The past 12 months have made more people than ever question the health of the water that they drink. While in the past many Americans simply took for granted the fact that their drinking water was safe and free from harmful chemicals, the Flint, Michigan, water crisis has changed those assumptions.
While the cover up and government negligence may be to blame for what became alarming levels of lead in the water that many Flint residents were drinking, the corroded pipes that are a part of the large city’s infrastructure are not unique. In fact, many large cities are now working to determine how safe the water qualities are in their communities. And while many poorer areas may be the most at risk, some studies indicate that more than just these areas need to be concerned about the safety of their water pipes.
Some residents wrongly assume that because they live in a brand new home in a brand new neighborhood that they are getting their water from completely new water systems. The fact is, however, that even the newest of homes often connect to old pipes at some point. Every citizen of every community needs to hold their city officials accountable for the water that is made available. With this demand, however, citizens must realize that the solution to old, corroded pipes can be expensive.
An April 2016 report by National Public Radio reports that even when cities take measures to fix and replace old pipes they may be causing new or more complicated problems. According to the NPR report, Chicago’s ten year long plan to replace nearly 900 miles of old pipes has been praised by some, but criticized by others. In fact, one lawsuit filed by Chicago residents charges that the process of changing the pipes has increased the lead levels in their drinking water.
Personal Water Supply Options Seem Safer to Some People
While Americans watch large city residents struggle to deal with the problem of unsafe drinking water, others look for a way to remove themselves from city water lines. In an effort to find clean water, some residents who live in smaller communities or far away from largely populated areas contact well drill specialists to find their own water sources.
Well drilling contractors offer their services to home and property owners who are looking for clean water sources. And while this may seem like a less familiar option to people who have spent years living in big cities, a personal well drill is not really that unusual. In fact, according to the latest research by the Centers for Disease Control, as many as 15 million American households rely on private, household wells for the water that they drink.
It may be true that personal well specialists can tap into water supplies that do not have to travel through corroded pipes, but this does not mean that all personal wells are safe. Just as city water is tested, it is important to have professionals monitor the quality of water that comes from personal wells. With increased use of fertilizers and pesticides it is important that all well water be tested on a regular basis. Although the 1974 Safe Drinking Water Act requires the EPA to set standards for drinking water quality that flows through the 150,000 public water entities across the country, these standards vary for private wells. Individual users should be vigilant about checking the safety of their well water.
It probably comes as no surprise that Americans use enormous amounts of water. In fact, the latest studies indicate that this country uses 79.6 billion gallons of groundwater every single day. to put this into perspective, this nearly 880 billion gallons is equivalent to 2,923 12 ounce cans for every person in the country.
Water Filtration Systems Continue to Improve
Another NPR article story aired in April of 2016 posed an interesting scenario. The author of the How Do We Get Our Drinking Water in the U.S.? asks listeners to mentally trace the path that delivered the water they drink before taking a sip of tap water. Would that make you pause?
The personal well drill option is appealing to many who want more control over the water they provide their family.