It can be easy to take the water we drink for granted. But protecting yourself and your family from contamination is one of the most important things you need to do. Despite the United States having a safe water supply, the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention estimates nearly 7.2 million Americans suffer from water-borne illnesses every year.
Recently many affected parties are filing class action lawsuits to claim damages for the Camp Lejeune water contamination case. In 1987, the EPA named Camp Lejeune as one of the most contaminated sites in the country due to high levels of toxic chemicals found in the local drinking water supplies, which were caused by years of chemical dumping at the base by several different companies. The Marine Corps reported that over 1 million people were exposed to polluted drinking water at Camp Lejeune from 1953 until 1987.
If you have been affected by the above case, we suggest you check the status of the payout for the Camp Lejeune Lawsuit on reliable online resources. According to the Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012, free health care will be provided for presumptive illnesses for those veterans and their family members who resided in Camp Lejeune from August 1953 till 31st December 1987. Currently, the illnesses covered include adult leukemia, bladder cancer, kidney cancer, liver cancer, and Parkinson’s disease, amongst others.
There are some easy steps you can take to ensure your drinking water remains safe and healthy no matter where you live.
1. Check for Signs of Contamination
Check at all points of the journey of the water from the source to its journey to your house. This will ensure all bases are covered.
Check the water source, whether it comes from a well, a river, or an underground reservoir. Make sure you know where your drinking water comes from and how it’s treated.
Check the treatment process. Find out how your municipality treats drinking water. Check if any additives or chemicals are added to the water that could be harmful to you or your family. Globally, the Water Treatment Chemicals Market size was valued at $ 35.5 Billion in 2021, and analysts expect this to cross $ 42.71 Billion by 2028.
It is projected to grow at a CAGR of 3.32% between 2022 and 2028, as per a report by Facts and Factors. There is already a lot of money invested globally in treating water. As a vigilant citizen, you should check if your municipality is implementing the right treatment plans for your neighborhood.
You can check on this by looking at a city’s annual Consumer Confidence Reports, or CCRs, which are available online at most municipalities’ websites. Those should outline what types of chemicals and additives are added to their drinking supplies during treatment processes.
Pipes and Fixtures
Aging infrastructure can cause leaks in pipes that lead directly into our homes. These pipes may also contain lead, which can leach into our drinking supply if not maintained or replaced. Keep an eye out for cracks in old pipes. If you find one, have it fixed right away.
Check for Contaminants
Contaminants commonly found in drinking water include bacteria such as E. coli, viruses like hepatitis A, parasites like Giardia lamblia, and heavy metals like lead.
The EPA has set maximum contaminant levels for these substances, and if your water has any of them above those limits, it can be unsafe to drink. The EPA also requires that all public water systems test their supplies regularly.
If your sources are contaminated, stop using that source immediately and isolate the contaminated area from the rest of your home. You can also choose to drink bottled water till you have access to clean potable water.
2. Regular Water Testing
Whether you have a well or municipal water supply, you should regularly test for bacteria and other contaminants. The easiest way to test your drinking water is to use a home testing kit. You can buy one at most hardware stores and pharmacies for $20 or less.
If you live in an area where there are known contaminants in the water supply, such as lead or arsenic, you should have your water tested regularly.
The EPA recommends testing once every three months. If you live in an area with questionable drinking water quality but no known contaminants, you may test monthly until things stabilize.
The EPA has been authorized by the Safe Drinking Water Act to approve the use of alternative testing methods by documenting the same in the federal register. Currently, 7 alternative test methods have been authorized. This should result in local laboratories having more flexibility and options to ensure tests get conducted on time to benefit you faster.
If your test results come back positive for any kind of contaminant, take immediate action by contacting local authorities and getting advice on what steps to take next.
3. Find a Treatment Method That Works for You
You can buy a simple faucet-mounted filter or invest in an advanced system that provides more filtered water at once. Once you’ve got your new filter set up, learn how often you should replace its parts and what kind of maintenance it requires so that you know when there’s an issue with it.
Check that all of the parts have been assembled correctly before setting up your system. If you’re not sure how to do this, contact customer service or look up the manufacturer’s website online. You can also watch online videos on setting up specific systems.
4. Educate Yourself
The better you understand the risks of water contamination and how to avoid them, the less you’ll have to worry about these contaminants.
Read the instructions for your water filter and follow them closely, especially if you’re using a new filter or trying out a new type of filter. If you notice some discoloration in your filtered water or any other peculiarities, it won’t be hard for you to figure out what happened.
Test your drinking water for contaminants and health effects. There are many different types of tests available on the market today. Learn more about different testing methods depending on the level of contamination in your area.
We hope you have a better understanding of water quality and contamination after reading this article. It’s important to understand the factors that impact your drinking water, so you can know what to do when there’s a problem. Even if you live in an area with safe drinking water, we encourage you to be educated on water contamination to ensure you are prepared for any future risks.