When Tap Water Turns Toxic…Hard Lessons From Flint

wastewaterThere is a whole lot of talk about water these days, from one end of the country to the other.  Although the water problems in Flint, Michigan have made national news; problems with water safety seem to be springing up well beyond Flint, Michigan.  Washington, DC notably has the highest death rate for colon cancer in the nation and the water source is the biggest suspect for the source of the problem; while the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune has been a hot topic for years due to unusually high rates of cancer and birth defects among our troops and their families.

One  reason for so much attention on Flint, Michigan is that their water problems could (reportedly) have been easily avoided.  Cost cutting measures made way for corrosive water and the lead from corroding pipes made its way into the water supply of Flint residents.  This is a direct violation of EPA guidelines but instead of spending $100 a day in costs to keep the pH levels of the water within EPA range; the authorities ignored the problem.  No doubt this water was used for drinking, for cooking and for bathing.  The long term health consequences associated with this level of lead poisoning is astronomical and Flint residents are left shaking their heads and wondering how the system could have so grossly failed them.

On the heels of the Flint Michigan crisis, residents of Hoosick Falls, New York raised a red flag high enough and long enough to draw the attention of Erin Brockovich, high profile environmental advocate; and now the presses are rolling in Hoosick Falls too.  Hoosick residents have been insisting that their water supply be evaluated due to “suspicious” cases of cancer within their community.  Though the mayor of Hoosick Falls stated that the water had been tested numerous times over the span of the year; unsafe levels of PFOA, a toxic chemical that can be found in household cleaning products was found at unsafe levels in their water supply.  PFOA is not a regulated contaminant and did not have enforceable standards in spite of the fact that this chemical has been linked to kidney and testicular cancer as well as other health issues, according to the New York State Department of Health.

The wastewater treatment process is a complex system and one that can’t reasonably be expected to operate with perfection in spite of well-meaning efforts.  Regulators are armed with (up to) 300 legally allowable chemicals to turn human waste into potable water but it comes with a price.   Though the known carcinogenic additives are only introduced to the systems at “safe levels”; safe levels are directly related to individual use,  from drinking water to showers.  There is no such thing as a safe level of carcinogens when it comes to our children.

The Presidential Cancer Panel offered advice for our water consumption as rendered in a 2009 N.I.H study entitled Reducing Environmental Cancer Risk…What We Can Do Now (available free online).  This is what the report has to say about our water if we want to reduce the risk of cancer:  “Filtering home tap or well water can decrease exposure to known or suspected carcinogens and endocrine disrupting chemicals.  Unless the home water source is known to be contaminated, it is best to use filtered tap water instead of commercially bottled water”.  I don’t know about you, but if the government tells me that a step to reduce the risk of cancer is to avoid plastic bottles and filter my tap water instead; that’s what I’m doing.

Having running water at our fingertips and the ability flush a toilet at will is a luxury that is foreign to most of the world.  We have the wastewater treatment process to thank for an endless supply into our homes at a nominal price.  In spite of the challenges that come with water treatment; none of us could (or would want to) live without the luxury of an endless supply of potable water flowing through our homes no matter how many chemicals it takes to get us there… but expecting perfection with the process is outside of the realm of reason.  However, there are steps that each one of us can take on our own just as Reducing Environmental Cancer Risk…What we can do Now” suggests) to assure that our water is safe and healthy.

Every jurisdiction in America is required to post details of the status of their local wastewater treatment as well as the chemicals used for the treatment online.  Though most of us aren’t familiar with the chemicals used in the process; it’s still a good idea to be informed.  After that, there are options well beyond pitcher filters that go a long way in making the treated water that comes into your home a whole lot healthier for you and your family.    It’s time to take responsibility on our own and to stop pointing fingers at an imperfect system of providing potable water.

Though the wastewater treatment process can’t be expected to operate with perfection; I’m doing my part to assure that my family drinks, cooks and bathes in the safest, healthiest water in spite of the source water problem.  Our water device filters out 98% of lead (and other metals), chlorine, fluoride, and a host of other things. Our system ZAPS parasites so that they don’t stand a chance to be a problem for us AND because our water is ionized, trace chemicals and metals that aren’t filtered out are mostly discharged and not accessible in our drinking water.

MY FAMILY HAS TAKEN SERIOUS ACTION TO ASSURE THAT WE HAVE SAFE, HEALTHY WATER IN OUR HOME. Flint, Michigan residents were SOLD OUT for $100 a day expense to avoid their problem.   Will you sell out your family for pennies a day?  Take action today!  Contact me!!!

CHANGING THE WAY THE WORLD LOOKS AT WATER…

ONE LIFE AT A TIME!

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