Are Unregulated Pesticides Showing Up in Your Drinking Water?
There could be harmful levels of unregulated pesticides and chemicals in your drinking water. Though the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) monitors water under the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Act does not include all potentially dangerous chemicals. It also does not regulate well water. Unregulated pesticides and other potentially harmful chemicals like those in the per- and poly-fluoroalkyl family (PFAS) have been found in wells and municipal water systems.
How do pesticides get into drinking water?
Heavy rains can carry pesticides from farms into nearby rivers, streams and lakes. If these bodies of water are used as a water source, those chemicals can find their way into your drinking water. This runoff can also get into the local water table and contaminate individual wells. Other contaminates, like PFAS, can get into drinking water through a similar process due to runoff from factories and garbage dumps.
What are PFAS? Why are they a risk?
There are more than 3,000 chemicals in the per- and polyfluoroalkyl family known as PFAS. These man-made chemicals are used to make a wide range of products such as food packaging, nonstick cookware, stain and water repellent fabrics, and firefighting foams. Along with being used to make consumer products, they are used in industrial processes.
PFAS have been linked to a wide range of health issues including:
- Increased risk of cancer
- Increased cholesterol levels
- Affected immune system
- Lowered chance of pregnancy in women
- Interference with the body’s natural hormones
- Impacted growth, learning, and behavior of infants and older children
Does the EPA regulate the amount of PFAS in drinking water?
The short answer is no. The risks associated with PFAS were not recognized when the Safe Drinking Water Act was passed. Even though the EPA has had listening sessions about the risks of PFAS, it has not started the long regulatory process to set a safe “maximum contaminant levels,” or MCLs for PFAS. Without a MCLs, the EPA cannot regulate the amount of PFAS in drinking water.
While the EPA is dragging its feet on regulating PFAS in drinking water, the number of water sources contaminated with these chemicals is dramatically increasing. PFAS have been showing up in drinking water for over a decade but have spiked in the last four years. It has been estimated that 100 million Americans may be drinking water that is contaminated with PFAS.
What can you do to protect your water from unregulated pesticides & PFAS?
If you are concerned about unregulated pesticides and PFAS hiding in your drinking water, get your water tested! Tri-Florida Water Treatment offers free in-home water analysis for residents throughout the Lakeland, FL area. Once you know whether or not your water has been contaminated, you can take the next step. The best solution, if there are harmful chemicals in your water, is a whole house water filtration system. It will purify all of the water that passes through your home. You can rest at ease knowing all the water you use to cook, clean and drink is safe and clean.
Give us a call to setup your free in-home water analysis or find out more about a whole house water filtration system!