Safety of U.S. Drinking Water


Many cities around the United States rely on pre World War I era water delivery systems and treatment technology. Aging pipes can break and contaminants can get into the water and breed bacteria . Old-fashioned water treatments that were built to filter out particles in the water and kill some parasites and bacteria generally fail to remove 21st century contaminants like pesticides, industrial chemicals, and arsenic.

We often take the purity of our tap water for granted. The Natural Resource Defense Councils’s What’s on Tap?, found that pollution and deteriorating, out-of-date plumbing are sometimes delivering drinking water that might pose health risks to some residents.

Good drinking water depends on cities getting three things right:

•Lakes, streams, reservoirs and wells must be protected from pollution

•Pipes must be sound and well-maintained

•Must have modern treatment facilities

If just one of those three factors is substandard, water quality will suffer. These four cities have fair-to-substandard drinking water:

•Atlanta, which maintains its distribution system poorly

•Albuquerque and San Francisco, which have poor treatment systems

•Fresno, which has no real source water protection

It is beyond important that the public is better aware of these conditions, as well as take action on a state and federal level, otherwise our out dated systems will continue to deteriorate.