Monday, December 14, 2009

Check to see chemicals in your drinking water

Have you ever noticed your drinking water has a chlorine smell or taste? 
It should be no surprise that chemicals are used to disinfect the water, but government and water utility tests reveal unregulated chemicals, including toxic rocket fuel perchlorate, industrial solvent acetone, weed killer metolachlor, refrigerant Freon and even radon, a highly radioactive gas can also be found in drinking water.

That's according to a non-profit consumer advocacy group, Environmental Working Group. 

EWG analyzed 20 million tap water quality tests performed by water utilities between 2004 and 2009.
They found 316 chemicals contaminants in US drinking water. The Environmental Protection Agency has only set enforceable standards for 114 pollutants. 

Here's an easy way to see what's in your drinking water:
Click here to enter your zip code

Two Florida water utilities made the "Top 10 Lowest Rated Drinking Water" list. 
EWG researchers say Emerald Coast Water Utility in Pensacola had 21 chemicals that exceeded health levels versus the national average of 4. EWG says 45 pollutants were found versus the national average of 8.
Emerald Coast Water Utility says its drinking water is perfectly safe and meets all federal and state guidelines.
JEA in Jacksonville also made the "Top 10 Lowest Rated Drinking Water" list.

The consumer advocacy group wants the government to analyze national drinking water quality, establish new safety standards and tell Americans about the full range of pollutants in their water.

EWG recommends people consider buying a water filter.
Click here to see your options

Some communities have taken action.
For example, Boston had a serious water contamination problem until it installed a new water filtration system. EWG says Boston now has some of the highest-rated drinking water in the country.