Public water supplies can become a public health threat if the waterways are contaminated by toxic waste. This is especially true when the environment encounters the illegal dumping of waste chemicals. The toxic chemicals enter water wells and other ground water supplies. Common scenarios are illegal dumping sites that contain chemicals that seep into the ground connecting with underground waterways and/or when it rains the rains carry the toxic waste into waterways.
This type of situation happens more often than cities are aware of, as people who illegally dump try to hide the fact that they are doing it. When this form of illegal dumping continues to go unchecked, it can lead to any number of serious health complications for the population who use the water supply.
There is a good reason the manufacturers of cleaning agents are legally expected to label their products with a hazard warning sign, if it contains hazardous substances that are known to be harmful to humans. Not doing so is dangerous, and the manufacturer is held liable if anyone is harmed by their failure to do so.
Furthermore, certain chemicals become even more toxic when cross-contaminated with other chemicals. The likelihood of this happening increases when companies regularly dispose of their waste solutions by directly dumping them into public water drains or close to underground water sources.
The solution to preventing this type of public health hazard is simple: protect the water supply from illegal dumping of any sort. Although regular water testing for chemicals is important – sometimes to help identify if people are dumping chemicals – once the source of the issue is nailed down, it can be easily stopped.
It is paramount that every city enacts an illegal dumping prevention program!