Another Lead Contamination Crisis… When Can We Trust Our Water Systems Again?

Why did the water contamination crisis in Flint, Michigan take so long to come to light?

Very simple. Local government officials used more time denying the problem existed than they did trying to fix it.

That period of denial lasted far too long and put way too many lives in danger. Including the lives of young children who drank lead-tainted water.

Criminal indictments were issued against local and state officials for their alleged negligence.

A Public Health Crisis

As bad as that situation in Flint was, at least we learned a lesson from it. Right?

After observing what happened in Flint, there’s no way officials in other cities would allow that to happen in their area. Right?

I’m sorry to say the answer is “Wrong!” For close to 18 months, officials in Newark, New Jersey denied their water system had a widespread lead problem.

This despite the fact that evidence was piling up. Evidence that the residents of Newark were facing a public health crisis that would rival what occurred in Flint.

Water Treatment Plant Fails

As recently as this past spring, here’s what the official Newark city website declared. “Newark’s Water Is Absolutely Safe To Drink.”

But a funny thing happened last month. Actually, it’s not that funny. But it is telling.

The city suddenly began providing some of its 285,000 residents with water filters. A total of 40,000 water filters were given out.

The final straw was a new report, commissioned by the city. It said that measures to stop lead from leaching into drinking water were failing at one of Newark’s water treatment plants.

Newark Mirrors Flint Problem

The city is now warning that children under age 6 in homes with lead pipes served by the plant should not drink unfiltered tap water.

Erik Olson of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) had this to say about the situation.

“The parallels to Flint are fairly clear. The city was denying a problem even though its own data was showing problems.”

The NRDC filed a lawsuit against Newark even before the recent admission of a problem. The suit accuses the city of violating federal safe drinking water laws.

Newark Residents Upset

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka came to the city’s defense. But his argument rings hollow.

“Newark has some of the best drinking water. The problem is that our infrastructure is not safe.”

That’s kind of like saying the guns gangs use are perfectly safe. It’s the bullets that kill people.

Newark residents understand that problems occur everywhere. What they are upset about is that it took the city so long to admit there is a problem.

No Level of Lead Is Safe

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, no level of lead is safe. For children, it can cause mental and physical development to be impaired.

For adults, it can lead to increased risks of high blood pressure and kidney disease. It can also cause complications for pregnant women.

According to the Advocates for Children of New Jersey, 14,000 children under age 6 were tested for lead back in 2016.

Twenty-five percent of those children had “measurable levels of lead” in their blood. That statistic led the state to require Newark to test its drinking water for lead every six months.

Residents Left in the Dark

Did things improve in Newark? No. During the first half of 2017, more than one-fifth of the samples from the water system exceeded 15 parts per billion of lead.

That’s the federal threshold that requires action. In each six-month monitoring period since then, elevated levels have remained in the system.

The city continues to blame the lead pipes leading into homes and businesses. But the NRDC said the city failed to properly treat its water with chemical additives. Those additives would prevent lead from leaching into the water within those pipes.

One Newark resident said she has never been notified by the city about the problem. And that it was never mentioned to her by a healthcare provider during any of her or her child’s checkups.

Protecting Your Family

It’s becoming more and more clear that we can’t trust government agencies to protect us from contaminates in our tap water.

The obvious answer is to filter your own water. But there are so many different (and often ridiculous) options out there. It’s enough to make your head spin.

And many of them don’t even make a dent in the truly harmful stuff that you’d never want to drink.

Our top recommendation in water filter pitchers is the Patriot Pure Water Pitcher.

The Patriot Pure can clean 97.5% of Lead… 98% of Mercury… and over 99% of Chromium-6 from your tap water. It even blasts up to 99.9% of radiological threats like Uranium.

Just listen to Kevin M rave about his:

“It removes more contaminants than any other water filter pitcher that I could find anywhere, especially fluoride, chlorine & lead. Water, coffee & an occasional glass of wine are the main beverages for me & my wife. The Patriot water pitcher takes care of the first two very well.”

You can take a look for yourself, right here

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