The Hidden Dangers of Tap Water
People have been asking many questions about COVID-19 over the past couple of months. We want to know the best ways to avoid it.
Among the questions are, “How does it spread?” And, “Who is most vulnerable?” As well as, “Which symptoms should I watch for?”
Plus, “Can I still take walks?” “Can my pets get it?” “What should I do if a family member gets it?” And, “How long will this outbreak last?”
Another question being asked is, “Could coronavirus contaminate my tap water?”
No evidence coronavirus in drinking water
So far, there has been no evidence that the coronavirus has been present in our drinking water. Here’s a statement about this from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“The COVID-19 virus has not been detected in drinking water. Conventional water treatment methods… should remove or inactivate the virus that causes COVID-19.”
The CDC goes on to say this. “No additional COVID-19-specific protections are recommended for employees involved in wastewater management operations. Including those at wastewater treatment facilities.”
Hopefully those statements are accurate. And hopefully they will remain accurate until this virus has run its course.
But water contamination is widespread
But as we’ve discussed many times, tap water in various areas of the country is not as clean and pure as we’d like it to be.
The last thing we need now is having our immune systems compromised by contaminated water.
Everyone knows about the high-profile water contamination cases. Such as in Flint, Michigan and Newark, New Jersey. Not as many folks are aware of other examples of tap water contamination around the country.
The Natural Resources Defense Council says this. Nearly 77 million Americans live where water systems are in violation of safety regulations.
‘A community health hazard’
A recent report from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Iowa says this.
“Our aging water infrastructure… represents a community health hazard of enduring significance.”
Most of the eastern half of the U.S. possesses water distribution systems with an average pipe age of 50 years. In fact, some networks have subsystems more than 100 years old.
Many old, industrial areas have been and continue to be converted to residential. That means people are moving into long-abandoned neighborhoods with outdated water distribution systems.
6 million lead lines in U.S.
Many of the pipes running from water mains to homes are made of lead. Not to mention that the plumbing inside old houses contains lead pipes. Plus pipe joints with lead solder and brass faucet fixtures containing lead.
When pipe deposits break free, small particles of lead make their way into drinking water.
And this from the American Water Works Association (AWWA). There are currently 6 million lead lines in American water systems. The cost of replacing these lines is astronomical.
The AWWA gives this estimate for fixing only the present dangerous condition of lead pipes. Approximately $30 billion annually.
Plenty of contaminants to go around
The World Health Organization reports this. More than 3.4 million people die annually due to water supply, sanitation and hygiene issues. They lead to diseases, infections and malnutrition.
And we’re far from exempt in America. A recent study analyzed water systems in 100 major U.S. cities.
More than 300 pollutants in the water supplied to over 250 million Americans were found.
Here’s a quick list of contaminants discovered in tap water. They represent the hidden dangers of drinking water from our faucets.
Arsenic is an odorless and tasteless semi-metal element. It enters our water supply from natural deposits in the earth. Or from agricultural and industrial sites.
Fluoride is in the drinking water of 70 percent of U.S. cities. It has been shown to help prevent tooth decay. But a recent Harvard study proves that it lowers IQ in children.
Heavy metals, such as lead, mercury and copper, frequently occur in drinking water. Higher amounts can cause reduced growth and development. As well as many other problems.
Pharmaceuticals were found in the drinking water supplies of 24 major metropolitan areas. That’s according to an Associated Press investigation.
The E. coli strain known as O157:H7 can show up in drinking water. And can produce a powerful toxin causing severe illness.
Vaccinations have dramatically decreased polio worldwide. But it can still enter the body through the mouth due to contaminated water or food.
Are safety standards accurate?
Another problem with tap water is the potential misconception of what’s safe and what isn’t.
The Environmental Protection Agency says .04 parts per billion of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) is safe.
Harvard School of Public Health and University of Massachusetts-Lowell researchers say something different. They believe the drinking water standard should be as low as 0.001 parts per billion.
That’s 40 times lower than the New Jersey standard. And 400 times lower than the current federal advisory standard. And if that’s the case for PFOA, it’s probably the case for many other contaminants.
Simple solution – purify your tap water
Water contamination is a very serious problem. Deadly serious in some cases.
Cities, states and the federal government are unable to afford infrastructure changes that would help alleviate the dilemma. So, it’s just going to keep getting worse.
If you’re not currently drinking contaminated water from your faucets, you may be soon.
Take care of yourself and your family before it’s too late. Purify your drinking water.