The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced that it will begin requiring bottled water to be tested for bacteria and viruses, an action that could save millions of Americans billions of dollars in the coming years.
The move is the first step in the long process of cleaning up the nation’s drinking water supply.
But some water drinkers are not so sure.
I can’t stand the smell of tap water anymore, says Elizabeth Hickey, a retired engineer and environmentalist.
“I’m not even sure I can handle it anymore,” she said.
Hickey has no water left to drink from her well and has had to take to eating canned foods because she can’t find tap water. “
The first question I have is how much do we want to pay for this?”
Hickey has no water left to drink from her well and has had to take to eating canned foods because she can’t find tap water.
While the EPA’s decision to require testing of tap and bottled water is a welcome step, the agency has made it clear that there are other ways that the EPA could help solve the problem.
They could provide free samples to people who live near water source, and help states and communities provide free drinking water testing, and also work to reduce the amount of chemicals that get into the drinking water supplies.
In the past, the EPA has also used its powers to enforce drinking water regulations to protect public health, like when the agency cracked down on plastic bags and plastic bottles that were improperly placed in grocery stores.
In a blog post announcing the new rule, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said that it was time for states and the private sector to collaborate to solve the water problem.
“It’s a big, big, hard question,” McCarthy said.
“But it’s also an opportunity to find common ground, and to learn from each other and work together to make our water system better.”
The EPA said that its next step will be to collect data about the tap water quality and how that affects people’s health.
As the EPA continues to clean up its drinking water source from chemical spills and contaminants, it may be worth asking how much more water can we safely drink from a tap than a bottle.