Water is A fundamental need of each human to survive. Federal, state, and local governments are charged with ensuring that safe drinking water is available to their residents. Various laws regulate how government authorities, private businesses, and public utilities must operate to minimize the risk of water contamination.
Unfortunately, these regulations are not always strictly followed or are blatantly ignored. This can lead to dangerous chemicals contaminating the drinking water of thousands of people and causing great harm or even death.
Causes of Drinking Water Contamination
The drinking water in American homes comes from one of two sources. Groundwater is found beneath the ground at various levels and is pumped to the surface for consumption. It can get contaminated when harmful chemicals seep into the soil and mix with the water. Surface water is gathered from streams, rivers, lakes, and reservoirs. Contamination of surface water can occur when chemicals run off into the bodies of water.
There are many ways contaminants can get into drinking water. The most common sources of contamination include:
- Naturally occurring chemicals and minerals
- Improperly disposed waste from manufacturing facilities
- Residue from agricultural production (i.e., pesticides, fertilizers, livestock waste, etc.)
- Malfunction of wastewater and sewer treatment plants
Once a water source is contaminated, it takes a lot of work to repair the damage. It may be years before the water is safe for consumption again.
Dangerous Side Effects of Drinking Water Contamination
Exposure to harmful contaminants in drinking water, even small amounts, can lead to serious health problems. The most common side effects of drinking water contamination are:
- Reproductive problems (i.e., birth defects and developmental delays)
- Gastrointestinal illnesses
- Immune disorders
- Blood disorders
- Neurological disorders (i.e., nerves, spine, and brain damage)
- Tissue and Organ damage (i.e., kidney, liver, lung, heart)
Sadly, the effects of drinking water contamination are often not known until the damage has been done. In many cases, identification of water contamination as the cause of the health problem does not occur until the affected person has become terminally ill or passed away.
Compensation for Drinking Water Contamination Injuries
When drinking water contamination occurs due to negligence or unlawful practices, the guilty party can be held liable for any harm done to those who consumed the water. If you are a loved one has been harmed by contaminated drinking water, you could be eligible for compensation.
Proving that water contamination caused an illness can be difficult. Then proving that the contamination occurred due to negligence or breaking of the law can be even harder.
Due to the difficulty, you may need to seek the help of an experienced personal injury attorney. Contact us today for a free evaluation and let us see if one of our lawyers can help you get the compensation you deserve.