By Lady Wa Wa
From sea to shining sea, all year long, the news overflowed with stories of catastrophic water pollution events that made people sick, destroyed ecosystems and cost uncalculated billions to clean up. The poisons are many – everything from naturally occurring gases released by mining to dumped dry-cleaning solvents and coal ash used as landfill.
2014 started with four states (Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas and West Virginia) finally confirming that fracking was responsible for contaminating water wells. Four days later, a disastrous Jan. 9 coal-washing chemical tank leak in West Virginia sickened hundreds of people. Incidentally, the same site was responsible for a similar chemical spill six months later.
By the time it was revealed on Dec. 29 coal ash was the source of water contamination in Wisconsin, so many environmental calamities occurred during the year that it is impossible to list them all here. Unless you’re one of the unfortunate residents affected, these stories are usually quickly forgotten among the stream of assaults against Mother Earth.
Here, briefly, are a few of the hugest water-pollution stories topping the news in 2014:
To get an idea of the potential contaminants in your drinking water, see this report by the Environmental Working Group that compiled records from 48,000 public water suppliers, creating the largest drinking water quality database in existence. More than 300 pollutants were detected. To use the database online, simply enter your zip code to see the results of public water sources near you.
EWG also compiled a water filter resource guide to help consumers choose a system.
To find information about the many water filtration products that we carry, please visit the Highwater Filters website.
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Last week's Supreme Court ruling (South Dakota v. Wayfair, No. 17-494) may change the way people shop. Large internet companies will now be compelled to charge sales tax on all internet sales in the U.S.
There's a silver lining in the decision. The ruling should encourage consumers to shop in local brick and mortar stores and to purchase from small internet stores like Highwater Filters.
Many people don't trust the water that comes out of their taps. Should they trust the water that comes out of plastic bottles? Not at all.
Nestle, Aquafina, Aqua, Dasani, Evian and other major brands are selling water that does not require testing. And it stands to reason that water sitting in plastic bottles can become contaminated with chemicals that leach from plastic. The sense of security that many consumers feel from bottled water is misguided. That water is not always what you might believe. In fact, more times than not, it isn't.