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Contamination Found In Los Angeles Drinking Water

According to a 2009 study by the Environmental Working Group, Los Angeles city water contains six chemicals at levels that exceed health guidelines for federal drinking water quality standards. Although cleaner than many urban systems, urban water quality may further decline as cities seek marginal new sources of water.

The Environmental Working Group tested Los Angeles water 300 times and found the system violated the federal safe drinking water law for triholmethanes in some of those tests.

Trihalomethanes (THMs) are chemicals that form when chlorine and other disinfectants used to control microbes in drinking water react with organic matter such as sewage in water. These chemicals are known as cancer causing chemicals.

Los Angeles also has four chemicals in its water at levels that meet federal standards but exceed health standards. They are arsenic, bromate, radium 226, and tetrachlorethylene. The Environmental Working Group also detected alpha radiation from an unknown element.

Public Protection

In 1974, Congress passed the Safe Drinking Water Act to protect the public from contaminated drinking water sources that may contain chemicals or bacteria.

While some public water is very clean, much of it contains chemical contamination either from natural sources like rocks, or from chemicals emitted by industry or agriculture. The Clean Water Act, another federal law, is meant to regulate what chemicals can be discharged into rivers and streams by industry and in what quantities.

Public utility systems use filters to remove silt, chemical and biological hazards before people can drink the water. The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) requires cities and towns to eliminate hazardous chemicals based on studies conducted by scientists. Because it’s impossible to completely remove the chemical, the Act tells utilities how much of the chemical must be removed to meet “standards” set by scientists who collect health information for the EPA. .

Los Angeles water

Los Angeles gets its water from the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, the largest municipal utility in the United States serving 4 million people. It pumps more than 200 billion gallons of water (760 billion liters) each year through its 7,226 miles of pipes. This supply comes from the Sierra Nevada Mountains, the California and Colorado River Basins, and some from groundwater.

The wells that Los Angeles shares with farmers and the oil industry are in crisis because the demand on these huge wells far exceeds the supply, especially when environmental protection efforts are considered. With climate change, rainfall and snowfall in the Sierra Nevada Mountains and Colorado Rockies are highly unpredictable with deficits occurring in dry years.

In 2008, Los Angeles announced that they were considering treating sewage with filtration systems to increase the city’s water supply as drought reduced mountain resources.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Americans drink about one billion glasses of water per day and the average American uses about 100 gallons per day for all purposes.

Self defense

People can protect themselves from contaminated tap water by installing a quality home water filtration system. Click the link below to learn more.

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