We started using bottled water immediately after the 1994 Northridge Earthquake. An article in a local newspaper warned that there was a concern about contaminated drinking water in the San Fernando Valley.
To this day we are still buying Arrowhead bottled water in 2½ gallon containers. Friends and acquaintances believe I am wasting money.
Then came the Flint Michigan lead polluted water. There have been articles in newspapers about other towns that may also have lead polluted water. Now Des Moines, Iowa’s water utility is suing to stop nitrate pollution from upstate.
Nitrogen (it’s part of fertilizer) pollution of waterways is a problem that extends well beyond Iowa. In Lake Erie in 2014, a toxic algae bloom—caused by runoff from farms and septic systems plus warmer temperatures, among other factors—contaminated Toledo’s water supply.
The main line pipes in my neighborhood are over 50 years old and many pipes in my city are almost 100 years old. Many pipes have burst due to corrosion. Still the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (DWP) insists that the water is safe to drink. They issue semi-annual reports on water quality to reassure the residents.
Occasionally, your tap water can become contaminated as a result of breaks in the water line, although one of the biggest problems is lead getting into the water from pipes. Even ”lead-free” pipes can contain as much as 8% lead.
The best way to avoid consuming lead from tap water is to only use water from the cold tap for drinking, cooking, and making baby formula and to let the water run for a minute before using it.
This is not reassuring. I will continue using bottled water.