The cities of Flint, Michigan and Sacramento, California both thought they found a way to save money on municipal water treatment. What neither city told it’s residents was that their cost-cutting measures would endanger public safety. In Flint,
a state of emergency has been declared after it was found that children in the city had lead levels in their blood that were 10 times higher than what is deemed dangerous by the EPA. In Sacramento, the city added a chemical to the water called aluminum chlorohydrate, which forms carcinogenic disinfection byproducts. What’s truly shocking about both cases is that each city knew that their cost-cutting efforts could result in polluted drinking water and they did it anyways.
Update: Legionnaires Disease outbreak in Flint may be caused by Flint River water
1/18/16: The situation in Flint, Michigan discussed in this article is still breaking. Late-breaking news sources report that there is an outbreak of Legionnaires Disease that may be linked to poisoned water from the Flint River. 87 cases of Legionnaires has been reported, 10 of which were fatal. Most of the victims were and are children. Updates will be posted to this blog as they come available.
Sacramento secretly adds cancer-causing chemical to water supply
Starting in 2013, the City of Sacramento decided to conduct an “experiment” to save money on water treatment. Residents of Sacramento were never notified that they were taking part in the city’s water treatment experiment. The city replaced the alum normally used as a flocculent with aluminum chlorohydrate. A flocculent binds to sediment, silt, and other impurities to make them easier to filter out. However, early on in the experiment, it was discovered that the aluminum chlorohydrate was not working well at all. The city decided to double down on it’s failed experiment and added massive amounts of chlorine to it’s water to compensate.
Chlorine + Aluminum Chlorohydrate = Carcinogens
Clearly, Sacramento failed chemistry 101. The aluminum chlorohydrate and the massive amount of chlorine in the water formed carcinogenic disinfection byproducts known as trihalomethanes. Due to public outcry, Sacramento ended its experiment about a year ago, but the damage has already been done: Levels of trihalomethanes in Sacramento’s water remain dangerously high.
Sacramento also plagued by Chromium-6: The Erin Brockovich chemical
Trihalomethanes aren’t the only carcinogen threatening the health and safety of Sacramento residents: The north part of the city is also being exposed to Chromium-6 which is leeching from McClellan Air Force base. As late as June of 2015, The Sacramento Bee reported that water from 6 of the 11 wells used to draw water for the Rio Linda-Elverta water district were found to have Chromium 6 contamination that is well above the EPA’s safe limit for Chromium 6. Currently, nothing is being done about the Chromium 6 contamination.
Drinking water poisoned with lead in Flint Michigan
The problems for Flint began when Governor Rick Snyder disenfranchised the city management of Flint, and replaced it with an appointed “emergency” manager named Darnell Earley. The manager decided to save money in April of 2014 by switching Flint’s water supply from the Flint river, instead of using the Detroit city water system. The problem is, the Flint river is very salty, and that salt immediately began corroding the pipes in Flint’s antiquated municipal water system. Those corroded pipes released massive amounts of lead into the city water supply.
The problems were noticeable right away; the water started smelling like rotten eggs. Children and others exposed to the water began developing rashes and falling sick. Still, the city’s emergency manager insisted that there was nothing wrong with the water. In fact, the city responded to residents complaints by substantially raising the amount of chlorine in the water. This made the problem even worse by forming additional carcinogenic disinfection byproducts. Tests of Flint drinking water done about 30 days after the switch, in May of 2014 showed that the water contained 900 times the permissible level of lead.
EPA Investigation has begun
Many sources are reporting that Governor Rick Snyder was fully aware of the test results from May of 2014, but still chose to do nothing. In fact, as late as February 2015, officials from Governor Snyder’s administration insisted that there was nothing wrong with Flint’s water. Flint’s water supply was recently switched back to the City of Detroit’s water supply, but as of Jan, 2016, the contamination in the city’s water infrastructure is so severe, the water’s still not safe to drink. The EPA recently announced that it has begun an investigation to find out why Governor Snyder and his emergency manager decided to wait almost a year after finding out that Flint’s water was poisoned before taking action.
Is your city’s water poisonous?
According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG) nationwide testing has found that 6.5 million americans are being exposed to a dangerous chemical compound in their water that is used to make Teflon. Oil spills earlier this year fouled water for thousands of residents in Montana. Studies have shown that fracking operations are contaminating water supplies all across the nation. Coal mining creates some of the worst water pollution. According to the EPA, 72% of all toxic water problems come from coal-fired power plants. The use of coal pollutes drinking water all across the south with toxic metals like arsenic, cadmium, mercury, lead, and more.
Help is not on the way
Despite increasing water quality problems across the country, help is not on the way. Many cities continue to try and cut costs by neglecting water infrastructure, or by experimenting with cheap “substitute” chemicals. Chances are very high that your water supply is contaminated by one or more toxins that your city isn’t telling you about. Your only defense is to filter your water yourself. If you are concerned about your water quality, it’s best to have it tested, don’t take your local water utility’s word that it’s safe!
Filtration solutions that protect you and your family
Your best bet is to install a whole home water filtration system such as Life’s Dolphin Whole Home Filtration System. Water softeners do not filter out toxins, so if you have a water softener system, it’s not protecting your from toxic chemicals. The Dolphin system is the ideal whole home filtration solution because it uses ion-trapping technology to bind pollutants in water so they can’t enter your home. Ion-trapping is effective against a wider spectrum of toxins than conventional filtration such as activated carbon. Because of this, the Dolphin system is your best bet for protecting yourself and your family from unknown toxins that your city may be poisoning your water supply with.
Detoxification with alkaline water
If you live in an area such as Flint, Sacramento, or other areas where the water has been poisoned with heavy metals, alkaline water may be able to help you detoxify your body from them. Research has shown that alkaline water could detox your body of 10 different heavy metals. It also may help prevent your body from absorbing toxins. The pH of the water you drink determines what your body absorbs from it. Research from Sweden shows that women who drank alkaline well water absorbed nutrients like calcium and magnesium. Women who drank acidic well water absorbed toxins like mercury. The findings from the Swedish research were so definitive that researchers in the study concluded “alkaline water may protect against the toxic effects of mercury”.
Worried about what’s in your water? Call us at 877-959-7977 for a free, no obligation water quality consultation
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