Almost a quarter of Americans get their drinking water from systems that don't comply with federal health standards, according to a report released Tuesday by the Natural Resources Defense Council. "For example, a single missed sample, categorized as a monitoring violation on the report, resulted in 21 separate violations - one for each of the contaminants in the test group".
The authors analyzed data provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency showing approximately 12,000 health-based violations affecting about 5,000 community water-distribution systems serving some 27 million people.
A few innovative companies have taken notice and are stepping up to fix this massive problem - needless to say, with profitable results.
Strengthen all drinking water enforcement mechanisms. More than 200 people working on water quality programs at the EPA would lose their jobs. There were 250 violations in Florida that were tied to serious health violations.
"While reports like these come out from time to time, Suez works every day to deliver the best quality drinking water to those it serves", Gallo said.
Olson says the problem is money, and noted the EPA does not have a line item in its budget for drinking water violation enforcement.
Suez, which provides drinking water to much of Bergen and Hudson counties, had 23 violations of federal safe drinking water rules in 2015, largely for failing to adequately monitor for an array of contaminants one month.
New Jersey ranked fourth of all states in the number of people served by water systems that had some sort of violation that year.
"Under new leadership, EPA has made clear it is getting back to its core mission, which includes protecting America's drinking water".
The agency's analysis found that 18,000 municipal water systems across the United States were cited for at least one violation of the Safe Drinking Water Act in 2015.
A new threat to the nation's water supplies comes in the form of dramatic cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency's 2018 budget-including programs created to safeguard our nation's drinking water-despite President Trump's recognition that "crystal clear water" is vitally important to the country.
The White House and congressional Republicans are now advocating for legislation that would limit the EPA's ability to write new drinking water standards.
In regards to health based violations the top violations included the disinfection byproducts and coliform bacteria.
President Donald Trump has proposed cutting the EPA budget by about a third. Seattle Public Utilities was listed as a water system that violated the SWDA's surface water/groundwater section, a set of rules that aims to protect people from pathogens leaching into their drinking water from surrounding bodies of water. Then there are the drinking-water plants, most of which use century-old technology for water treatment.
"It verifies concerns that we have been expressing for the last 10 years, which is that these rural American cities are just not able to fund their water infrastructure needs and they cannot afford to upgrade their systems, nor can they afford to meet existing federal law", he told ABC News.