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Drinking Water Violation: Here’s What You Need To Know

The water you drink daily must be clean

Safe drinking water and sanitation is a human right and must be exercised appropriately. However, statistics indicate an entirely different situation.

A recent study reported that between the years 1982 to 2015, 9 million to 45 million Americans have consumed contaminated water. Even after the amendment in laws to implement strict regulations, the water sources were exposed to bacteria, germs, and other harmful substances.

Similarly, the water contamination case of US Marine and Naval Base- Camp Lejeune in North Carolina is an ideal example of the violation of safe drinking water rights. In fact, according to the U.S. Navy, approximately 5000 claims of contaminated water have been filed after the removal of previous case restrictions.

If the claims continue to grow, they can potentially turn into one of the largest mass litigations in U.S. history.

That being said, let’s learn about drinking water violations in detail.

Why Does Supply Of Clean Drinking Water Matter?

Access to clean drinking water aids in the prevention of numerous health and well-being concerns, such as birth abnormalities, premature death, infectious diseases, Hepatic steatosis, and more. That’s why the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has imposed regulatory limitations on more than 90 pollutants in over 148,000 public water systems. It covers maximum pollutant levels, maximum residual disinfectant levels, and treatment method restrictions.

Additionally, to assist states and the EPA in protecting the public’s health through the provision of safe drinking water, monitoring and enforcement of violations based on health are essential.

Despite that, in any given year, it is thought that 3–10% of community water systems are subject to health-related violations. It results in G.I. disorders, cancer, and harm to a child’s neurodevelopment.

A safe water supply for consumption is critical to control the surge in water toxins and their harmful effects on humankind.

Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA)

The Safe Drinking Water Act was enacted in 1974. Since then, it has been amended in 1986 and 1996 to improve water quality and prevent possible health issues. This act provides EPA the authority to oversee the states, local governments, and water providers to ensure all the guidelines for drinking water quality are followed.

Note: Apart from this, National Primary Drinking Water Regulations (NPDWR) and National Secondary Drinking Water Regulations (NSDWR) monitor and regulate water supply and its quality.

Camp Lejeune Lawsuit

Camp Lejeune is the military base that shelters thousands of marines, families, workers, and veterans in North Carolina. Those residing in this area from August 1953 through December 1987 were exposed to polluted water.

The CDC (The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), The Department of Veterans Affairs, and other government sources confirm the presence of the following contaminants in the water:

  • Vinyl chloride
  • Trichloroethylene (TCE)
  • Tetrachloroethylene (PCE)
  • Dichloroethylene
  • Benzene

Consequently, these families suffered from severe medical conditions such as Cancer, Renal toxicity, Female Infertility, Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, and more. In 2017, the government agreed to compensate qualifying victims with disability benefits worth more than $2 billion.

As it was the fault of the federal government, nearby businesses and industries, and water treatment facilities, the Camp Lejeune Justice Act (bill) was enacted. It allows the affected parties to take legal action for water contamination and recover appropriate damages. Even so, it is noteworthy that plaintiffs have ten years to file a lawsuit. So, finding a qualified attorney as soon as an individual learns about the case would be best.

Eligible For Compensation

There are two requirements that a person must comply with in order to avail of the rightful compensation. These are:

  • During the qualifying period, the applicant must have resided at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days, either continuously or intermittently (i.e., August 1, 1953, to December 31, 1987).
  • Someone must have been hurt directly due to the contaminated water (i.e., adverse health or a medical condition stated above).

What Is The Future Outlook For Safe Drinking Water?

Taking into account the severe effect of poor water quality, the EPA is working with all states to guarantee compliance with the Clean Water Act. In addition, they are raising awareness by providing comprehensive information on infractions involving drinking water.

The Environmental Working Group and NGOs are monitoring water pollutants. They are further recommending to:

  • Use the proper filter for the various pollutants.
  • Contacting the state authorities to take appropriate action to review and maintain a safe water supply.

To Sum It All Up

Only about 3% of the Earth’s water is safe for drinking. This is we have to take appropriate steps to regulate and maintain the water quality and supply sources. The violation of human rights and federal acts should be reported, no matter what. Only then the future and health of mankind could be ensured.

Article written by:

I am a writer and reporter for the clean energy sector, I cover climate change issues, new clean technologies, sustainability and green cars. Danny Ovy

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