solution is obvious. Purify your tap water now – before a problem is discovered. That way, even if a contamination comes to light, you and your family will have been drinking safe water.
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