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What are you putting down your McHenry County drain?

Thu, Jan 04 2018 02 PM

Consultant raises the alarm about contaminants in our drinking water supply

contaminated drinking water McHenry County
What is in the well water you drink? The number of
potential contaminants are alarming.
Recently, John Matthesius attended an event for well-maintenance technicians in Nashville. What he heard at one of the break-out sessions was alarming. It has to do with the quality of the water we drink, including the water we drink here in McHenry County.

The presentation was given by Peter S. Cartwright of Cartwright Consulting from Minneapolis, MN, who points out that an almost limitless number of contaminants are going into our water supply – into the water we drink.

As Cartwright points out, “Every time water goes down the drain, whether to a sewer, a septic system, a storm drain, or wherever, it carries contaminants with it, which usually end up in someone’s drinking water.”

He said the list of contaminants in our drinking water include “unmetabolized pharmaceuticals” and other chemicals. When we wash our hands, the soap and dirt, or whatever was on our hands, goes down the drain. He said there are more than 85,000 chemicals that make their way into our water supply.

He described how “the average adult uses nine products per day containing 126 different chemicals.” In the farms, they add fertilizer to the soil that then makes its way into our water supply. Whatever we put down the drain tends to make its way to our water supply.

Manufacturing contributes to the toxic recipe in our drinking water. For instance, plastic, with 300-million tons of plastic manufactured each year, is a major contributor to toxins in our drinking water.

Cartwright sites a 2008 Canadian study that found that, in 20 industrialized nations, birthrates for boys has dropped, as a result, for each of the last 30 years, there has been a 200-percent increase in abnormalities to male sex organs, sperm count among North American college students has dropped by 50 percent over the course of the last 50 years, 85 percent of sperm in healthy males has damaged DNA and testicular cancer is up 300 percent in that same 50-year period.

The address the concerns, Cartwright recommends legislative activity and water treatment technologies. But, he also says that individuals can make a difference. He refers to personal stewardship where people are more conscious of what they are putting down the drain in their homes and workplace. In that regard, education is essential (Cartwright’s thesis is available in its entirety by following this link or visiting the McHenry Water Well & Pump blog page).

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