Elevated Nitrate Levels Found in Millions of Americans’ Drinking Water

photo: residential drinking water sauce

Photo: Steve Johnson / Flickr

Public water systems serving more than 5.6 million Americans contain concentrations of nitrate at levels found to cause health problems, including cancer and birth defects, according to a new study published in the journal Environmental Health. Systems serving Hispanic populations tended to have the highest levels of nitrate in drinking water.

Nitrate in water originates from various sources, including fertilizers, sewage treatment systems, and … [more…]

$3 billion problem: Miami-Dade’s septic tanks are already failing due to sea rise

photo: 2016 king tides in Miami-Dade County

Photo: A Miami-Dade neighborhood that relies on septic tanks experiences flooding during the 2016 King Tide. A new report commissioned by the county shows that half of the county’s septic tanks break down yearly, a problem that sea level rise will worsen. MIAMI-DADE COUNTY

Miami-Dade has tens of thousands of septic tanks, and a new report reveals most are already malfunctioning — the smelly and unhealthy evidence of which often … [more…]

EPA’s Own Data Refutes Justification for Clean Water Act Rollback

photo: hog farm, AKA pork facility, AKA pig farmers

A swine facility in Eastern North Carolina. Photo: Caitlin Penna for The Intercept

While Environmental Protection Agency Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler was introducing the new rule that will vastly scale back federal water protections, Matthew Starr was preparing to take water samples from the Neuse River.

Starr, one of two official keepers of the North Carolina river, already has a hard job. As a protector of the Neuse, a body … [more…]

Businesses discharging PFAS into Michigan’s waterways

erial photo: water water treatment plant near a public waterway.

BY PAULA GARDNER AND GARRET ELLISON

Michigan businesses are discharging high levels of PFAS that move into the state’s waterways on a daily basis.

An MLive investigation found that manufacturing sources are sending one version of the "forever chemicals" at up to 20,000 times the allowed amount into wastewater systems that discharge it into the state’s lakes, rivers and, ultimately, threatening drinking water supplies for millions of people.

That comes … [more…]

Fracking wastewater accumulation found in freshwater mussels’ shells

photo by Westcott Phillip: Elliptio complanate, freshwater mussel, one of the two species used in the experiment.

Photo: The Elliptio complanate freshwater mussel, one of the two species used in the experiment. Credit: Westcott Phillip

Elevated concentrations of strontium, an element associated with oil and gas wastewaters, have accumulated in the shells of freshwater mussels downstream from fracking wastewater disposal sites, according to researchers from Penn State and Union College.

"Freshwater mussels filter water and when they grow a hard shell, the shell material records some of … [more…]