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HW #18 - Essay Example

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These standards are categorized as the National Primary and National Secondary Drinking Water standards. Primary drinking water standards outlines the Maximum…
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Download file to see previous pages These standards are legally enforceable standards and must be adhered to.
Secondary drinking water standards on the other hand are non mandatory water quality standards for up to 15 contaminants and outlines secondary maximum contaminant levels. Unlike Primary Drinking water Standards, these standards are established by EPA to provide guidelines to help in managing the aesthetic quality of public water systems and are not enforceable and include guidelines for aspects of water quality such as taste, odor and color. Unlike Primary Drinking Water standards, Secondary Drinking Water contaminants are considered to present no risk to human health. The effects of these contaminants are grouped in three categories; aesthetic effects, technical effects and cosmetic effects and include: aluminum, color, chloride, fluoride, Iron, Copper, corrosivity, pH, manganese, sulfate, zinc, silver, forming agents and total dissolved solids (Johnson, 1521). Secondary drinking water standards therefore provide guidance to the public water systems on removing these chemicals to levels below which people will not notice.
The federal law regulating tap water in United States of America has been in use for the past 35 years without review with respect to emerging contaminants thus poses serious health risks. While more than 60,000 chemicals are used within US, only 91 contaminants are regulated despite the fear that many chemicals are carcinogenic even at low concentrations. This has resulted into the exposure of over 62 million Americans to drinking water that did not meet guidelines. Research has also shown that some contaminants that are regulated pose lesser risk than those that are not regulated by EPA (Duhigg, 1). Officials such as Dr. Pankaj Parekh, the director of water quality division for the city of Los Angeles have also faced criticism from the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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