Is Your Water Safe?
Americans have it easy when it comes to clean water access. Many of our counterparts, especially those living in third world countries, do not have this advantage. Living in American and having this nearly unlimited access to drinking water, we drink a lot of it.
According to The Atlantic, the average American drinks “up to about 58 gallons of water a year. That’s 7,242 ounces of water annually, boiling down to 20 ounces daily, which is 2.5 cups.”
That’s a lot of water. Although we all like to assume that the water we’re drinking, the water we’re showering with, the water we’re watching our dishes with, is clean, how sure can we really be? Without water quality monitoring, we can’t be.
As Americans, the waste we generate is astronomical. Every time something gets thrown in the trash, for a small example, the environment suffers. Throughout our day to day lives, we don’t pay much attention to what that waste is actually doing. It affects our water supply and the can have harsh environmental consequences. For example, 45% of U.S. streams, 47% of lakes, and 32% of bays are polluted, as recorded by water quality reports. That is water that we drink, water that the fish we eat live in, and water that a lot of wildlife depend on for drinking water as well. However, the wildlife does not have the advantage of water quality monitoring. So, unfortunately, this wildlife that relies on these fresh bodies of water for survival have no idea of the toxins that they are putting into their bodies.
It is not a secret that many of those working in agriculture take advantage of pesticides in order to control the pests and disease carriers to protect the crops meant to feed the people of this country. Although the pesticides may seem to be very beneficial, they can actually be extremely harmful. Over 2.2 billion pounds of pesticides are used by Americans every year, and they eventually end up in our rivers and lakes. This makes the water in these fresh bodies very unsafe to consume. Without the use of water quality monitoring, we may be ingesting these harmful pesticides and other waste into our bodies and would have no idea until it would start killing us.
Civil engineers are out there working to make sure that we have clean water to consume. They use many techniques, such as aerial surveys, groundwater modeling, and geotechnical investigation to ensure that we will have and continue to have access to safe and clean drinking water. Without them, who knows what we would be putting into our bodies just by drinking water we thought was clean.