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How do you know your water is safe to drink?

Updated on June 15, 2013

Water is a resource that may be the most important resource on Earth, needed to sustain all of life. However with the pollutions created and distributed by humans, we are poisoning ourselves slowly. Certain chemicals and contaminates are known to cause public health issues. As sickness and problems arose in the seventy’s, the Safe Drinking Water Act was established in 1974 to protect the public from unsafe chemicals (Wright and Boorse, 2011). This legislature made it possible for the EPA to set national standards of known chemicals that caused health issues to human.

The EPA has certain specific chemicals that they check for, these are the criteria pollutants. Once a harmful chemical or pollutant is identified, it may then be regularly checked for in the water. If the chemical is beyond the maximum contaminate level allowed, the EPA will halt the water source until it can be purified. The maximum contaminate is the percentage of contaminate that is found in water, like parts per million and so forth. An amended act in 1986 was made to include ground water and now sets the maximum contaminate level for over 90 contaminates. State and Water agency officials are the ones responsible for regularly checking and monitoring the water (Wright and Boorse, 2011).

To clean the contaminates out of the water, there are many methods that can be used. Groundwater remediation is pretty simple in theory, but harder to implement. The basic idea is to pump out the water, purify it and pump it back in. Bioremediation is putting oxygen and organisms into water and surrounding contaminated water to break down various harmful chemicals over time. Phytoremediation uses plants that like specific chemicals and can clean the contaminate by pulling it into the plant from root intake and then the plants are disposed of in a way parallel to toxic waste.


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    • kaiyan717 profile image

      kaiyan717 5 years ago from West Virginia

      Many countries use desalination for drinking water, although it is a bit more costly so it hasn't been implemented in the U.S.

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      WhydThatHappen 5 years ago

      How very complicated- too badno fish or plant feeds on salt, then we'd have an inexhaustible supply of water