Scarce surface water supplies in Orange County, California have led city water districts to dig deeper below the surface to find water. However, doing so “makes it easier for contaminants to taint the water at levels higher than what is legally acceptable.”
In a report on water pollution in the area, the Voice of the OC states that this contamination is a concern for residents of North and Central Orange County. However, South Orange County “is not affected by this dilemma as at least 90% of its water is imported.”
New Study Shows that Salting Roads in Winter Can Cause Contamination of Drinking Water.
The sodium chloride used to deice roads in snow and freezing conditions lead to a huge increase in the level of freshwater salinity. While the benefits for driver safety are evident, with deicing “reducing car accidents by more than 78%,” the use of road salt “can contaminate water supplies by mobilizing harmful chemicals like radon, mercury and lead.”
According to The Hill, although the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has set standards for how much salt is allowed in drinking water, researchers from the University of Toledo say the thresholds are not enough. The researchers “estimated that about 25 million metric tons of sodium chloride, similar to table salt, are dumped on roads across the country, with usage varying by state.”
Massive Fire in Colorado Causes Contaminated Water Supply in the Towns of Superior and Louisville
The Marshall Fire ignited in Boulder Country on December 30 and quickly swept through the towns of Superior and Louisville, as well as unincorporated areas in the county. Nearly 1,000 structures were damaged or destroyed, and the destruction also broke water mains and damaged pipes.
According to Colorado Public Radio, water pressure was also lost in the water systems of both towns due to the increased usage of water by firefighters to stop the blaze. These issues can lead to bacteria growth and contamination of the water supply, and the affected towns have been under a boil advisory since the fires.
Boil Water Advisory Issued in Parts of Colorado, Kansas, & Louisiana
The most destructive wildfire in Colorado history led to a boil water advisory in the towns of Superior and Louisville in Boulder County last Thursday. The advisory is still in effect this week and is not expected to be lifted until Sunday.
In Kansas, a boil water advisory was lifted for the city of Norwich but remained in place for the town of Fowler. The advisory was issued when the water system that supplies the towns lost pressure, which can cause “loss of chlorine residuals, putting the water at risk for bacterial contamination.”
The Louisiana village of Cankton has issued a boil water advisory for residents of Airstrip Ln. and Hwy. 356. A broken flush valve in the water system led to the advisory.