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What’s In Your Water? New Water Regulations Being Placed in U.S.

04.26.2010

Photo Credit: Tim Collins

Stricter water regulations are being put into place throughout the United States in a new effort to monitor the toxicity that is found in our drinking water, as announced by the Environmental Protection Agency (E.P.A.). While the new policies have yet to be released, they are likely to force local water systems to alter their cleaning technologies, making them more effective on filtering out dozens of contaminants presently found in our water.

Hundreds of toxic chemicals (that are linked to disease and serious illness) have been found in tap water across the nation. In their announcement, the E.P.A. said they were continuing to work on 14 existing drinking water standards, including rules concerning lead, copper, arsenic, atrazine (a popular toxic herbicide) and perchlorate, an unregulated rocket fuel additive. They are establishing a much stronger control on the prevailing chemicals, but are particularly focusing on four carcinogens commonly found in drinking water, including a chemical used in dry cleaning.

Wondering how so much toxicity was allowed in our water in the first place? Well, over the past five years, more than 20 percent of the nation’s water treatment systems have violated rules set by the Safe Drinking Water Act. The Clean Water Act has also been heavily violated (over half a million times!), yet few polluters are ever punished. In order to avoid this occurring in the future, the E.P.A. is set to crack down on polluters and enforce the new restrictions.

Are you curious what is coming out of your tap? Check out this user-friendly National Tap Water Quality Database, created by the Environmental Working Group to see what you may be unconsciously ingesting. The database looks at more than 22 million water quality tests and organizes the results such that people can search by city, state, or by contaminant, to see what’s in their water and what health issues are related to each substance.

To read more, click here.



Devon Fisher

written by Devon Fisher

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