Dirty drinking water is something we don’t often associate with living in the United States. While we’re all aware of the unacceptable drinking situation that has been going on in Flint, Michigan, for far too long, we generally think that is an isolated situation.
But it’s more common that you might think.
For example, water in Leadwood, Missouri, has been so dirty and contaminated that some residents say they want to use “swimmer’s nose plugs” just to take a shower.
One reason why it’s dirty is shocking.
According to KTVI in St. Louis, Leadwood has no record of ever cleaning its water tank, and it was last inspected 17 years ago.
If you think that’s shocking, you’ll be even more surprised to know that the state of Missouri, along with most others, doesn’t require cities to clean their water towers.
“There’s no rule saying they have to do something,” Ron Perrin, owner of Ron Perrin Water Technologies, told the station. “It’s easy to get put off.”
But the consequences of a community putting such a thing off can be devastating.
According to KTVI, the Environmental Protection Agency attributed the deaths of seven people to a dirty water tank in Gideon, Missouri, in 1995. The agency found “pigeon droppings on the tank roof were carried into the tank by wind and rain through a gap in the roof hatch,” according to the station.
The EPA estimated that 44 percent of the city’s residents “were affected by diarrhea.”
Check out the KTVI report here:
Perrin is in the business of inspecting and cleaning water tanks. He showed KTVI video of what he found inside water towers in Missouri communities, and it was shocking.
“Here we’re looking at a few inches of sediment. Most tanks we inspect have three inches or less, but every once in a while we find a facility that has feet instead of inches. You never know what you have until you look,” he said.
But people getting water out of faucets have a general idea.
“It’s not (brown) today, but it may tomorrow, and it may last that way for a week,” resident Douglas Evans told KTVI.
“If you try to take a shower in the hot water, you’re standing in a steamy shower, it’s unbearable,” he said. “You want a set of swimmer’s nose plugs on to take a bath.”
There’s no excuse for Americans anywhere to be forced to live with filthy water. There may be few state regulations regarding clean drinking water, but there shouldn’t need to be. This is a perfect example of something that can be handled best at the local level.
Every community needs to keep make sure its drinking water is clean.
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