We are nothing without water. And in the last few years, there have been several crises which have alerted the American public to something bestselling author Seth Siegel has known for years: our water is polluted and it’s making us sick. While most people were shocked to hear of the conditions in Flint, Michigan, with many suggesting we just “send them bottled water,” Seth knows these waters run much deeper than that.
And the craziest part is that the powers in charge don’t disagree — our water is at risk and in trouble.
They just aren’t convinced enough to come up with a unilateral plan to set us flowing down the river upstream, instead of downstream of water-waste treatment plants.
Siegel sat down with me to discuss his just-published book, Troubled Water: What’s Wrong with What We Drink. He explains our national inefficiencies; historically, medically, technologically, and politically.
Why the EPA Isn’t Doing Enough
Do you know how water regulation is set up?
The EPA is responsible for making recommendations to Congress about how to regulate and classify contaminants. Politicians and municipalities become responsible for affecting legislative change. Politicians then have to determine whether the research is strong enough to support action, and whether they can justify raises national standards, forcing lower income communities to pay more for their water filtration systems than they can afford.
At last count, there were more than 200,000 water utilities across the states. Compare that to maybe 200 electrical utilities. Not a single water utility plant can afford the upgrades they need for water filtration, and so…
The EPA does research. Congress knows if we make stringent public health conclusions, they’ll have to change the rules. Since communities can’t pay for the changes themselves, it will have to come from the government. So congress tells the EPA the research wasn’t enough…
And so on, ad nauseum.
Seth Siegel explains this conundrum in depth.
The Chemical Crisis Unveiled
Because the EPA is so underfunded, (remember, congress doesn’t really want to know about contaminants and their irrefutable effects,) not a single new chemical has been added to EPA regulation in more than 20 years.
This means that utilities are not obliged to test for the presence of that contaminant and then either reduce it to the “safe” level, or file a “self-evaluation” which admits to using the contaminant.
Last year, there were more than 80,000 filings — and that’s from a self-reported system.
And in the meantime, the chemicals that we use in pesticides? The ones that disrupt the endocrine systems of insects so that they’re infertile, or mutated? And the chemicals in our psychiatric medication?
Those slough off the crops, off of our bodies, through our waste, go through waste-water treatment plants, do not get filtered out because no one is looking for them, and then return to our lakes and rivers.
Where, for example, in the Great Lakes, 50% of the fish can be found to have psychiatric medication in their brains and organs. Fish downriver from waste-water treatment plants are becoming intersex, meaning developing opposite sex apparatus, which effectively leads to a population collapse.
Seth’s Got Solutions
We talk about it in-depth in the podcast, but Seth says there are answers. The technology to fix these issues exists already.
They fixed their water in Orange County, California. Engineers have already developed “Smart Pipes.” The bottled water industry is not only a distraction from the water crisis in America, it is a deception. And it needs to crumble.
In this podcast, find out how deep this catastrophe goes, and how we can all work together to demand better for ourselves, our children, and our children’s children.