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Burning Issue of Water Pollution in Washington

Introduction

Have you experienced the situation when you turn on the water and the next thing you get is a crackling sound from the pipe with no water supply or, what’s more distressing, muddy unsanitary non-potable water? If the government continues to stay aside from the problem of water contamination and excessive use of water resources in Washington, this might be the prospective future of the Washington water supply system. Do you want this to happen to your children? Do you want such a future for yourself? The probable answer, I assume, is not.

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Variety of general environmental campaigns

I am not going to deny that a lot of environmental campaigns on the state scale aimed at arousing people’s awareness of contamination issues have been done and continue to be promoted. I appreciate all the work that the officials do to encourage different associations to contribute to ecological issues. I also understand that my convictions may raise a lot of opposite views that I highly respect. What I am going to do is try to explain to you the importance of immediate actions in the sphere of water treatment.

Some of you might know that as far as water pollution in Washington is concerned, general campaigns appear to be not sufficient. However, many of you may contradict that there are a lot more vital issues on the agenda that need immediate attention and action. But I am firmly convinced that solving this problem as soon as we can improve not only health state but overall economic conditions.

Triggers of water pollution

I would like to point out that water pollution is triggered by various factors, such as hazardous industrial wastes, sewage, different chemical substances. As far as drinking water is concerned, it can be polluted by additives that are used to clear the water in pipes and change water chemical qualities, which results in the formation of dangerous compounds in the drinking water. Unfortunately, environmental officials who have to deal with the problems of water pollution take into account only separate triggers. What is necessary to do is to face the situation on the whole and reduce the amount of all the pollutants in the water (Biswas 2006).

Obstacles of the environmental campaigns

One of the many obstacles in the way of environmental campaigns is a small number of budget allocations to the solution of water pollution problems. The economic downfall gravely affected ecological work and research. Significant reductions in the Water Resources Program were made reducing allocations for about $5 million down from the previous years (National Research Council 2004). Reduction triggered the increase in water rights permit applications, the decrease in the development of safety projects, the amounts of hazardous elements, such as lead, in drinking water considerably raised.

The deficiencies of the Clean Water Act

The arguments provided by officials that the Clean Water Act hampers the work of enterprises and corporations that comprise a major part of revenues are very convincing. But let us look at this problem from another angle. My true conviction is that money spent on preventing the horrendous consequences of water contamination may be pennies on the dollar compared to the true costs of solving the results of our neglectful behavior with water.

There exists a widely held view that the Clean Water Act covers all points of water protection. I am afraid I could not agree with this point of view. Even though the statute claims to “employ a variety of regulatory and non-regulatory tools to sharply reduce direct pollutant discharges into waterways, finance municipal wastewater treatment facilities, and manage polluted runoff to achieve the broader goal of restoring and maintaining the chemical, physical, and biological integrity” (Ryan 2003), the investigation into the issue show that less than over one year “more than 500 enforcement cases have been dropped by the federal Environmental Protection Agency and Justice Department” (Bast 2002). This means that toxic waste products, sewage, chemical pollutant fill the waters of the rivers and add to the general deterioration of water conditions.

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The connections between water pollution and industry

I fear that industrial enterprises may affect officials’ decisions on this problem or stand in the way of its implementation. The point is that heavy industry adds greatly to the contamination of water through sewage damaging biodiversity and affecting the water condition. But on the other hand, these enterprises are one of the most important contributors to the state budget. Of course, I could be wrong and I wish to be wrong but the connection between these two assumptions is very obvious. I am sure you do not want to support the position of industrial enterprises as I know that you care for yourself, for your children, and all the citizens of Washington.

The consequences of neglecting polluted water problems

I would also like to draw your attention to one more important detail that threatens everybody’s health in the city. It is excess levels of very dangerous chemical elements in drinking water, in the particular lead. According to Marc Edwards, a leading and much-renowned professor of Virginia Tech, the levels of lead in water are elevated for a long period. Allegedly, the steps were taken by the officials, such as US Environmental Protection Agency, should have been reduced the level of lead in the water. But from Marc Edwards’ point of view EPA has failed to provide adequate protection for consumers from the chemical contained in the water (National Research Council 2004).

I am not going to suppress the fact that the “health officials have acknowledged that the city’s drinking water contained unsafe lead levels” (Edwards and Best 2009). But can this acknowledgment save the citizens from non-potable water? I am sure you could agree with me that officials’ claim that the negative influence of water over general public health is not evident yet is not a solution. Certainly, slightly reduced levels might not affect the present generation but as far as various chemicals are concerned, it is a well-known fact that they tend to accumulate in a body having long-lasting negative effects (Buschmann, Berg, Stengel, and Sampson 2007). That is why I call for your concern to future generations.

Apart from this, I can not leave the new legislation of John DeCock, Clean Water Action President, about government intention to identify and get read of chemicals in the polluted water without my attention. From one point of view, it could be interpreted as an advance and a major step forward. But haven’t you considered the fact that this act is slightly late? “The dramatic increase in health problems associated with toxic chemical exposure and renewed concern over chemicals in drinking water tell us that it is time to get serious” about water pollution, Mr. DeCock says (Edwards and Best 2009). Following the words of the President of CWA, it becomes obvious that we cannot procrastinate with immediate actions as we have already become witnesses of the sharp increase in health problems.

Do you know the major threats that could follow the neglect of water-related problems? Do you think it is only some minor talks? I assure you that it is a very grave problem and the appalling consequences of this situation may be further deterioration of general health state and various unsanitary water provoked diseases, the distress of biodiversity, and further aggravation of the water condition. To support my assumption I would like to say that contaminated water nowadays could become a weapon of mass destruction (Regenstein 1982).

I would also like to appeal to your feeling of patriotism and dignity, I am certain that you are proud of your city and country, that you respect the citizens of our city. I am sure you know about the immense importance of the Columbia River, the Pacific Ocean, and many other small rivers, lakes, and streams that form the identity of Washington, its character, and daily life (Ryan 65). It fully depends on us whether we take an active part in solving the problems of water pollution or let it take its course. My only wish is to bring you the truth about the state of water in Washington. I believe that you can not stay aside from this burning problem.

Probable solutions

Investigating this problem, I came across many people who held opposite views and tried to mislead me. That is why I tried to tell you every aspect of the current state of affairs, to present the whole picture so that you could see both sides of the coin. What’s more, I would like to encourage you to think of possible solutions to the problem. I came up with some solutions that are very efficient and fit a tight budget that is available for Water Department at the moment. First and foremost, I believe citizens must cooperate and join environmental campaigns. I know that when you are confronted by various impediments it is difficult to move further but together we can achieve invaluable success. I am aware that an individual can do little to improve the situation but what he/she can do is to try not to pollute more (MacDonald 1994).

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I firmly believe that the problem of polluted drinking water in Washington should be solved immediately despite various obstacles, such as pressure for money, the oppression of the industrial enterprises to reduce sewage and toxic wastes, because permanent exposure to contaminated water can lead to horrible consequences, such as deteriorating of the health state of present and future generations.

Conclusion

Concluding I would like to say that the importance of clean water to people should never be underrated. I appeal to all citizens of Washington to take care of the water they drink and to prove their ability to stand their ground and change their lives for the better.

Reference List

Bast, Elizabeth. U.S. and Canadian Water Pollution Jumps 26 Percent. World Watch. 2002: 11.

Biswas, Asit K. 2006. Water quality management in the Americas. Boston: Birkhäuser.

Buschmann, Johanna, Berg, Michael, Stengel, Caroline, and Sampson, Mickey L. 2007. Arsenic and Manganese Contamination of Drinking Water Resources. Environmental Science and Technology 41 (7): 2146–2152.

Edwards, Marc, and Best, Dana. 2009. Elevated Blood Lead in Young Children Due to Lead-Contaminated Drinking Water: Washington, DC, 2001−2004. Environmental Science and Technology 43 (5): 1618–1623.

MacDonald, Lynn. 1994. Water pollution solution: build a marsh. American Forests.36 (2): 43–52.

National Research Council (U.S.). Committee on Assessment of Water Resources. 2004. Research Confronting the nation’s water problems: the role of research. Washington, D.C.: National Academies Press.

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Regenstein, Lewis. 1982. America the poisoned: how deadly chemicals are destroying our environment, our wildlife, ourselves and–how we can survive! Acropolis Books. Washington, D.C.: Acropolis Books.

Ryan, Mark. 2003. The Clean Water Act handbook. US: American Bar Association.

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