Too Much Contamination – Not Enough Reporting

Too Much Contamination; Not Enough Reporting

I found this recent article in the New York Times authored by Jacey Fortin on May 4, 2017.

Mr. Fortin’s research focuses on the reporting of drinking water contamination in the U.S.

I believe that more information regarding the dangers of chemicals and pathogens in our drinking water, generally, would be educational, helpful and possibly save lives.

In 2015-16, there was a serious lead contamination in Flint, Michigan’s drinking water.  This incident received widespread publicity as it is one of the worst incidents because it could have and should not have happened.  Then there was an attempted cover-up, some fraud and lying resulting in criminal and civil charges.

It was very serious with many victims, especially, children in the Flint area.

As serious as it was and widespread the publicity, many Americans are unaware of it.  I have asked people if they have heard of the water contamination issue in Flint, Michigan, and many are unaware of it.

So, I believe that although reporting is an important and valuable tool, it is something relatively few people are interested in unless it affects them personally, or they know someone who is affected.

However, I also believe that if more reporting would happen when there is a contamination issue, even less severe than Flint, more people might take notice and see that contamination is widespread.

I have often written that the U.S. has the best water treatment infrastructure in the world.  With over 50,000 water treatment plants, federal and local monitoring, the water supplied to our homes in generally very good.

I have also written that even when we have a great system, things can and do go wrong.

The officials in Flint, Michigan did not intend to deliberately begin contaminating their drinking water with lead.  They were looking for cheaper water and turned to the Flint River for the source.

They went wrong by not doing due diligence and properly treating the water and system to remove lead prior to supplying the water to the community.

It did not have to happen.

My point, of course, is that things can and do go wrong even when officials mean to do the right thing for the right reason.

Sometimes things go wrong when all the right precautions are taken and there is no human error.

Americans need to be aware of this.  My goal is to make as many people as I can reach, aware that things may possibly go wrong with your good water.

I believe that Americans should also be aware that our drinking water infrastructure is old and needs repair and replacement.

This is a very expensive proposition when considered nationally.

Unfortunately, it often takes a disaster before state and federal agencies respond with financial assistance.

It is a difficult situation with no easy answer. With something so critical to our very lives as water (life), I wish more Americans would not just take safe, clean drinking water for granted.

Thanks for reading.  Tomorrow I will report Jacey Fortin’s article on this subject.  Just got a little carried away with my own thoughts after reading his article.


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