Access to safe drinking water is considered a basic human right. However, the recent problems regarding water quality across the USA has shaken the nation’s confidence in the ability of water suppliers to consistently provide safe water for human consumption. There have been several well-known water quality crises within Michigan, New Jersey and Pennsylvania exposing citizens to contaminated drinking water, causing widespread illness. The Flint water crisis alone has exposed 12,000 children to excessive lead consumption.
It’s not surprising to know that a recent survey from Gallup shows that Americans are the most concerned we’ve been in the last 17 years about water quality and water pollution.
What’s causing our water quality problem?
A recent report from the Environmental Working Group (EWG) points to increased agriculture activity across the country is leading to water runoff that that contains heavy loads of E. coli, a pathogen associated with feces or animal manure, as well as high nitrate levels from fertilizers, which are associated to cancer and can be fatal to babies.
We also have a problem with the water suppliers continuously violation water standards set by the US Government. In early 2018, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences published are search report on the widespread of US water quality violations. The authors report on enforcement agencies who “lack a systematic procedure” for monitoring water quality and additional research has found, as many as 63 million people have been exposed to contaminated drinking water over the last decade. Few places have experienced these issues to such an intense degree as California. Recently, 300 water systems carried contaminated water into the homes and schools of low-income families across the Central Valley in California. New York has also been affected with schools now having their drinking water regularly tested. Results show 82% of New York Public Schools exceed the lead action level of 15/ppb in their drinking water. This is a clear problem experienced across the country.
The map above shows 5,300 municipal water suppliers are violating lead and copper levels by the most recent estimates.
Sometimes, the problem can be at the door of the utility provider, the supply infrastructure and other times, it could be the water pipes or fittings in your own building that contaminate the water. With the Natural Resources Defense Council reporting that 18 million Americans are affected by lead-contaminated drinking water, it would be fair to say that we have a national water quality crisis on our hands.
Are there natural, chemical-free solutions to solve our water problem?
Firstly, it’s important to filter water. Nature has the solution in the form of carbon, and when that carbon is in a high-quality water filter, it withdraws practically any contaminant from drinking water. That includes disinfection by-products that could cause cancer, lead and even microbes.
If microbes are your primary concern, then UV purification using ultra violet light ensures water that’s proven 99.9999% germ-free. This is especially important when you’re working with children, the elderly, or people with a compromised immune system. You have the satisfaction of knowing your drinking water is clean, safe and purified.
Reverse Osmosis (RO) is the process of water passing through a semipermeable membrane, which effectively reduce Arsenic, Barium, Cadmium, Chromium (Hexavalent), Chromium (Trivalent), Copper, Cysts, Turbidity, Fluoride, Lead, Radium 226/228, Selenium, TDS and contaminants smaller than 1 micron. RO is especially useful when your water source is unknown or known to carry contaminants.
When investing in water filtration solutions isn’t an option, boiling your water is a simple and natural purifying technique that has been used throughout history.
There are also a variety of plants that can be used to help purify your drinking water. Researchers in Mexico developed a cilantro based water filter that decreased the absorption of heavy metals such as lead. It is readily available, inexpensive and cilantro has always had a reputation for purification.
With many different types of contaminants affecting water, it may seem that we’re facing an endless problem. If we take our health into our hands, we can offer safe drinking water without contributing to plastic pollution, using harmful chemicals or even going to a great deal of trouble.