Coal Ash Ponds – Are They Contaminating Your Water?  

Posted by: Rhona Reid On March 22, 2018 12:00 pm

 
Look, don’t shoot the messenger, but there’s something else to worry about in America’s water.  

Is there coal ash contamination near your town?

Bosses at coal-burning power plants country-wide are required to file reports with the Environmental Protection Agency this month, looking into the toxins that are being released into groundwater from vast, unlined “ponds” containing coal ash and debris.

“Coal ash ponds need to be addressed as potential environmental and human health issues.”

~ Avner Vengosh, Professor of Earth and Ocean Sciences, Duke University

Coal Ash Court Cases

130 million tons of coal ash is produced each year.  Arsenic, Chromium-6, mercury and radium are just a few of the dangerous substances potentially leaching into the water supply.  

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America Brings Home Report Card; Gets a D

Posted by: Rhona Reid On March 1, 2018 12:00 pm

 
America’s Water Infrastructure Report Card for 2017 is in and it’s fair to say that there’s room for improvement. It’s not exactly new news to talk about the state of America’s pipelines and how millions of Americans are drinking water that might be harmful to their health, but the report card highlights another aspect of the problem – the waste.

Must try harder?
Pipe Down

Many pipes were laid during the early-mid 20th century and have a lifespan of 75100 years.  There are an estimated 240,000 pipeline fractures every year and with an average annual repair rate of 0.5%, the repairs will take around 200 years to complete, by which time the pipelines will have been around

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Water, Water Everywhere…

Posted by: Rhona Reid On February 7, 2018 12:00 pm

 
It sounds obvious, but water is everywhere at the moment.  From Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water cleaning up during awards season; the reckless craze for so-called “Raw Water”; the fact that South Africa’s Cape Town is about to reach Day Zero when the water runs out, and closer to home, that America’s own water supply is barely out of the news these days.  

Water is making headlines every day.
What Do We Want From Water?

Water is big news.  Of course it is, it’s a massive part of our lives.  We depend on it for life itself and yet we’re all guilty of wasting it from time to time.  So how did we become so complacent

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Why Reverse Osmosis Is NOT the Answer to Chromium-6

Posted by: Rhona Reid On February 6, 2018 7:00 am

 
The cancer-causing contaminant Chromium-6, brought to the public gaze by Erin Brockovich, is at levels exceeding public health goals in 50 states.

Chromium-6 – Here to Stay?

Millions of people are trying to find a workable solution to protect themselves and their families and to avoid drinking contaminated water.  

What Reverse Osmosis Water Does to the Pipeline

A reverse osmosis water system is sometimes touted as a possible solution on both a domestic and municipal level.  After all, it removes contaminants and that’s the goal, right?

Unfortunately, reverse osmosis is not a solution on either front.  On a city-wide basis, aside from the prohibitive cost of building the plant, the stripped-back water – though admittedly free of contaminants

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Half of All Americans Have Radiation in Their Water

Posted by: Rhona Reid On February 1, 2018 12:00 pm

 
According to this report published in January by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), 173 million people – around half of all Americans – have been exposed to radiation in their drinking water.  That means an increase in the possibility of developing certain types of cancer and can also have a detrimental effect on fetal development.  

Radioactive elements enter our groundwater…and stay there.
The “Erin Brockovich” Chemical

By studying 50,000 water systems countrywide, the EWG found that millions of people across 50 states are drinking water that contains radioactive contaminants; including the most commonly-occurring radioactive element, radium.

In Texas – one of the worst affected states – up to 80% of homes are supplied with water containing potentially dangerous levels

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The Future for Flint’s Children

Posted by: Rhona Reid On November 21, 2017 7:00 am

 
In 1990, the New England Journal of Medicine published the results of an 11-year study into the long term cognitive and neurobehavioral effects of lead exposure in children.  

What are the long terms behavioral effects of lead exposure for children?
What Does Lead Do?

The children had been exposed to lead during their childhood, in some cases relatively low levels.  132 test subjects were re-examined in 1988 and the following neurobehavioral traits were identified as being related to lead exposure during childhood:

  • School absenteeism
  • Lower vocabulary
  • Poorer hand/eye co-ordination
  • Slower reaction times
“No Safe Level of Lead”

Although some lead can be excreted by the body, children are more susceptible to long term effects from lead exposure, as their

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Can an 11-Year-Old Really Change How Lead in Water is Identified? 

Posted by: Rhona Reid On November 14, 2017 7:00 am

 
America’s water system is undeniably in crisis.  The projected cost of fixing the miles of pipeline that criss-cross the country runs to $1 trillion, according to some estimates.  There’s no quick fix.

Our infrastructure won’t be updated any time soon…
Next Generation – New Hope

But where there is a future, there is always hope.  And where there is hope, there is a future.  Maybe the next generation will come up with some answers, determined to put right what is broken and unsustainable.  This possibility has been highlighted by eleven-year-old Gitanjali Rao, winner of America’s top young scientist award.

Mythical Inspiration

Horrified by the news of lead contamination in the water of Flint, Michigan, Gitanjali quickly realized the …

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Imagine a Day Without Water?

Posted by: Rhona Reid On October 26, 2017 12:00 pm

 
The third annual Imagine a Day Without Water took place on the 12th October.  Schools and workplaces participated with utilities and water organizations to look at how much we depend on water.  

Can you imagine a day without water?
The True Value of Water

The recent hurricanes that have seen thousands of people having their access to clean, safe water cut off, highlight just how vital water is to our health and well being.  

Some communities in America already know how impossible it is to try to go a day without our most precious resource: Water.  Imagine a Day Without Water 2017 is the third annual day to raise awareness and educate America about the value of water.

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Drinking Plastics – Why Our Water Infrastructure Just Can’t Cope (Plastics Series: Part III)

Posted by: Rhona Reid On October 19, 2017 12:00 pm

 
We recently looked at the plastics that we unknowingly drink when we crack open a fresh bottle of water or turn on the tap.  America is the world leader in plastic fiber contamination, with a horrifying 94% of nationwide samples testing positive.  India and Lebanon are the closest runners-up; but for now, the dubious honor of topping the plastic fiber contamination table belongs to us.  

Sometimes being first isn’t so great…
Plastic is Not Fantastic

Plastic fibers are expelled into the air and into our water supply all the time.  The problem is that our current methods of treating drinking water are inadequate.  That’s not a new fact; horror stories about the problems with America’s water infrastructure

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Are You Drinking Plastic Chemicals From Your Tap? (Plastics Series: Part II)

Posted by: Rhona Reid On October 16, 2017 5:51 pm

 
Yet another unpalatable fact about America’s drinking water emerged upon publication of a report into the presence of microscopic plastic fibers in an astonishing 94 percent of samples tested.

Plastic is on the menu for nearly all of us.
Global Problem

It’s not just America that is swallowing untold quantities of plastics from industry, homes and manufacturing; around 80 percent of samples worldwide tested positive.  If it’s in our water, then it’s in our food.  If it’s our food, then our bodies are awash with plastic fibers of unknown origin.  

Plastic Forever

It gets worse.  Plastic doesn’t biodegrade.  Instead, it just gets smaller and smaller until it’s a tiny particle measured by nanometer (one nanometer is one-billionth of a

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