Holding Public Officials Accountable For Clean Water

If the water crisis in Flint, Michigan taught us one thing, it was that we simply do no know what we are drinking out of the faucet.  But when the water has contaminates in it, who should be held responsible and how to they go about cleaning it up?

In Flint, the courts are getting involved and prosecutors are bringing cases against public officials for their role in supplying dirty water to residents.  As with many cases of corruption, it is not going to be about the people who contaminated the water, that occurred over a long period of neglect, it is going to be about the person who found out about it and covered it up.  In Michigan, public officials are concerned that they could be held accountable by our judicial system for their neglect.  It would send a strong message.

According to a report in the USA Today, an outbreak of Legionnaires in disease in Michigan killed 12 people as a result of contamination in the water supply:

Legionella bacteria can emerge through misting and cooling systems, triggering a severe form of pneumonia, especially in people with weakened immune systems. The state says there were 90 cases reported to Genesee County Health Department in 2014-15, including 12 deaths. More than half of the people had a common thread: They spent time at McLaren Hospital, which was on the Flint water system.

Our guess is that you have no idea who is in charge of the water supply that feeds your city water supply, their credentials, the treatment facility protocol, the chemical process they use to treat the water and the condition of the pipes that deliver the water to your tap.  It makes you want to go grab a bottled water, but hold on!

Things that we take for granted in life are some of the things that we need to question most.  According to American Prospect, 2015 study by the American Water Works Association found that if federal recommendations on water monitoring were actually followed, as many as 70 percent of water systems relying on lead service lines could be found to be unsafe … In some cases, utilities have failed to keep records of where lead service lines are even located.

Your water supply is important and the more you know about your water, the more you can make decisions about how it interacts with your family’s life.  We should all demand more from our officials, first by having them tell us what is in the water that we are drinking, then asking what actions are taking place to improve it.

The way that we hold people accountable in service to the public is to first find out what they are doing.  Sadly, that is where many citizens fall short.  However, it is easily remedied with a few properly placed questions.

What’s in your water?  Check out Environmental Working Group, a non-profit group whose mission is to empower people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment. We have no affiliation with the group but we have found their information very valuable, particularly their blogs on water.  EWG has done extensive analysis on water throughout the country and can provide an independent report on water in your area.  Check it out.

Get information about your water source …. then come to our spring and be confident that our water is the best you can get.

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