The Importance of Clean Drinking Water
Image via Jinx (flickr)
I grew up around water. I love water. I got my degree in Environmental Science because I was tired of seeing people pollute our water. I want to educate people about water. I want them to understand the importance of clean drinking water. You won’t see the heinous effects of polluted drinking water suffered by those in third-world countries here in the U.S. We do have our own set of problems when it comes to clean drinking water, however.
Clean drinking water is new to the U.S. We suffered from polluted water until congress enacted water safety legislation. You would think this wouldn’t be necessary. It’s common sense that if you pollute your water, you suffer the consequences. Unfortunately, many have yet to grasp this concept. Without clean drinking water, facts speak for themselves. Looking at worldwide statistics helps us better understand the importance of clean drinking water here at home.
Some Clean Drinking Water Statistics
- U.S. residents have access to clean drinking water, over 884 million people throughout the world do not.
- 3.5 million of the 884 million who don’t have access to clean water are killed by diseases caused from unsanitary drinking, farming, and bathing water.
- Without clean drinking water, facts confirm that children make up the majority of these 3.5 million; a child dies every 20 seconds from water pollution illness.
- In many cases, these children die from diarrhea caused by the bacteria and parasites in the polluted water.
It boggles my mind when I read these statistics. When considering clean drinking water, facts clearly demonstrate the importance of access to a sanitary water supply. Without it, people die, plain and simple. But hey, it wasn’t always so great here either. Congress didn’t implement protections against water pollution until 1972.
Senator Edmund “Ed” Muskie introduced the Clean Water Act in 1971, which included sub-acts for drinking water under the Safe Drinking Water Act – although most people think of it as the clean drinking water act. The cool thing about the Safe Water Act is it protects all of America’s water, including recreational water for those of us who dive in and pretend we’re fish! Since our topic is clean drinking water, however, let’s focus on what the clean drinking water act portion entails.
Safe Drinking Water Act Details
- Congress approved Muskie’s Act and placed the EPA in charge of regulating and ensuring all drinking water in the U.S. is safe for consumption.
- This includes water consumed during commercial airline travel, and protecting and maintaining municipal drinking water supply processing and storage facilities.
- The EPA sets the federal standards for contaminant control by designating the “Maximum Contaminant Level” or “MCL” allowed in all municipal water supplies.
- The EPA also sets lead-free standards, ensuring all plumbing fixtures are lead-free to avoid lead water contamination.
These are just some of the ways the Safe Drinking Water Act, or clean drinking water act if you prefer, helps protect Americans from the water-borne illnesses so many others suffer throughout the world. We can pretty much rest-assured, that our water is safe… or is it? For the most part, it is, but we are paying a high price in unexpected side effects from the chemicals used to keep our drinking water clean.
Even though U.S. water is considered amongst the cleanest in the world, it is not without hidden danger. We sanitize our water with harsh chemicals, and we suffer because of that. The facts above do not understate the importance of clean drinking water, but at what cost? Let’s take a look at some side effects of the EPA’s water sanitation procedures.
Water Sanitation Procedure Facts
- Several derivatives of the chemical chlorine are used to sanitize U.S. drinking water.
- There is more chlorine content per gallon of drinking water than per gallon of swimming pool water..
- Despite these facts, chlorine is still approved by the EPA to clean our drinking water because it is an inexpensive way to sanitize water.
Kind of scary when you think about it. Just as scary as how we pollute our water in the first place. We have to do something to keep our water safe, but how do we consume the sanitized water without ingesting the harsh chemicals that pack those nasty side effects? It’s simple: filter your water.
Properly filtering the water coming into your home, including your drinking and shower water, is the only way to ensure your family has plenty of access to clean, safe, chemical-free water. Filtering adds an extra layer of protection over and above the Clean Water and Safe Drinking Water Acts. It removes the chemicals, pharmaceuticals, lead, and other toxins from your municipal water, and ensures everyone has plenty of clean drinking water to enjoy all year round.
Written By: Lynn Taylor