What Dangers Are Lurking in Lubbock County’s Water Supply?
We've all seen reports of the vile, unsafe water that is coming out of taps in Flint, Michigan. But surely Lubbock County is safe...right?
Maybe not, according to FluksAqua.com, which used data collected from EPA reports to generate a new infographic that allows users to easily pinpoint areas that have tested positive for contaminated water.
According to a press release from Fluks Aqua (emphasis mine):
Using the Environmental Protection Agency’s publicly available ECHO database, this hyper-local analysis of Texas water contaminants reveals that health-based drinking water violations affected 16.52% of the state’s population in 2015, and 5.88% in 2016.
Lubbock County experienced 86 health-based water system violations in 2015 and 76 in 2016, where coliform, nitrates, arsenic and radionuclides were found to be the culprits of contamination.
In 2016, the City of Wolfforth had five violations for arsenic in their drinking water supply. Arsenic is definitely detrimental to human health, according to greenfacts.org:
Long-term exposure to arsenic in drinking water can cause cancer in the skin, lungs, bladder and kidney. It can also cause other skin changes such as thickening and pigmentation. The likelihood of effects is related to the level of exposure to arsenic and in areas where drinking water is heavily contaminated, these effects can be seen in many individuals in the population. Increased risks of lung and bladder cancer and skin changes have been reported in people ingesting arsenic in drinking water at concentrations of 50 µg/litre, or even lower.
In 2015, Shallowater tested positive for radionucleotides, which over an extended period of time can increase the likelihood of cancer in people who drink it. Shallowater has also had on-and-off issues with nitrates, which can cause "baby blue" disease, according to Cornell University:
Nitrate is one of the most common groundwater contaminants in rural areas. It is regulated in drinking water primarily because excess levels can cause methemoglobinemia, or "blue baby" disease. Although nitrate levels that affect infants do not pose a direct threat to older children and adults, they do indicate the possible presence of other more serious residential or agricultural contaminants, such as bacteria or pesticides.
Meanwhile, Slaton has tested positive for coliforms, which is a form a fecal bacteria.
Are these reports a reason to panic? Not necessarily, as most contaminants must be consumed over a period of time to cause problems. However, if you're pregnant and living or staying in Shallowater, I wouldn't recommend drinking the water. "Baby blue" disease can be a serious condition.
You can use Fluks Aqua's infographic for very localized results as to the quality of water in your area. If you're concerned about the water quality in your area, contact your city government and politely ask what they are doing to ensure that they are taking the appropriate actions to ensure the safety of your water.
Lubbock Man Abandons Dog Behind Building
Caught on Camera: Walgreen's Credit Card Theft in Lubbock, Texas