Studies done in Dayton city, Ohio, show that although the region’s underground water source might be safe to drink, it may contain ‘undetectable’ toxins. The Montgomery County town’s main source of drinking water comes from the Miami Valley Buried Aquifer. According to the region’s local news, locals neighboring the Aullwood Audubon Farm Discovery Center, discovered high levels of Perfluoroalkyl substances(PFAS) chemicals late last year.
Even though several municipalities spend fortunes to treat drinking water, it is up to homeowners to ensure that sources such as wells are contamination-free. Contaminants such as PFAS, also known as forever chemicals, are not easily detectable but have a lasting effect on water and human bodies. Homeowners must regularly test for such substances and others like Nitrates to ensure it is safe for drinking.
Sneakily ‘Unsafe’ to Drink Water from Wells
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated that approximately 145 million people in the US acquire tap water from an underground source. Out of the number, 43 million rely on private wells for drinking water.
In the Dayton area, locals rely on underground sources for drinking water since they believe municipal water is rather expensive. Nonetheless, experts are urging people to take care of private wells annually since ‘forever chemical’ toxins are not easy to detect but have an everlasting effect.
Drinking water contaminated by PFAS chemicals can cause liver damage, decreased fertility, thyroid conditions, and obesity. According to University of Cincinnati Professor Susan Pinney, people should be alarmed by the levels of such chemicals present in our environment.
The professor said, “These are chemicals with long half-lives,” as she explained how the toxins have a lasting effect on our bodies.
Geological expert and supervisor of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Jim Raab, said that the Ohio Aquifers are safe for drinking. However, he encourages well owners to monitor past and present land activities to determine if and how much their water sources are contaminated.
Raab advises private well owners to ensure there is no surface water hovering around the wells’ caps after it rains to minimize rainwater contamination.
Treading on a Thin Line
Professor Pinney said that if toxins in wells are not detected early, they will damage children’s female reproductive system, which extends to their adulthood. In 2007, the CDC discovered that almost 98% of American citizens had PFAS in their systems. Contrary to popular opinion, the disease control entity pin-pointed human activities as the main source of water contamination in rural areas. The CDC has provided several steps to help individuals who own wells avoid taking in contaminated water, including a regular quarter yearly testing of the wells.