Key Considerations to Assure Safe and Reliable Water
What to learn from the toxic Water Crisis in Flint, Michigan and Merrimack, New Hampshire
The Flint Water Crisis, and the more recent, Water Contamination Issue in Merrimack, are eye-openers to the alarming situation on availability of safe drinking water for the residents of not just Michigan and New Hampshire but entire United States of America. Ironically, Flint lies close to the Great Lakes, the largest group of fresh water bodies in the world. Yet residents can’t get clean water from their taps in homes. The lead contamination in Flint and Merrimack waters has created a serious public health hazard. The lead from the corrosive and aging pipes leached into Flint River and its concentration elevated to extremely dangerous levels. If Flint River would have been treated with an anti-corrosive agent at a cost of about $100 a day, then 90% of the water crisis could have been avoided and water made potable.
Merrimack Village District, the company that supplies public water to households in Merrimack, should consider installing point-of-entry filtration systems on all private wells near the Merrimack plant that are detecting elevated levels of contamination. Saint-Gobain should also pay for the design, installation and operation of a treatment system for district wells.
Some experts believe that the landfills are likely sources of contamination in public wells in Merrimack and Flint. Health Board members are now turning a critical eye to two closed landfills on Flint Road. Landfills causing well contamination are a cause for concern and efforts should be initiated to ensure that residents have an adequate supply of safe, clean drinking water.
For some residents, using bottled water for drinking and cooking has become burdensome, prompting them to take some measures on their own. Many have decided to have a whole house point-of-entry filter installed to their homes, an environmentally friendly alternative that is well worth the investment.
What does this mean for you?
Whether you have been affected by a water crisis or not, it is important to be educated on the hazards and risks of toxic water and smaller occurrences like pollutions and chemicals that can be found in tap water. Ensuring your household has pure and clean water is essential to your health. Although homeowners alone can’t prevent water pollution, it is critical to do your part to ensure reliable water throughout the home.
Measures residents should take to assure reliable water
- If your household drinks tap water, have the water tested regularly to be confident the water is safe and drinkable
- Install a whole house point-of-entry filtration system as a permanent substitute for environmentally-unfriendly bottled water and to have reliable water supply throughout the home not just for drinking but for bathing, cleaning, and washing clothes
- Make sure to be proactive about replacing filters as needed
- Engage Same Day Plumbing representatives to assess and test if water filtration system is working effectively throughout the home or not
In the case that your community is affected by a water crisis, there are several measures that various stakeholders can undertake to overcome toxic water crisis in their localities.
Government & Local Authorities:
- Should immediately apply anti-corrosive agents to all water bodies that have been lead contaminated and lead pipe replacements
- Provide supplies, medical care, infrastructure upgrades, and water bill reimbursements
- Issue bottled water to affected residents only for the short-term, and hand out water filters to them for long-term use
- Offer blood tests to individuals impacted by the water contamination
- Undertake periodic water toxicity studies by collect and processing samples to look for the presence of Legionella bacteria in water heaters, kitchen and bathroom taps and hot water taps of homes of residents. Also determine if a simple water heater flushing protocol could be used to improve hot water quality.
- Install its own filtration system for all of its supply wells
- Undertake frequent public health awareness programs to educate residents on health hazards of toxic water usage, and how to resolve the issue
- The companies responsible for water contamination should assume accountability and pay for the design, installation and operation of a treatment system to address contamination in water bodies
- Treat the public water supply
- Channelize spending on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives that are environment focused
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