Analysis of Federal Data: 20 Percent Water Systems Violated Safe Drinking Water Act


The New York Times, continuing their analysis of data on water infrastructure, concluded that key provisions in the Safe Drinking Water Act have been violated by twenty percent of water treatment systems across the US. The act requires that safe tap water be delivered to residents by their community. Unfortunately, due to lax enforcement of regulations, many Americans must ask themselves “Really, how safe is my water?”

Charles Duhigg reports:

The water provided to more than 49 million people has contained illegal concentrations of chemicals like arsenic or radioactive substances like uranium, as well as dangerous bacteria often found in sewage.

The majority of drinking water violations since 2004 have occurred at water systems serving fewer than 20,000 residents, where resources and managerial expertise are often in short supply.

Scientific research indicates that as many as 19 million Americans may become ill each year due to just the parasites, viruses and bacteria in drinking water. Certain types of cancer — such as breast and prostate cancer — have risen over the past 30 years, and research indicates they are likely tied to pollutants like those found in drinking water.

Because the Lehigh Valley is home to many publicly owned water systems (many of them serving a population of less than 20,000), this report is especially pertinent to this region. Residents of the Lehigh Valley: what are your thoughts on this matter? And how should local leaders address this growing concern?

Visit RenewLV’s Regional Water Initiative page to learn more.

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About Beata Bujalska

Beata Bujalska is the former Campaign Coordinator for Renew Lehigh Valley. She currently lives in Panama, a place that fascinates her due to (among other reasons) its recent development boom.

Posted on December 9, 2009, in Health, Municipal Government, Public Infrastructure, Urbanism, Water and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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