The world’s concern for water is growing. As Americans deal with the implications of alarming levels of lead in the drinking water of families in Flint, Michigan, other places around the country and the world are equally concerned about the future of the water that will be available to their family. And while the concerns of water crowd news feeds today, no one should think that this is a new problem. In fact, American author Wallace Stegner, perhaps more commonly known for his fictional offerings, was writing about water concerns and water management systems in the mid 1900s. Stegner predicted many years ago that further and explosive growth in the west, locations that were far from their own natural sources of water, would lead to environmental disasters.
One only has to look at the reports on continued drought conditions in California to know that Stegner and environmentalists both past and present were correct to worry. And while the nation concerns itself with the immediate needs of the Flint, Michigan, residents, we would be wise to examine the predictions that many other places in our country are likely drinking similarly dangerous water.
The Consequences of Dangerous Drinking Water Seem Overwhelming
While the U.S. is known for having access to the safest drinking water on the planet, a situation like Flint, Michigan, makes everyone concerned. And while many have seen bottled water as a popular alternative, the environmental consequences of billions of plastic water bottles seem the be creating other problems.
Instead of becoming overwhelmed with fear about the future of their drinking water, many consumers realize that they need to take their own measures to verify the safety of the water their family drinks. Some fear that trusting in water management systems is really just a wait for others to get caught mismanaging more local water supplies.
As a result of these concerns, many home owners are working with private companies to conduct water analysis studies and get free estimates for their water treatment needs. Many companies offer customized softeners to fit the specific needs of both home and business owners. Blindly relying on the government to report what is and is not safe in today’s water supply can lead to another situation like the overuse of fluoride in community water sources of the 1970s. Following the latest trends can by dangerous if those trends have not been properly investigated.
Personal water treatment process systems for individual home owners have long been the norm for families living outside of public water sources. Many believe these same precautions should be taken even when accessing publicly provided water management systems.
Contracting with companies that provide home water treatment options, as well as household water softener systems, is becoming more and more popular.
A look at current water quality information may serve as the best wake up call to residents who are concerned about the water available to their families:
- 2,100 known drinking water contaminants may be present in tap water in any given region.
- Environmental Protection Agency (EPS) statistics indicate lead in drinking water contributes to 480,000 cases of learning disorders in American children each year.
- Americans use close to 350 million gallons of fresh water every day.
- Pregnant women especially need to drink pure water. Lead in drinking water has been shown to cause severe birth defects.
- Every 90 seconds a child somewhere in this world dies from a water-related disease.
- In low and middle-income countries, 33% of all healthcare facilities lack safe water sources.
While America likes to separate itself from the third world water problems and instead focus on the fact that Americans have access to the safest water in the world, no one, including Americans, should take safe water for granted. Although our water supply is safer than other countries, we also are a country that continually flushes more and more chemicals into our water management systems. A growing number of consumers believe personal home water testing and in home water purification systems are the only real way to monitor what is in the water that we drink every day. These consumers fear the problems with the water in our poorest sectors of the nation are a forecast of bigger problems for all Americans.