Why Have Your Water Tested?
Problems with unsafe drinking water affect large and small communities alike. When water treatment systems age, they become less effective and need to be replaced. It costs almost twice as much per resident to fix water issues in places with small populations, and avenues for sufficient funding are much more limited. Common problems include:
- Lead contamination. Many older water systems have lead pipes. Lead is a known toxin that can cause a host of medical issues. As water travels through the old pipes, the dangerous element can seep into the supply.
- Chemical contamination. Industrial farms have chemical runoff that can get into water supplies. Pesticides, hormones and cleaning chemicals can be harmful if ingested.
- Biological contamination. Bacterial contaminants can also pose a threat to water supplies. Legionella is a strain of bacteria that causes Legionnaires’ disease and can infect drinking water. This potentially fatal illness is contracted by 18,000 people per year.
As these treatment plants age, we’re seeing more issues than ever before. Climate change also has an impact. Storms are becoming more frequent and powerful. More frequent heavy precipitation and flooding sometimes carry biological and chemical contaminants into neighboring water supplies.
Buildings and water systems most at risk
- Older buildings constructed before 1986 – the year the United States banned lead pipes.
- Large buildings e.g hotels, hospitals, universities, nursing homes, event venues, etc.
- Well water.
What can be done
Everyone needs clean, healthy drinking water. Here are a few examples of what responsible providers can do to ensure all citizens have access to this basic requirement.
- Many of the people and local governments most affected by poor quality water don’t know the extent of the issues. These entities need to increase efforts to inform the public, local officials and business leaders about the consequences of inaction.
- Advanced testing procedures. Technological advancements make testing water for contaminants more thorough and accurate. For example, it’s now possible to determine whether fecal contamination is coming from humans or animals. This could allow for targeted responses in problem spots before the damage spreads. Bieg Plumbing is now offering a variety of water sampling tests.
- New standards. Municipalities should sit down and revise their standards to better align with current thought.
- Investment in infrastructure. Replacing lead pipes and modernizing treatment plants should be major priorities for local governments. Residents of small communities need to petition their leaders to publicize water tests and hold them accountable if there are contaminants.
Bieg Plumbing Company’s Alexander & Den Jr. Bieg are ASSE Certified Water Quality Contractors!
These solutions cannot be implemented overnight, but those responsible need to expedite them as much as possible. Clean drinking water should be a priority for everyone.
Bieg Plumbing now offers extensive water sampling services for our St. Louis residents. If you’ve noticed something off about your water or just want to make sure your supply is clean, contact us today to schedule a visit.