The EPA recently released a report on the condition of America’s water infrastructure. Households in America are served by over 73,000 water systems. Most of these municipalities and infrastructures have been around for years. To keep America’s water safe and flowing, the EPA’s finding estimates that over $384 billion will need to be spent in the next 17 years. This money will be spent on upgrading and revitalizing already taxed systems that have seen an increase in use from population shifts and droughts. $245 billion is needed just to replace old pipes, some of which are over a century old.
What does this mean for your glass of tap water?
Water sanitation facilities treat the water with several different
methods before it exits the plant to travel to your house. (For a fun
explanation of the treatment process check out this interactive, virtual tour.)
After the water leaves the facility, it travels through many pipes (sometimes miles of pipes) to get to your home. These pipes represent a part of the infrastructure that needs updating. When these pipes break, contaminants can be introduced into the water. According to Shafiul Islam, a professor and director of the Water Diplomacy Initiative at Tufts University, this growing risk of breaking pipes “is serious, and if it’s not fixed, we could see a breakout of diseases from unsafe water.”1 In fact, “every two minutes there’s a water pipe breaking in the U.S.”2
When pipes break, local governments and water treatment facilities will often call for a “boil water notice.” These notices alert the public to the strong likelihood that water coming out of the tap may now be tainted with bacteria, fecal matter, and other dangerous contaminants.
How can you keep your water safe?
This nationwide $384 billion upgrade is not likely to be completed soon. While local governments and companies rankle over how to implement these needed changes, the best way to ensure the safety of your tap water is to install a final barrier treatment. A final barrier treatment is a filtration system at or near the point where the water is being used. This could include a whole house filtration system, a reverse osmosis system, or a water distiller. Installing these types of filtration options will ensure that the water in your glass will be safe for you and your family.
For more information on final barrier treatment options visit our website: http://www.freshwatersystems.com/ or call us at 1-877-335-3339.
1 Quoted in “Got water? Keeping it flowing could get expensive,” by Mark Koba. http://www.nbcnews.com/business/got-water-keeping-it-flowing-could-get-expensive-6C10321449.
2 See previous link.