Hey, I’ve got news for you – the government will let you down! I know that shocks people who believe that “cradle-to-grave” stuff, but they will let you down – write it down and count on it! The latest example is the incredible case of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) who are supposed to be the guardians of our environment, dumping three million gallons (That’s 3,000,000 gallons) of water contaminated with heavy metals and toxic sludge from the Gold King Mine, near Durango, Colorado, when an EPA cleanup crew destabilized a dam of loose rock lodged in the mine. The crew was supposed to pump out and decontaminate the sludge, but instead released it into the tiny Cement Creek. From there, it flowed into the Animas River and made its way into larger tributaries, including the San Juan and Colorado rivers.
This contamination will work its way into the Colorado River and effect the water supply for part of New Mexico, Colorado, Southern Nevada including Vegas, Phoenix, LA and down through San Diego. Hardest hit will be New Mexico, Colorado, Las Vegas and Phoenix and California some, but to a lesser effect. The water that once was nearly clear is now a mustard color as it is contaminated with heavy metals such as arsenic, iron, lead, zinc, copper, aluminum, cadmium and others.
The immediate impact of this is apparent – fish and aquatic life will die and people who make their living from fishing, rafting and other recreational activities will lose business. Ranchers, who depend upon the water supply for their livestock and farmers who need it for their crops stand to lose everything! What the long-term damage may be is difficult to predict. It doesn’t just go away, as the sediment settles and then can be washed back up with storms, rainfall and flooding. The water from these rivers could serve up a “toxic cocktail” to anyone drinking the water for months or even years!
Some people like to sit around and lament their misfortune, but others take action. If you are not the former, then the news is good. Companies like US Water Systems who have Qualified Water Engineers and Certified Water Specialists on staff can actually design water treatment systems that can remove these, and many other contaminants, from your water supply. However, if complaining about the problem makes you feel better… by all means do it! But, if you water better water, the the solution is just a phone call (800-608-8792) or e-mail away (firstname.lastname@example.org).
In the future, you will see more and more water problems like this and you can wait for the government to solve your problem or you can solve it today on your own. I personally love the water quality from a home water purification systems and the peace-of-mind in knowing that my family and I are protected from contaminated water. The technology is already in place to solve these problems and includes Filtration, Reverse Osmosis, Ultrafiltration, Ultraviolet Disinfection, Ozonation, Charged Membrane Filtration, Deionization and other processes. If you care about your family’s well being, contact US Water Systems at www.USwaterSystems.com.
Photo credit: Tom Bartles, who lives in Durango, Colorado shared these photos of the Animas River from the viewpoint of his backyard before and after the spill, via http://www.cnn.com/2015/08/10/us/colorado-epa-mine-river-spill/index.html