Is America’s Drinking Water Crisis Reaching New Heights?

America's Drinking Water Crisis

Only last month, a small city in Mississippi made headlines over its extreme water crisis. Almost 70% of the citizens didn’t have healthy drinking water for days.

Similarly, a recent failure in an electricity grid affected almost 14 million citizens of Texas. And a number of them had to boil snow to consume water.

The facts above may be alarming for many. But they aren’t new. The US has been a victim of unsafe water for many decades. And the situation is only going down the hill with time.

Causes of Water Quality Crisis in America

According to a report, Closing the Water Access Gap in the United States, almost two million people in America lack access to safe water. Moreover, many also suffer from poor hygiene.

It is far from what you expect from a country that’s a world leader. But, as you know, what you see is not always true!

Here are a few causes of poor water quality:

Flawed Plumbing Systems

This country may look all sorted, but it has a pretty poor wastewater system and plumbing facilities.

Most old houses in the USA have plumbing systems with lead pipes. Lead can rust easily and mix with water, and that makes it unhealthy for consumption. The Flint, Michigan incident gained worldwide attention only because of this reason. The community is still fighting for the injustice they faced in 2014.

Excessive Use of Fertilizers

Increased use of pesticides and industrial chemicals has made the situation even worse. Almost 40% of Americans rely directly on groundwater and 60% on surface water.

It is why this country suffers from extreme water contamination. Groundwater can easily get contaminated when mixed with industrial waste. The same goes for surface water. It is often a victim of toxins, plastic waste, and pesticides.

Inefficient Water Wells

Many people have private wells as an alternative source of water. But made through inferior drilling methods, they also do not guarantee safe water. Besides, most wells do not have an internal protective lining to prevent bacterial growth.

Is The Government Doing Anything to Improve The Situation?

With an increase in water incidents, the government and human rights organizations are slowly taking notice of this situation.

After the Texas episode in February, Joe Biden’s government decided to “build back better”. Since water quality is directly related to climate change, he announced his decision to rejoin the Paris Climate Change Agreement.Also, a $2 trillion plan has been put together to upgrade the plumbing systems around the country.

But, the government alone cannot win over this situation. A serious effort from your side is also important. If you are tired of dealing with water issues in your hometown, it’s time to take action.

Ways to Make Water Safe

Contaminated water is a huge threat to your health. But, with practical and small measures, you can play your part in ensuring the safety of yourself and your loved ones.

Ways to Make Water Safe

Here are some ways that you can help in improving the quality of water that reaches your household:

Install a Filter

You shouldn’t wait for your local council to make changes. Your home and health are your responsibility. And taking preventive measures can save you from getting into life-threatening conditions. A reliable filter in your home can provide you with safe water to drink every time. It is even possible on days when your local supply shows contamination. A water filter helps to remove all kinds of impurities and bacteria found in water.

Many machines do the job perfectly. But, to find the best one, you can read through expert reviews and customer ratings. Water Masterz is a great resource to find a suitable water filtration system for your home. With comparisons and reviews, you will have enough information to make the right decision.

Regular Maintenance of Plumbing System

The government is making efforts to improve the infrastructure of underground pipes. But, you can also make the process easier by carrying out a regular maintenance session. For that, you will need a plumbing service to do the job for you. Your pipes may require serious cleaning or even quick replacement. So, hiring a professional will save lots of time and energy.

You can also clean your faucets and fixtures at least once a week. This act will prevent the accumulation of deposits.

Reduction In Waste

You should also make efforts to maintain the quality of ground and surface water. While it does feel easy to flush trash in the toilet, it isn’t safe for your well-being. So, make sure to throw waste where it belongs. Collect all your trash in a bag and lock it in a waste bin.

Moreover, reduce the use of fertilizers as much as you can. If not for yourself, keep the beaches clean for the aquatic animals. It is vital to keep the environment safe for all species.

The Takeaway

The US has been victim of poor water quality for many years. Even some of the bigger cities in the country have contaminated water with a lot of impurities.

The government is doing its best to solve the crisis. But, you can also play a part in getting access to safe water every time. Install a filter in your house and improve your cleaning habits. If possible, go on a cleaning spree and collect trash from places like beaches. Small efforts from your side can help make big changes. Remember: Every drop counts.

Eight methods to purify water

You don’t always need to rush and buy the expensive equipment to purify water at home. when in crisis, you can use one of the following methods to get drinking water.

Eight methods to purify water

1.      Start with basic water filtering

What you will need

  • Filter
  • 2xcontainers
  • Water

The method isn’t the same as a water filter, but you need to eliminate all the large particles of junk out of the water before you go on with purification. You can use the method when you collect rainwater for drinking.

How to do it

  • Pour the dirty water into one of the containers.
  • Run the water through the filter.
  • Make sure that the clean water drips into the other container.

2.      Boil your water

What you need

  • Water
  • Heat resistant container
  • Heat source

With this method, you don’t need to ask yourself if boiling the water makes it drink. Instead, you need to know how long do you have to boil water to purify it. The answer is simple: just one minute to boil water. Should the water come from a dirty source, you must use the first method to remove debris.

How to do it

  • Pour the unpurified drinking water into a container
  • Place the container on your heat source: camp stove, wood stove, kitchen stove, or a bonfire
  • Take a look at your watch and bring the water to boiling for a minute

3.      Install water filters

What you need

  • Containers
  • Water
  • A water filter

A commercially purchased water filter is the most straightforward method to purify water at home. Don’t go and buy the biggest water filter just yet and go over the essential information.

If the water is cloudy, you have to buy a water purification system that solves the issue. Some filters will stop debris, whereas others come with reverse osmosis membranes to eliminate bacteria and viruses, heavy metals, and other contaminants. We remind you that filters that are made to filter specific things aren’t that expensive.

For the outdoor experiences when you run out of drinking water, you can use Aquastic or Lifestraw—they’re very effective. DIY fans who are budget-oriented can make their water filters. Check out the tutorials to make one.

4.      Use iodine

What you need

  • Container
  • Water
  • Iodine

If you want to eliminate nasty bacteria and viruses, iodine/chlorine dioxide is another effective method. Please be very cautious with this method. Even if you can use some forms of iodine to purify water, some are dangerous when misused (the crystal form, especially).

We remind you that excess sodium can raise blood pressure and endanger your health by causing heart diseases and even stroke. Should you find the particular taste of iodine a bit too strong for you, you can add a form of vitamin C in the water to improve its taste. Add the vitamin C only after it is completely purified.

How to do it

  • Add five drops of iodine per quart of water. If you use the liquid form, you can add at a 2% ratio to the water
  • Shake it
  • Allow iodine to work for more than 30 minutes

5.      Treat drinking water with UV light

What you need

  • Water
  • Container
  • Ultraviolet flashlight

You should try this method at least for the fun of it. Cleaning water by using ultraviolet light is cool, regardless of what you may think. Having said that, we also need to highlight that the method has some downsides.

The first one is that the method will only kill bacteria in the water. On the other hand, purifying agents as iodine and bleach will remain in the water for a long time, which isn’t the case with ultraviolet light. Once you no longer use ultraviolet light, it won’t be able to clear water. Any leftover bacteria remains will affect your digestive system all over again.

How to do it

  • Your water shouldn’t be cloudy, so begin with filtering the water
  • Place the flashlight into the water and move it around

6.      Add few drops of chlorine bleach

What you need

  • Water
  • Container
  • Chlorine bleach

We’re sure that many will raise their eyebrows thinking about using bleach to purify water. After all, our parents always kept us away from bleach to not drink it by mistake. It’s still true, and you shouldn’t drink bleach.

Adding a few drops of bleach will clean the water as it kills viruses and bacteria, the same way it does when working as a cleaning agent. As long you use the right type and the safe amount, bleach is a clearing agent for water. Look for the unscented kind of bleach that you use for sanitization and disinfection. It should have a measurable amount of chlorine.

How to do it

  • Begin with filtering the large impurities out of the water
  • Add the bleach
  • Shake it and let the bleach work for one hour

Most of the time, it’s safe to add four or five drops of bleach in every quart of water that you want to clean. Also, we strongly recommend you do some research on your own and identify the type of bleach that works best for you. If the method doesn’t sit well with you, you can always use water purification tablets.

7.      The pine tree method

What you need

  • Water
  • Tube
  • Container
  • Pine branch/stick

This method is both fun as it is effective at cleaning water. The xylem tissue in pine works as a natural water filter and collects the particles to give highly purified water.

How to do it

  • Peel a pine branch
  • Place a piece in the tube and fasten it

8.      The SODIS method

What you need

  • Water
  • Container
  • Sunlight

This method sounds scientific, for sure. SODIS (the solar disinfection/solar disinfection process) is less complicated than it sounds. Water in plastic bottles collects the heat of the sun and heats up, whereas the UVA rays will kill bacteria and viruses.

One downside to consider is that water in a plastic bottle can have harmful effects, such as leaching chemicals.

How to do it

  • Run water through the filter as many times as necessary
  • Pour clear water into the bottle.
  • Put the cap on
  • Allow the water to stay in the sun for several hours, but no less than 6 hours

Don’t use bottles larger than one or two quarts. Needless to say, the bottles should be sparklingly clean.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many households in U.S. don’t have access to drinking water?

The proceeding of the National Academy ff Sciences revealed that 471,000 U.S. households don’t have access to “complete plumbing,” respectively 1.1 million individuals. “complete plumbing” refers to access to pipes, hot and cold water, and shower/bathtub located in the housing unit.

 

What happens when you don’t have access to water?

When people lack access to drinking water, they don’t get enough to drink, wash, and feed crops. As a result, economic decline and inadequate sanitation take place. Lethal diarrheal diseases, typhoid fever, cholera, and water-borne illnesses are the common health problems that lack drinking water causes.

Is the U.S. going out of water?

The whole planet may never run out of water, but freshwater isn’t always available in the U.S. In less than 50 years, many regions of the United States could reduce freshwater supply by a third.

Is the water crisis severe around the globe?

Currently, 785 million people don’t have access to clean water, which means 1 in 10 people on the planet. Women and girls spend around 200 million hours searching for water. An average woman in rural Africa has to walk 3.72 miles every day to get approximately 40 pounds of water.

Is dirty water safe for animals?

It’s not safe for animals to drink contaminated water as it can cause infection. Once the wild and domestic animals are infected, they can excrete the bacteria into the environment for years. This way, the contamination continues and affects other animals and crops.

About Amanda

I love to buy a lot of products for the home, and dissect them out. I split them into duds and winners, and share the findings here on my site. As a reader of my site, I'm aiming for your next purchase to be an informed and inspired one.

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