Save the Water™ Water Research Education Dept. | Shared as an education material
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality says nearly 140 public water supplies are consistently violating state and federal drinking water codes.
The Oklahoman reported that the violations include high levels of disinfectant byproducts, high levels of nitrates and high levels of arsenic, uranium and selenium.
Disinfectant byproducts are acids formed when chemicals such as chlorine react with organic matter in water. They can cause cancer. Nitrates, arsenic, uranium and selenium are naturally occurring. Nitrates can lower the oxygen level in blood and can kill infants. Arsenic, uranium and selenium can cause damage to the kidneys, skin and nervous system.
The DEQ says all the systems are operating under consent orders requiring them to resolve the violations and to notify the public of the problem.
Water the unique substance that is essential to sustain life is taken for granted and abused. Whether rich or poor, the quality of the water that we use to drink, cook, and bathe has a direct effect on our health.
Humans as a species are very selfish. It is evident by the way we treat other species and the environment. We also have a procrastinating trait that keeps us from addressing problems until it is staring at us in the face. The water crisis has arrived and we are not doing much about it.
Some of us can open the faucet and get an unlimited amount of water right out of the many outlets in our home. We wash our cars and water the lawn unconsciously, and even if the water runs wasted for a while, we think it is OK. Could it be because we don’t have to carry a 5 gallon bucket of dirty water for 5 miles just to survive?
The water crisis is in the very tap water coming from our faucets. It is invisible, yet very real. Here in the U.S., two-hundred years ago, before the industrial revolution and construction of our existing water infrastructure, people were able to obtain clean water from a river, a lake, or a well.
Today, rivers and lakes are so contaminated that even the fish from them are not fit for human consumption. The ground water is also so contaminated from industrial and agricultural pollution that even if you have a well, you better test the water and treat it before consuming it.
Our water, whether from the river, lake, ground, or tap, contain an unknown number of toxic and cancer causing chemicals that we don’t even have methods to identify. The importance of clean healthy water is obvious.