There is growing concern about water contamination in many parts of the world. Several countries have reported that the water in their environment is no longer safe.
In France, people living in the Air Bel housing project, have to check the colour and smell of the water before taking a shower. Locals are also worried about the presence of Legionella, a bacteria that causes Legionnaire’s disease. In 2011, tests on the complex water pipes showed traces of pathogens. Attempts to purify the water with chlorine however seem to have no impact and was deemed even harmful. In another part of France, in rural Burgundy, residents of the village Etais-la-Sauvin have not been able to drink water from their taps for almost two years, according to reports of Le Mode. The prefecture has banned the consumption of tap water after results of an analysis of the local water table found dangerous quantities of several pesticides and herbicides, particularly metazachlor, which is used for growing canola.
In Flint Michigan, USA, the city’s noxious water remains a problem. According to the local news site, MLive, the schools in Flint continue to use bottled water. The crisis in Flint started in 2014 when the water source was switched to the Flint River. Because the water was not properly treated, a number of residents died from an outbreak of Legionnaire’s disease from 2014-2015. Moreover, further studies identified lead contamination in the water. As such, a federal state of emergency was declared.
Rivers in Colombia have also been reported to be polluted and herbicides are posing a serious threat to the community. The Colombian daily, El Espectador, reports that some of the country’s waterways also contain so called “emerging pollutants”. These includes chemicals from personal care products like perfume and make-up, and even legal and illegal drugs. A study which began in 2013 identified the presence of 1,000 drugs in the Bogota River. According to the newspaper, traces were found in the water that had already gone through the local waste water treatment plant.
Because of the on-going concern about groundwater contamination and the quality of tap water, bottled water has become a necessary alternative for people in many parts of the world. China is now the biggest consumer of bottled water in the world after surpassing the United States in 2013. This is expected given China’s enormous population and the fact that water pollution has gone hand-in-hand with air pollution as a by-product of China’s rapid industrialization. Greenpeace researchers have noted in The Guardian in 2015 that 85% of the water in Shanghai’s major rivers was undrinkable. Despite government’s attempts to address the issue, the environmental organization found that nearly half of China’s provinces failed to meet the clean water targets. A recent study of popular bottled water brands found that 90% showed traces of microplastics. Thus, even pre-packaged water can contain pollutants. Indeed, there is no easy solution when it comes to supplying the world with clean drinking water.
If you are a municipality in Ontario and in need of a biosolids management solution, please feel free to contact us at 1 (877) 479-1388.