Water. We need it to live, not to mention all the other daily tasks we use it for: laundry, washing dishes, cooking dinner, and bathing our children.�But we can�t just use any water, particularly when we�re talking about consuming it. Water quality is a real issue, especially given the recent water crisis in Flint, Michigan. Our local water source�needs to be clean and free from disease, poison, and pollutants. How can we know how clean our drinking water really is?
Water content�will vary from place to place.�Still, the quality of that water will depend on three important factors.
- The cleanliness of water sources, such as reservoirs, wells, and local bodies of water
- The quality of pipes/plumbing in the area
- The presence (or absence) of modern water treatment plants
If there�s a problem with any of these, the water quality will suffer. The top three indications of poor water quality are pollution in local water sources, corrosion and breakage in old pipes, and outdated water treatment facilities. The presence of these problems will introduce toxins and impurities into the local population via the water supply.
A study by the National Resources Defense Council on 19 different U.S. cities showed that contaminants such as lead, pathogens, arsenic, and various carcinogens appeared in several different water supplies across the country. These were likely�introduced to the water through the first two ways mentioned above, but other possible causes include sewage runoff, the use of pesticides and fertilizers, and industrial pollution, to name a few.
Get Your Local Water Report
Finding out what’s in your local water supply is simple.�The Safe Drinking Water Act requires all�U.S. cities�to publish reports on the quality of their drinking water. Consumer Confidence Reports, or CCRs, are reports that include information on source water, any detected contaminants, and local compliance with drinking water regulations. You can look up your area�s�report by visiting the�EPA Consumer Confidence Reports website.