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What to Do if Your Drinking Water is Compromised

Having access to clean drinking water is a luxury that you probably take for granted. And while you might never imagine your water becoming compromised, it’s an unfortunate reality for people all around the world – and even in the United States. Whether you’re facing a boil water advisory or your water has been contaminated by fracking or aging infrastructure, here are some things you should do if your water has been compromised.

Contact Your Water Supplier

Depending on the severity of the water contamination, your home’s water supplier may have already reached out to you. However, if you’re suspicious of your drinking water and you haven’t yet heard from anyone, you should contact your water supplier to find out if it’s an issue on their end. They might give you information about why your water isn’t safe to drink and when it’ll be good again. They may also be able to provide you with some guidelines about what you should and shouldn’t do with the water, such use it to cook food or take a shower.

Call the Safe Drinking Water Hotline

Sometimes, water contamination might not be the fault of the water supplier; instead, it might be the result of something wrong with your home. If you’ve contacted your water supplier and they say everything is okay on their end, you might have an issue with your home’s pipes. If this is so, call up the Environmental Protection Agency’s Drinking Water Hotline. They’ll help you pinpoint the possible causes of your water problems and arrange a way to test the water.

Find Another Water Source

In some cases, you might be able to get away with boiling the water before you use it for drinking or cooking, but in other cases, you’ll be advised not to use the water from your tap at all. For instance, boiling lead-contaminated water will not reduce the amount of lead in your water. If contaminate levels are too high, you’ll probably want to stick to drinking bottled water until your water issues have been solved.

Visit the Doctor

Unfortunately, you may have been using your contaminated water for some time after it was compromised. While not all contaminants are harmful, some can have adverse, or even fatal, effects when consumed. This can be especially true for children. Pay your doctor a visit and get your blood tested to find out if you’ve been poisoned and receive the right course of treatment.

Spread the Word

Your home might not be the only one affected by water contamination and those around you might be unaware of what’s going on. Talk to your neighbors to inform them of any possible dangers. You may also enlist their help to contact your local and state government officials, or even the press so that you bring light to this important issue. The more that people know about the water contamination, the more pressure the water supplier — or whomever else is responsible — will face solving the issue.

The United States has some of the safest drinking water in the world, but that doesn’t mean that’s true everywhere all the time. If you’re concerned that your drinking water may have been compromised, take precaution and follow the guidelines above. You can also contact the Centers for Disease Control and the EPA for more information on drinking water safety.

[Image via Getty]

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