Part of the government’s mandate in every state is to ensure that your drinking water is safe and free from contaminants. Laws that set the minimum safety standards and measures to take in case your drinking water is contaminated are already in place. The safe drinking water Act mitigates the risk of water contamination and the scope of those affected.
However, these laws do not offer a full proof solution and cases of contamination still occur. So, it’s important to understand your response options and liability when contamination rears its ugly head.
THE RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH DRINKING CONTAMINATED WATER
The main source of water for homes in the US is either surface water or ground reserves. Rivers and lakes collect to form surface water while groundwater is pumped up to the surface by wells.
Some common health problems associated with drinking contaminated water include:
- Gastrointestinal diseases.
- Infertility and other reproductive issues.
- Irreversible neurological disorders.
- Cancer among others.
Pregnant women, children, and the elderly are high-risk individuals prone to contracting diseases that are caused by contaminated drinking water. Lead poisoning in water, for example, has devastating effects that cause children to develop abnormally. These developmental problems result in low IQ, stunted growth, and learning difficulties.
Harmful bacteria and industrial chemicals are the leading cause of water contamination in the US. The most common source of contamination comes from the following:
- Natural occurring elements and minerals such as arsenic.
- Agricultural practices. Using harmful fertilizers and pesticides on crops which eventually gets drained into our water sources when it rains.
- Factories and other manufacturing sites.
- Poorly maintained sewer systems.
SAFETY MEASURES TO TAKE AND COMMUNICATION
Under the Safe Drinking Water Act, it’s mandatory for public water systems to get tested to mitigate the risk of the water getting contaminated. The testing is overseen by The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) which sets high standards that only allow an acceptable level of contaminants in drinking water.
The frequency of testing depends on the number of people being served by the water system, the source of the drinking water and the type of contaminants present. Some contaminants pose a great health risk than others and are, therefore, tested more frequently.
It’s a requirement by law for every community water supplier to write an annual report to its customers. The CCR report, as it’s commonly referred to, provides information on the quality of drinking water and the contaminants, if any, found in the water after routine testing.
If you have concerns about the safety of your drinking water, you can send over a sample to a state-certified drinking water laboratory and have it tested.
CONTAMINATED DRINKING WATER LIABILITY
Many entities do not operate freely and have to comply with the laws that govern drinking water regulations. When business owners, the state or federal authorities fail to follow these regulations resulting in death or illness, there are sufficient grounds to hold such people accountable through a legal process.
Drinking water contamination liability and lawsuits are a bit complex and it’s best to bring a reputable attorney onboard to handle your case.