From 2014-2018, local government in Flint, Michigan handed out water bottles to the public. Their gaffe in changing the water supply from the Detroit River to the Flint River led to a spike in lead concentration in the city’s tap water. The Flint situation has largely improved but isn’t over yet. Meanwhile, Newark, New Jersey is deep in a lead crisis of its own. Even though water filters are present, the EPA recently concluded that lead levels are high at several test locations.
By Jack Parkos | United States
As of October 22nd, the people of Austin, Texas, are under a water crisis. Local government officials recently gave citizens a notice to boil all water from public utilities. Recent flooding has contaminated the water with mud and debris. Thus, the water will require more filtration, according to Austin Water.
The boiling of the water will kill the harmful bacteria. Austin Water has given specific instructions regarding the boiling process: citizens should boil all of the water they use for drinking or cooking for at least three minutes in order to kill any bacteria that could cause illness. They have also given other tips to be safe during this time:
- Limit water consumption as much as possible. This will reduce the amount of water going through the plants and allow the plant to work on the problem.
- People should use bottled water as much as they possibly can.
- Restaurants should NOT use drinking fountains that rely on tap water.
Officials have said that the water should be safe for washing dishes, but encourage people to soak dishes in boiling water after cleaning. The water also safe for bathing and laundry, but any consumed water requires boiling.
Amidst the Austin water crisis, many schools and business are remaining open. However, most have shut off water fountains until further notice. Instead, those at work and in school must bring bottled water to drink instead. With this, bottled water sales have greatly increased in the past day.
City officials will notify residents when water is safe for consumption without the boiling process.
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