In the United States, having access to clean water is a privilege that approximately 1.4 billion people simply enjoy. However, in many parts of the world people rely on contaminated water that flows from unprotected rivers, lakes and wells. Sickness and death due to drinking contaminated water is a daily occurrence in many countries, as the water carries bacteria such as e.coli, giardia, salmonella, coliform and other contaminates. Water is a life source – people, cities, agriculture and industries depend on it. Sadly, many Americans take water for granted. Even in times of emergency, such as the recent droughts in California, people don’t realize how quickly water can become unavailable. For many, a water ban, for example, is just an inconvenience. We mustn’t be so naïve. Right here at home, we are faced with water issues.
There are many reasons clean water is becoming contaminated here in the US. Aging infrastructure and mismanagement are just a couple of reasons why Americans have stopped trusting the water that flows from their taps. Take the Flint, Michigan water crisis that happened back in 2014. How did this happen? The city tried to save a buck and started sourcing water from the Flint river, instead of from Detroit. The river water wasn’t clean. It was so contaminated with iron, lead and other toxins, that it began to make people very sick. Now, Flint residents are fearful of consuming the water, even though city officials say the water is now safe to use.
Another big problem in the U.S. is the issue of farm runoff polluting municipal water sources. While agriculture is important for food production, it also is the nation’s leading cause of impaired water quality, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and it is projected that it will cost approximately $384 billion over the next 20 years to maintain the nation’s existing drinking water infrastructure.
According to a 2018 LA Times article, water poverty affects nearly 1.6 million people in the United States. It’s what’s known as the ‘invisible crisis.’ Water poverty isn’t always the result of a drought. Research shows that many Americans rely on public drinking water systems that have violated state safety standards. The Census Bureau’s American Community Survey reveals that approximately 1.6 million Americans live without proper plumbing facilities. While many of us take for granted the ability to flush a toilet or take a shower, there are so many that don’t have access to fresh, clean water.
The bigger picture
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that the average American family of four uses about 400 gallons of water a day. If every family were more water conscious, it would go a long way to helping water conservation efforts, especially during times of drought, for example. Turn off taps when possible and don’t let the water run all the time. Investing in a high efficiency washer can also make a difference. The key message here: use less water and be more efficient.
There are over 45 million private drinking water wells in the U.S. that the EPA does not monitor. This means it’s up to residents to test their own water. AquaKnow can help. AquaKnow is dedicated to assisting its customers to KNOW what’s in their water by providing comprehensive water quality testing information and analytical services. We consult with our clients to determine the proper testing recommendation for desired end results, whether it’s for regulatory, litigation or informational purposes. Contact us today and find out what’s in your water.