The US has one of the safest drinking water supplies in the world. But does that mean it is free from contamination? A study by the Environmental Working Group and Northeastern University shows that over 19 million citizens in the US may be exposed to potentially harmful chemicals.
43 states exposed to contamination
In their report, Northeastern University’s researchers state that at least 610 drinking water sources in 43 states are contaminated with toxic fluorinated compounds. This means as many as 15% of Americans may have dangerously contaminated water supply systems. Groups with a high-risk for having contaminated tap water in their homes are those in small rural areas. For instance, California’s Central Valley farmworkers solely use bottled water due to the presence of arsenic and agricultural chemicals in their water supply. Another threat to the quality of drinking water is toxic algal blooms. While most of algae species are harmless, blue-green algae, also known as cyanobacteria, give rise to a distinct foul odour and are also known to produce toxins. These toxins can be dangerous for domestic pets but also cause illnesses in humans.
The most common practice for fighting toxic algal blooms are harmful chemicals. Those, however, are harmful to the environment and often produce unwanted side effects. Furthermore, herbicide and algaecide treatments require often-expensive permits from the local government for environmental protection. When using aquatic herbicides, the lake or reservoir must be closed for several days. Ultrasonic technology is an environmentally friendly alternative to chemical usage that is harmless to fish and plants.
The ultrasound technology developed by LG Sonic does not break or lyse the cells, as such, toxins are not released into the water. Due to the adaptability of algae during seasons within a water reservoir, the ability to change these ultrasonic frequencies is of importance for the long-term effects of the technology. With the use of ultrasound technology, combined with monitoring and adjustment of ultrasonic frequencies, the blooms can be reduced by 70-90% in concentration, compared to no treatment.