SCIENCES

Troubled Water: What’s Wrong with What We Drink

Thomas Dunne: St. Martin’s. Oct. 2019. 352p. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781250132543. $29.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250132550. NAT HIST
COPY ISBN
The safety of U.S. drinking water is both a public health and an environmental issue. Lawyer and activist Siegel (Let There be Water) says water utilities and governments are doing a solid job guarding against dangerous microbes but a poor job against a host of other contaminants. Technology is available to have much cleaner tap water, but most water utilities are focused on keeping costs down. Although new compounds are constantly being produced, the Environmental Protection Agency has not expanded its list of regulated chemicals in drinking water for 20 years. Siegel points out that tiny amounts of some substances can cause major health problems. Bottled water, which many Americans rely on, is not necessarily safer than municipal tap water. Millions of private well users are left on their own by governments. This book recommends a complete overhaul of U.S. drinking water institutions and infrastructure, including consolidating small utilities, replacing toxic old water pipes, and supervising water testing. California’s Orange County Water District is held up as a model of what could be achieved.
VERDICT Siegel makes excellent arguments in favor of producing purer public drinking water. His proposals for doing that deserve serious consideration.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.


RELATED 

TOP STORIES

LIBRARY EDUCATION

Kids are using VR to explore worlds and create new ones

COMMUNITY FORM

Kids are using VR to explore worlds and create new ones

COLLECTION DEVELOPMENT

Kids are using VR to explore worlds and create new ones

Get connected. Join our global community of more than 200,000 librarians and educators.