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Contaminated Water

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Water is our most precious natural resource and should be protected at all costs. Yet, it is being threatened by a load of contaminants that is raising local and national concerns. From the residents in Flint to protests by native people, America is experiencing an unprecedented level of crisis concerning this essential part of life.

While people are dealing with unsafe drinking water and efforts to clean up their water supply, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences reports on the many pollutants found in the water. These include:

• Fertilizers and pesticides
• Waste from sewage and food processing
• Metals such as lead ad mercury
• Chemical waste and contamination from hazardous waste sites

What is Contaminated Water?

Besides the air we breathe, water is a critical component to human survival. Even conservative estimates point out that, under the right conditions, the human body can go without food for several weeks. However, one day without drinking water can lead to irreparable harm to the human body. Life without water will continue for eight to 10 days.

When this life source becomes polluted with undesirable contaminants, it creates a poisonous catastrophe for the people drinking it. Making matters worse, water is one of the most contamination-susceptible resources where catching the poison before it is too late is nearly impossible.

Unfortunately, it takes a single person or group of people being injured from consuming the contaminated water before the poisonous effects are observed. In the worst cases, terminal illness or death has occurred by the time toxins or other waste in the water is identified.

How Does Water Contamination Occur?

Essentially, water contamination occurs from chemical pollution from man-made products being dumped into the water or down drains. Oil spills from ships or wells may occur and contaminate miles of water from the original spill site. Industrial plants may dump waste into water despite tight government regulations against such practices in disposing hazardous materials.

Besides these examples, any materials that enter water and can be considered harmful is a form of contaminating water. Drinking polluted water is linked to the spread of certain illnesses that may only be resolved in a legal case.

Whenever a contaminant is introduced into water sources, the affect is seen in the temperature and movement of the water. Typically, the nature of the contaminant that is mixable or readily soluble in the water can have an extreme impact on how fast or slow contaminants move throughout the water source.

Some mechanisms can originate in pipelines or underground storage tanks where they seep into soil before reaching ground water. Gasoline additives can proliferate a water source so quickly that detection happens when it is too late. People have already consumed the polluted water.

Potable drinking water within communities can be impacted by a single contamination source point. Eventually, the entire water source will become contaminated before contaminates are detected. In some cases, it has taken years or even decades to identify after the initial contamination began.

Signs That Your Water is Contaminated

There are alarming signs that significant water quality issues are present in your drinking water.

• Foul taste
• Visible changes
• Foul odor

Foul Taste

Coastal communities expect some seawater invasion into their drinking source. However, a salty taste in other areas may indicate the presence of chlorine or sodium chemicals in the drinking water. Typically, the taste is generated from contaminants such as hydrogen sulfide, corrosive pipes or road salt. If your drinking water has a strong salty, foul taste, the possibility of it being polluted with bad contaminants is highly likely.

Visible Changes

Opaque, cloudy or sudsy frothy water is a signal that water is being contaminated by a detergent. Alternatively, if there is a residue from the water that builds sales on surfaces, this indicates the water is carrying copper, iron or lead metals.

Additionally, detergents in the water might appear in stains left on fixtures or laundered materials. This is a good indication that your water source is polluted when stains were not present before laundering.

Foul Odor

Besides the look, a bad smell in your drinking water is a definite sign that there is a problem. Gas or any chemicals related to gasoline products should not dominate the smell of the water you need to drink. Having this type of smell is a good indication that the integrity of your water supply has been compromised by petroleum-based volatile compounds.

In addition to petroleum-based volatile organic compounds, the same heavy metals interrupting the taste will also create a foul smell. Sewage leaks are another unfortunate source that will contaminate the smell and integrity of your water supply.

Nearly seven million cases of illness are the result of people consuming contaminated water each year. Approximately 1,000 fatalities also occur on an annual basis. Whether contaminates are man-made synthetics or viruses and bacteria that was not filtered out, drinking water that should be a life source threatens people’s health.

As alarming as these numbers might seem, many more go unreported when symptoms are not easily distinguished from other illnesses such as food poisoning. In addition to becoming sick, these contaminants can also have an adverse effect on your property value. Not too many families choose to live in a community where the water is contaminated.

Constant monitoring by municipal water providers is necessary. Treating the water supply is also required to ensure the water is safe to drink. Anytime contaminants exceed drinking water standards, it is also their responsibility to fix the problem before it becomes a public health crisis. People who live in industrialized nations such as the United States do not expect their drinking water to become hazardous to their health.

Health Complications and Symptoms from Consuming Contaminated Water

Drinking contaminated water can create all sorts of health complications. With a wide variety of contaminated sources, the types of health condition can vary. Unfortunately, many have the potential to become life-threatening based on the level and duration of being exposed.

People like small children and the elderly who tend to have weakened immune systems can face severe symptoms. Some of the most common are:

• Birth defects
• Diarrhea
• Nausea
• Vomiting
• Stomach cramps

Do I need a Contaminated Water Lawyer?

If you or your loved one has been injured by drinking contaminated water, it is wise to consult with a contaminated water lawyer. Getting advice and insight from an experienced legal advocate who knows federal and local laws regarding water quality is helpful in determining the veracity of your case.

An experienced attorney can assess your damages and use experts to identify the contamination source. Contact our personal injury law firm today to discuss how we can represent you in getting the compensation that you deserve.

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