Toxic water from landfills is all around us.

I’ve never wavered on my opinion about drinking tap water over bottled water for reasons that include BPA, an abundance of trash and the simple waste-factor. While I still believe in filtered tap water, new studies are becoming rather alarming.

landflRecently, in my home state of Ohio, the EPA reportedly found pollutants in all 30 of the landfill facilities they investigated.  Each landfill has waste-collection systems, ponds or pumps that make it possible to draw water (the other 25 do not).  But the concern is clear – all were found to contain arsenic, benzene and vinyl chloride (all suspected carcinogens) as well as lead (which can cause brain and nervous system damage).

In addition, as many as 29 pollutants were found at levels that exceed drinking-water health limits and pollution standards for streams, and it poses a hazard when it’s released into groundwater or surface water.  Simply put, this is polluting our environment, our soil, our wildlife and our families.

This makes my stomach churn and I have an instant headache.  Suddenly my glass of water doesn’t look so tasty!

But all joking aside, it makes me wonder when, or if, we will ever be able to drink water and not feel that we are potentially drinking a glass full of toxins at the same time.  To me it means the EPA needs to “step up” and enact tougher standards to prevent this awful contamination, and violators needed to be assessed astronomical fines until they cut it out!  WHERE exactly are we supposed to get clean water otherwise?water wst

To make matters worse, my husband also sent me an article from the New York Times regarding data compiled on more than 200,000 facilities that have permits to discharge pollutants.  Permits to discharge pollutants?!? “Permit” and “pollutants” should never even be in the same sentence.

The database comes from the Environmental Protection Agency and the California State Water Resources Control Board and includes businesses and industry in every state of the US.  Take a look, check your zip code and I hope you aren’t as shocked as I was.

To me, this says we sure have a long way to go.

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11 thoughts on “Toxic water from landfills is all around us.

  1. This is the very reason why we must stop using landfill and incinerate – to create heat and power – al that waste that cannot be recycled or upcycled.

  2. Veshengo – couldn’t agree more. We need to find better uses for our “trash” than landfills – polluting everything in site is NOT an option!

  3. It certainly is not, as I said on Twitter, an option and TerraCycle in some ways TerraCycle leads the way on that & we must reuse, upcycle, re-purpose as much as poss b4 ever thinking about the recycling bins. Soon I will hv a book on the market with ideas on that.
    I have been in the waste management business – and no joke here – since I was a kid and I look at every piece of so-called garbage sereval timjes with a view of how it could be upcycled.
    Anyone in need of some glass jars? I have masses. I hate throwing them out even into the recycling bin and I advocate a deposit scheme for jars as we once had for bottles and a return to the latter too…

    http://greenreview.blogspot.com

  4. This is terrible and unreal that in this day and age…we cannot even have clean drinking water. NOT okay. I tweeted that NY times article the other day and was disgusted after reading through it too- never saw the page where you could enter your own zip code. Of course, mine showed violations too. It is upsetting to see factories with 87 violations and $0 in fines. What is happening!!! (or not happening). Thanks for the eye-opener.
    http://www.twitter.com/smilinggreenmom

  5. Well this is very disturbing news to me considering all I drink is water and more often than not it is from the faucet or a brita. I about 30 minutes north of Philly and have never thought anything of drinking right out of my sink water. I’m definitely going to think twice about doing it for now on!

  6. Veshengo – completely agreed on Terracycle! They do a great job and I wish there were more out there like them. And props to you on wanting to upcycle and repurpose everything in site. That’s the attitude and action that makes a real difference!

    smilinggreenmom – it’s disturbing and maddening. You’re right, polluting is NEVER okay and “permitting” this is just absurd! But ‘what do we do ‘is the hardest question…

  7. My wish to upcycle everything probably is due to the fact that my family have been in “waste management” ever since I was a small boy. We did upcycle (the word did not even exist then and nor did recycle) many things and also then sold them on markets and yes, it worked.

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  11. my company filters out toxic chemicals and pollution from home,farm and business water.
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