Water Pollution: Is the Head of the EPA Helping or Hurting?

Something’s not making sense here. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has been working for decades to put regulations in place that help to assure we have access to clean, safe drinking water. Now, it looks like the current head of that Agency is starting to chip away at those regulations. Here’s the gist of what he’s done already:

A Hollywood scriptwriter couldn’t make this up. One day after new data revealed widespread toxic water contamination near coal ash disposal sites, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) head Scott Pruitt announced a proposal to repeal the very 2015 EPA safeguards that had required this data to be tracked and released in the first place. Clean water is a basic human right that should never be treated as collateral damage on a corporate balance sheet, but that is exactly what is happening.

This proposal clears the way for polluters, and polluter-funded politicians, to write weak standards for groundwater monitoring and coal ash cleanups, and attacks several core health and environmental protections included in the standard that was enacted in 2015. This comes as the first round of water testing, carried out under the new EPA standard, revealed some shocking results. As the New Republic reported:

“At more than 70 sites across the country, toxins like arsenic, mercury, and radium are leaching into groundwater from pond-like storage pits filled with the sludgy leftovers of coal burning. That’s the most alarming takeaway from reports that the coal industry was required to submit to the Environmental Protection Agency this month, part of the first-ever federal regulations of the waste product known as coal ash … So far, the reports have shown coal ash leaking into groundwater at storage sites in Iowa, Nebraska, Arkansas, Georgia, Montana, Washington, Michigan and Florida.”

Read more…

‘When you get a drink of water out of the tap, you expect certain things’

Sidney-IA-Water-Testing-IssueIf you live in a small town that supplies your drinking water, this could happen to you…

‘When you get a drink of water out of the tap, you expect certain things’ | Local News – KETV Home

It reinforces our mantra, “Take control and manage the quality of your drinking water.”

That mantra is say that you need to know what’s in the water coming into your home, whether it’s an apartment or a house. So, our advice—have your water tested by a professional water testing lab.

That’s the best way to know if you have a problem or not. And, if you do, you can then treat for that problem yourself—usually at a fairly inexpensive investment.

The Sidney Public Works Director faces felony charges for not properly testing the city’s drinking water and then submitting false reports that said he did.

Source: ‘When you get a drink of water out of the tap, you expect certain things’ | Local News – KETV Home

US cities used water testing ‘cheats’

water testing lab

Photograph: Richard Drew/AP

According to an investigation by the Guardian News, there are at least 33 cities in the U.S. that use the same water testing methods and procedures that were followed in Flint MIchigan.

In Flint MI, these alleged “cheat” procedures prompted criminal charges against some government employees. Their actions led to one of the worst public health disasters in U.S history.

Your take-away after reading this article, is that, if you water is supplied by a municipal water company, you should have your water tested by a professional, independent, laboratory. That’s the only way you are going to know if your drinking water is safe for you and your family.

Relying solely  on the testing performed by the water company or by the local government is not the prudent thing to do, although, I’d venture to say that less than 1% of their customer households understand this and take action.

Even if the water company or the local government is not ‘cheating’, they do not test the water coming directly into your home once the water leaves the treatment plant.

A lot can happen to the quality and safety of the water between those two points. You have, nor do they have, any clue about the status of the pipes that carry the water along the way to your home.

That’s why we encourage everyone on city water to periodically have their water tested. Our message—

“Take control and manage the quality of your drinking water”

You can read the full Guardian article here: “At least 33 US cities used water testing ‘cheats’ over lead concerns”

To learn more about having your water tested, go here: City Water Testing

Could Your City Water Department be Hiding Something From You?


The lead fiasco that happened in Flint Michigan keeps popping up in the news as new facts are uncovered.

This one involves the lead water testing performed by the city’s water department. It turns out, people in the department used some creative ways to make sure the real level of lead in the water was not reported.

As a result of these findings, a criminal complaint has been filed against Michigan’s Department of Environmental Quality.

Here are the main points brought up in that criminal filing:

  • First, they didn’t include households they knew were serviced by lead pipes.
  • Then, for “technical reasons”, they omitted the test results for two water samples found to contain the highest level of lead.
  • Finally, the instructions for taking the water samples said to run the cold water for five minutes—this is called “pre-flushing”. And then wait six hours before drawing the water samples from the faucet.

This last one is a bit controversial because it’s not against the law to pre-flush, but it’s also not considered “best practice” according to an EPA official.

The article I read on these findings sent requests to more than 50 of the largest water department operators in Michigan asking them if they pre-flush before taking the water samples. They heard back from 41, and all but three reported back that they do pre-flush.

So, here’s my concern—should city water departments be required to takes water samples without pre-flushing? Let me know what you think.

If your home is on city water, should you be concerned about this one way or the other?

Well, you might be, especially if you know the water is traveling to your home through lead pipes.

We recommend that you have your water tested for lead, among a bunch of other health-related contaminants, so you know if the water coming out of your tap is safe to drink…

…or if you need to put a treatment system, like a specialized water filter, in place to get rid of specific contaminants.

That way, regardless of how your water department does its testing, you know that the drinking water coming out of your tap is safe to drinking and cook with.

We’ve put together a special test for people on city water and we’re offering it right now at a very reasonable price of only $129 including shipping both ways if you’re in the continental U.S.

In this test, we target 174 parameters (plus any untargeted volatile organic compounds found in the water sample). You can read more about it at ‘Bang-for-the-Buck’ City Water Test.

You can read, and listen, to the original article where I found this information at Michigan Radio

As always, I welcome you comments on this important topic.

Safe Water for Napal

WCIV-TV | ABC News 4 – Charleston News, Sports, Weather

My Rotary club in Westford MA is working with this group, Water Missions International (WMI), to build a water treatment system in a village in Honduras that will provide clean, safe drinking water to 1200 people. We chose to work with WMI for a couple of reasons: 1) the organization was founded by two Rotarians so they understand the and follow the key principle of “Service Above Self”, and 2) they have managed and worked on many, many projects around the world so they know how to manage a project and they understand how to manage complex logistics.

Right now they are jumping in to directly provide clean, safe drinking water to those in need in Nepal. We urge you to donate to support their efforts. Here’s the link to do that:


“Water Missions International is currently responding to meet the urgent need for safe water in Nepal as a result of the massive earthquake and aftershocks impacting the region. More than 10,000 people have been injured and the death toll has risen above 5,000 as rescue teams are reaching isolated communities outside of the capital of Kathmandu. Over 1.4 million people suffer from inadequate food and water supplies, and the threat of cholera grows each day as a result of unsanitary living conditions.”

Informational Clinic and Private Well Water Testing Offered in Smyth County, VA

Virginia Household Water Quality Program

I saw this article in SWVA.com today. Any well owner in the Smyth County should attend the free clinic being offered. We find that most well owners do not really understand how to properly maintain their wells, especially when it comes to the health and safety of the water that their family drinks and uses.

As part of these clinics, the county is offering water testing for 14 parameters at a cost of $60. We think that’s a pretty good deal.

But, if you want to have your well water tested for over 100 parameters, you may want to consider a test we offer that is targeted especially at well owners called the ‘Bang-for-the-Buck’ Essential Indicators Water Test. We test for 23 toxic metals, heavy metals & inorganic chemicals, 89 Volatile Organic Compounds. We include a self-test for the presence/absence of 8 pathogenic bacteria. This test is normally $149 but we are offering now for $129 (see below for a time-sensitive special discount coupon).

We want well owners to take control and manage the quality of their drinking water. We think testing your well water is the best first step. Once you get the results, you will then know if you need to take steps to correct any problems. For instance, if you see that you have an elevated level of pathogenic bacteria, you need to sanitize your well immediately. We have a product to help you there called the Well Water Wellness Kit. It contains everything you need to chlorinate your well including a link to a video that shows you step-by-step how to chlorinate your well the ‘right’ way.

We urge well owners in Smyth County to take advantage of the free clinic—this is important stuff. And have your well water tested either by the Virginia Tech lab or by a professional lab like ours. This is a ‘must’!

You can read more about our water test by going to this web site: www.dwspros.com/bfb  If you use this coupon code, smythspeical, you will save an additional 15% off the already special price. This discount is only available until May 31, 2015.

Read the original article from SWVA.com using this link: http://goo.gl/T1wLGV

Safe, Clean Drinking Water

Trying out a software tool for creating memes.

EPA Says Agriculture is Polluting 68% US Lakes, Reservoirs & Ponds

(AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

In this Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015 photo, Barb Kalbach stands near a hog confinement facility, near Orient, Iowa. Kalbach has fought for more than a decade against the construction of huge hog operations, and has joined Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, a nonprofit that?s against such enterprises because members believe they are ruining Iowa?s waterways. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

According the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, agriculture is the main culprit endangering about 68% of the country’s lakes, reservoirs and pond and more than half of its rivers and streams.

This is leading to lawsuits around the country against large-scale livestock farmers. Studies are showing high levels of bacteria, nitrate, and phosphorus from fertilizer and a build up of manure in water supplies. These contaminants can show up in well water in the affected areas at levels that may be harmful to humans and their pets. They also cause air pollution, and can lead to respiratory health problems.

Some farmers pump treated liquefied manure and urine into large sprinkler systems which fling it into their fields as fertilizer. You can imagine the smell drifting into the air and out to their neighbors!

If I lived in one of these affected areas and had a well for my drinking water, I’d be testing that water at least annually and I’d be sanitizing my well on the same schedule.

You can read the article written by David Pitt of the Associated Press where I read about this by going here: http://goo.gl/wFkKmY

To learn more about water testing and sanitizing your well go here: Drinking Water Specialists

Be Wary of Organizations Offering Residential Water Testing

Door-to-Door Scam Artist

This scam could be happening in your home town, so be aware! If you have any doubts, call your town or city hall.

The City of Swift Current wishes to advise residents that there have been reports of a number of organizations falsely contacting local residents to test water under the pretense of being contracted to do so by the City. The City of Swift Current is in no way affiliated with these organizations.

Reportedly, these organizations have been advising homeowners that they have been contracted by the City of Swift Current to conduct required water testing. Upon gaining access to residents’ homes, these organizations direct residents to purchase water filters and other merchandise sold by their company.

To read the full posting go here: Be wary of organizations offering residential water testing

To learn more about water testing you can trust either go here or go to Water Testing by Professional Lab at Amazon.

Fracking in California Causes High Level of Benzene in Well Water

This story is shocking! monterey-shale

Waste water testing from fracking operations in California show levels of the human carcinogen benzene up to 700 times the federal standard.

“How can this happen?” you ask. “Aren’t these operations closely regulated by health officials?” You would think so …

But, for some reason the state regulators responsible for fracking regulations in California, the Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources, blew it. Even the federal Environmental Protection Agency called this situation “shocking.”

Regardless of how this was allowed to happen, it shows that the common citizen cannot just assume the regulators responsible for making sure fracking operations are not contaminating our drinking water are really doing their job.

That’s why we keep preaching to homeowners near fracking areas, especially those who get their drinking water from their private well:

Get a baseline water test.

Ideally, this would be done before drilling begins.

Then have it tested periodically after the baseline test. This enables you to track the results to see if any parameters are showing up at higher levels than the prior test.

It’s a relatively inexpensive way to be sure your drinking water is safe.

The parameter benzene that was the center of the California debacle can be tested for as part of a test for volatile organic compounds. Many of these VOCs can prove harmful to humans if present at an elevated level.

You can read the entire article here: http://goo.gl/Zasy6F

To learn more about water testing, read about our ‘Bang-for-the-Buck’ Essential Indicators Water Test.