New Study Analyzes Data On Arizona Drinking Water

04 May, 2017, 00:37 | Author: Valerie Burke
  • Silverleaf Geospatial

A study conducted by the Natural Resources Defense Council looked at all 50 states to find out which has the highest violations of the Safe Drinking Water Act of 2105.

Numerous violations were "health based", meaning that they involved a specific danger to human health rather than a simple violation of federal requirements for reporting and monitoring.

About 19.5 million Americans get sick each year from pathogens found in contaminated public drinking water, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

He said his research team, which played a major role working on the Flint, Michigan water crisis, was inundated with calls from people in rural America looking for help.

Contaminants are not the only reason for drinking water's dismal state in the United States.

"Atlanta is a very large system and so, they likely have many professionals on staff who keep up with the rules", said Mae Wu, the staff attorney in the NRDC's health program.

Suez, which provides drinking water to much of Bergen and Hudson counties, had 23 violations of federal safe drinking water rules in 2015, largely for failing to adequately monitor for an array of contaminants one month.

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The report found that the states with the most offenses based on population were Texas, Florida, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Georgia.

The latest infrastructure "report card" released this year by the American Society of Civil Engineers rated the nation's water systems a D and estimated the cost of necessary investments at $1 trillion.

Arizona ranked among the five worst states for water systems with violations in three categories, including arsenic, radioactive material and carbon-based pollutants. Health-based violations of the rules were most frequently caused by (in order): a cancer-causing family of chemicals called disinfection byproducts; coliform bacteria; the failure to properly treat surface and groundwater to remove risky pathogens; nitrates and nitrites that can cause "blue baby syndrome"; and lead and copper. Nationally, there were 77 million people that came in contact with unsafe water, says NRDC.

Obviously, this study pairs poorly with the recently proposed budgetary cuts to the federally funded Environmental Protection Agency. If the Regulatory Accountability Act passes the Senate and becomes law, it will favor industry interests and exacerbate the downward spiral of America's water infrastructure system.

Improve water infrastructure and modernize our drinking water treatment plants.

While President Donald Trump's proposed budget slightly increased funding for the EPA's popular state revolving funds, which help utilities finance repairs and upgrades, the budget also proposes a 31 percent funding cut to EPA, slashing the agency's enforcement budget and several water-related programs and grants. "There's no cop on the beat - no one's enforcing the law", he said.

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