The Flint, Michigan water crisis has become a national embarrassment that exposed thousands of people to unsafe levels of lead.
Now, government officials are sounding the alarm that the problem has not been confined to Flint.
In fact, your community could be affected.
According to a new analysis of a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency report, nearly 18 million Americans now live in communities where the water systems are violating the law.
That amounts to more than 5,300 water systems that aren’t following government guidelines when it comes to metals like copper and lead.
According to the report, water systems are either not testing frequently enough for lead, not testing enough homes, or manipulating tests to get better results.
And the EPA is allowing them to get away with it.
For example, researchers have found that water utilities are selectively testing newer homes unlikely to have high levels of lead, or are allowing the water to run to diminish lead levels.
Philadelphia, CNN reported, only tested less than 40 of an estimated 50,000 homes with lead service lines.
Experts say this inadequate testing is putting Americans directly in harm’s way. The Flint water crisis was triggered when the city changed its primary water supply to the Flint River, where the water is more corrosive.
That allowed lead to leach from pipes and fixtures into the water.
How much lead is in water is, in fact, heavily influenced by the pipes used to deliver the water, and the pipes and fixtures in the home or business. Lead levels can vary significantly from house to house, which makes thorough testing even more important.
So are water systems in your area violating the law? This map from the Natural Resources Defense Council can help give you a clue.
And, when in doubt, always make sure to test the lead levels of your water yourself. You can buy kits online or at most home improvement stores.
— The Horn editorial team
Justin W says
Instead of the EPA worrying about global warming they should focus on contaminated water. The likelihood of global warming and its cause are still up for debate, but contaminated water is a fairly easy thing to determine and to deal with.
The Flint water problem shows what happens when government bureaucracies lose focus on their reason for existence and venture into areas outside of their primary focus.
The simple fact is the general public is paying for clean water and not getting it, that is fraud clear and simple, there is no other water company to go to and they know it. It’s not like there is another choice to chose from. The public is forced to drink bottled water for a Hugh premium which the city then gets an additional tax revenue. But the public is being taxed for the bad water too! Something is really, really wrong.
I called my water company today is see if they had any plans to remove fluoride from our water supply. We received a note with our bill telling us what we should know about lead and copper in our drinking water. I told the person on the phone that now that the FDA as finally admitted that fluoride is a drug and comes with serious risks, could they please see about removing it from the water. The FDA claimed it is “not safe for use except under the supervision of a practitioner licensed to administer” it. I was promised a phone call when she got an answer.
It is true. The required sample plans are statistically based and the statistical basis can be,and usually is, easily overridden, You could see this in Flint, Michigan, where nobody in the chain up to and including the oval office understood the technical aspects.
Arthur Hartsock says
The problems with Flint’s water system is just ‘tip of the iceberg’ nationally. Infrastructure all over the US needs to be repaired and updated. Highways, bridges, sewers all need to be rebuilt. This would be a legitimate stimulus plan that would employ several million construction workers. And this work usually pays very well. So these aren’t fast food jobs. Funding this type of project would require Congress to do some real budget prioritizing. I remember Mr. Trump emphasizing a jobs plan. This could be part of it.