This news comes from the highly credible nonprofit organization, The Environmental Working Group (EWG).
EWG finds there are over 300 pollutants in U.S. tap water. After analyzing almost 20 million records, EWG finds that more than half of those chemicals are not even subject to health or safety regulations. That means they can legally be there in any amount, regardless of their safety. Sometimes it takes a nonprofit to do the work that our federal government should be doing. For example, no new regulations for drinking water standards have been established for the last eight years.
For those chemicals that are regulated, 49 have been found at levels above the guidelines, meaning that tap water is polluted for more than 3 million Americans.
EWG is encouraging the government to do a national assessment of drinking water quality and set new safety standards.
So how did Jacksonville fare? How about 91 out of 100? JEA serves 800,000 in Jacksonville and the quality of the water is overseen by the state Department of Environmental Protection. Over the legal limit are 12 chemicals, Total trihalomethanes or TTHMs, among them and 23 contaminants were detected, many of them agricultural pollutants.
See the report here: http://www.ewg.org/tap-water/whatsinyourwater/FL/JEA/2161328/
TTHMs are chlorinated disinfectants added to drinking water to control pathogens. They are known to cause genetic damage and be carcinogenic. So what to do? First, all of us need to support strengthening federal and local safeguards.
Boston had a serious contamination problem peaking in 2004-2005 until it decided to install a new filtration system and change treatment techniques. It now delivers some of the highest-rated big city water in the country. Also, EPA needs to construct and maintain a national database of tap water quality.
In the meantime, tap water is not meant for ongoing consumption. Filter your own tap water, EWG says. The cost of providing clean drinking water will only increase if current policies continue.
Source report: http://www.ewg.org/tap-water/welcome