Unsafe water – On Tap Your local water system is required to test your drinking water for over 90 substances and organisms including heavy metals, VOCs and bacteria annually and report whether any have been found and at what levels. Your municipal water quality report is required to tell you if your drinking water exceeded any federally mandated Maximum Contaminant Levels — MCLs. If there are any violations of Federal MCL’s your local water authority is supposed to take measures to lower them. The only problem is, the EPA doesn’t monitor all toxic substances in drinking water – leading to unsafe water quality in parts of the US – and the public doesn’t even know they’re in danger.
Drinking Water Standards Loosely Enforced
In fiscal year 2010, 10% of all community water systems that provide drinking water violated at least one EPA standard. Many violations were due to elevated levels of coliform bacteria. High coliform levels can mean that the water has become contaminated with fecal matter, or it isn’t being adequately disinfected. When coliform levels are high, other bacteria, such as E. coli may be at elevated levels as well.
Because these violations are reported to the EPA annually, consumers can be exposed to dangerous bacteria like coliform for up to a year before the municipal treatment plant is required to do anything about it! Bacterial contamination in drinking water is an ongoing health problem.
Unsafe water – that meets Federal standards – Study: A UC Berkley study indicates conducted in 2010 reveals that that the elderly may face a 12% higher risk of stomach infection from drinking tap water – even if their waterr meets Federal standards!
EPA Standards may not be enough
Some toxins in water may still pose a threat to your health even if your water meets EPA standards. Studies show that arsenic is be linked to many health problems, including developmental disorders, heart disease and the growth of tumors in the bladder, lungs, liver, skin, and kidneys.
Some public health experts now believe that arsenic is harmful below the current EPA standard of 10 parts per billion. According to Joshua W. Hamilton, Ph.D., a project leader in the Dartmouth Toxic Metals Superfund Research Program at Dartmouth College:
“As newer studies come out, they’re showing health problems at lower and lower doses [of arsenic], including some conditions, such as immune problems and cognitive effects in children, we’ve never associated with it before.”
Research performed by Hamilton’s lab on pregnant and lactating mice that were given drinking water containing arsenic at the current EPA standard revealed that their pups had growth defects and weakened immune systems.
Unsafe Drinking Water – Help is not on the way
Municipal water facilities are required to test their water quarterly, which means that violations which occur between tests will go unreported. Despite this, in 2009, 28% of all U.S. systems had at least one EPA rule violation. In some cases the state or the EPA may lend assistance or money to help, but money has become scarce as Federal budget cuts take effect. Many communities are forced to wait for funding, and while they wait, the communities they serve continue to drink unsafe water.
The EPA can take legal action or fine a water authority that won’t fix problems. However, enforcement is rare, in the past 10 years, only 349 water suppliers have had to pay a fine for violating the Safe Drinking Water Act.
According to Linda Birnbaum, Ph.D., director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences problems are inevitable: “Although we probably have one of the safest drinking-water systems in the world, every year there are some breaks in the system.”
From 2007 – 2008, 36 bacterial outbreaks in drinking water supplies led to 4,128 cases of illness and three deaths. The total includes a salmonella outbreak in Colorado that infected 1,300 people. The worst case of public water contamination happened in 1993, in Milwaukee Wisconsin. An estimated 403,000 Milwaukee residents got sick — and 54 died — from water contaminated with the spore of cryptosporidium. The outbreak was caused by a treatment plant failed to properly treat water from Lake Michigan. Waterborne microbes are believed to cause an estimated 19.5 million illnesses annually in the U.S.
Your home could be part of the problem
Your own home can pollute your water as well! Older houses with lead pipes can leach lead into the water above the EPA cutoff of 15 parts per billion. Such levels may sound minuscule, but lead is so potent, that it can harm brain and nervous system development in fetuses and children even in tiny amounts. The body has no means of ridding itself of lead, so it can build up in your tissues over time.
How to Take Action to Protect Yourself
Click to get a free copy of your municipal water quality report or call Life Ionizers today at 877-959-7977. Our water safety experts will review the report with you, and help you identify other problems that may be in your water that your municipal water report might miss. We have a huge inventory of water filters, so you can be sure to find the filters you need for your water quality problems.