Drinking Water Safety

Archive Report

Increasing Concern Over Tap Water

New Evidence of Dangers in U.S. Drinking Water

Safe drinking water threatens to become almost as scarce and costly a resource as petroleum in the not-so-distant future. In the United States, where public water supplies are generally acknowledged to be among the best in the world, new evidence indicates that tap water quality is deteriorating. Many Americans already know that their drinking water looks dirty, smells funny and tastes bad—but few realize that some of it actually may be dangerous to their health.

Drinking water may be contaminated by bacteria from improperly treated sewage, or chemicals from industrial pollution or farm pesticides. It might harbor elusive and persistent disease viruses. Or it may contain hazardous trace metals from manufacturing wastes or corroded ...

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