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Safe Drinking Water In Houston and Other U.S Cities?


Recently, an increase in bacteria was discovered during routine testing according to a press release from City of Houston officials. Only one of the city’s seven water systems was mentioned in the report. It serves the area within 610 North, Shepherd Street, Fulton Street, and 11th Street/Pecore Street. The pollutant in question is coliform bacteria, which occurs naturally. A Houston residential plumber can test your water if you think it might be affected.

The press release further noted that Houston’s Drinking Water Operations staff will regularly monitor the whole water system, and there is no need for the public to be concerned or boil water before use. System adjustments have handled the issue in the contaminated area. However, there will be an investigation as well as continued monitoring of the system. Previous records indicate that Houston’s water has reached or exceeded state and federal standards for drinking water for over a decade, and the city is determined to continue providing its citizens with excellent water quality.

A Houston commercial plumber would surely notice the change in the water’s taste and smell. Some local restaurants have even decided to provide bottled water for customers even though the City of Houston says the water is safe for drinking.

A Heights resident initially noticed the smell late last month. She said that eventually, she could not drink it. It was also evident in her shower and washing machine. Despite assurances that the water is only being contaminated by naturally occurring substances produced by algae blooms, she compared the musty water to rancid food in a restaurant. Claims that it is safe do not make it palatable.

On the other side of town, in Westbury, Paul Nylund was unable to see through a glass of water. He refused to drink the water. The water remains cloudy even after being filtered, so Nylund gives his dog bottled water.

A Houston pluming company professional knows that something is wrong if a customer says the water tastes dirty and has an earthy smell. Public works employees said that it is meeting both federal and state standards. They claim that as the weather changes, the smell and cloudiness will dissipate. It has been recommended that water should be refrigerated or filtered through carbon to remove the mustiness. If the issue continues, portable systems could be employed to extract the compounds that are tainting the water.

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) investigated the water in 19 U.S. cities. Their report said that old pipes, outdated treatment systems and pollution are to blame for poor water quality. In some cities, it is so bad that the health of the residents is at risk. Cities are not entirely forthcoming in their assessment of the drinking water, and some cities do not protect their water sources.

Old infrastructure is the main culprit. NRDC said that cities around the U.S. are relying on water treatment and delivery systems that are from the early 1900s. The type of water treatment used back then cannot handle modern pollutants like pesticides, arsenic and industrial chemicals. Those treatment systems were designed to remove particles and eradicate bacteria and parasites. The old plumbing infrastructure can break and permit contaminants to enter the water systems. These contaminants also contain and breed bacteria.

The NRDC says three things keep drinking water potable. The water sources have to be protected from pollution. The pipes must be maintained, and treatment facilities must use modern techniques.

Four cities that consistently have poor water quality include Atlanta, Albuquerque, San Francisco, and Fresno. They each violate one of the three requirements for clean drinking water, but that is all it takes for the water to be unhealthy.

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