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Water Facts

At Worrell Water Technologies, we develop innovative, safe, sustainable systems for water treatment and water security worldwide. Why?  Because we believe that the way we currently treat water is too costly, unsustainable, and much less safe and effective than it should be.

This Water Facts page compiles information about water treatment, water quality, water scarcity, and water usage issues from the U.S. and around the globe.  We invite you to browse, link through to the original sources and participate in making water decisions the utmost priority in your community.

Aging Water Infrastructure

  • An article by the New York Times, quotes an EPA report as saying that the repair needs of our aging water infrastructure will total $334.8 billion over the next two decades. 
  • Failing water infrastructure nationwide is now being described as “a ticking time bomb that’s ready to go off."                                                                 New York Times, April 17, 2009
  • Wastewater spills have become so frequent in Marin County that in April, 2008, the EPA issued orders to nine cities to repair and upgrade decaying infrastructure.
  • Over 300,000 gallons of partially treated sewage spilled into San Francisco Bay from a Marin County treatment plant located in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.  The spill caused authorities to close beaches and issue warnings.  The aging wastewater infrastructure of Marin County has led to multiple spills of raw and partially treated sewage in recent years.  In 2008, 2.7 million gallons of untreated and partially treated sewage spilled into San Francisco Bay.
  • Spills have become so frequent in Marin County that in April, 2008, the EPA issued orders to nine cities to repair and upgrade decaying infrastructure.  The water authority guilty of the current spill is undertaking a $40 million upgrade project.  This is only one of at least 9 wastewater authorities in the area.
  • The chronic spills, and the developing price tags for fixing them, are further evidence that the Living Machine, a decentralized and ecological treatment system, solves many problems with our decaying infrastructure.              San Francisco Chronicle, Feb. 18, 2009

Water Quality

  • Around 43 million people in the U.S. use drinking water from private wells. 20% of surveyed wells contained enough contaminants to affect human health.
  • The U.S. Geological Survey reports in a press release dated March 23, 2009 that more than 20 percent of private wells surveyed contained at least one contaminant at a high enough level to raise health concerns.              U.S. Geological Survey
  • "The Environmental Working Group's analysis of nearly 20 million drinking water tests conducted by water suppliers nationwide between 2004 and 2009 revealed hundreds of pollutants in U.S. tap water."
  • Most data was obtained from state water authorities, showing that utilities serving less than 10,000 people tested for an average of 67 pollutants, while larger utilities tested for an average of 89.
  • Between 2004 and 2009, water suppliers across the U.S. detected 316 contaminants in water supplied to the public. The list of detected contaminants includes:
  • 97 agricultural pollutants, including pesticides and chemicals from fertilizer- and manure-laden runoff;
  • 204 industrial chemicals from factory discharges and consumer products;
  • 86 contaminants linked to sprawl and urban areas or from polluted runoff and wastewater treatment plants;
  • 42 pollutants that are byproducts of the water treatment processes or that leach from pipes and storage tanks.
  • Nearly two-thirds of the 315 chemicals found in the nation's drinking water over the last five years — a total of 201 — are unregulated.
  • Among the unregulated contaminants detected in water supplies between 2004 and 2008, 168 have been linked to cancer, 54 to reproductive toxicity, 67 to developmental toxicity, and 35 to immune system damage.                The Environmental Working Group

What's in our Water

  • Exposure to vaporized chemicals in the water through showering, bathing and inhalation is 100 times greater than through drinking the water.         Duff Conacher, Center for Study of Responsive Law. Troubled Waters on Tap.
  • Tests show you can absorb more toxic chlorine from a 10 minute shower than drinking 8 glasses of the same water.                                               Paul C. & Patricia Bragg. Healthy Heart: Keep Your Cardiovascular System Healthy & Fit at Any Age

Water and the Earth

  • Less than 1% of the world’s freshwater is available for human consumption.
  • Although almost ¾ of the Earth’s surface is covered by water, only 2.5% of this is fresh water. Most of the freshwater is trapped in the polar icecaps. 97.5% of the world’s water supply is saline, inaccessible or otherwise unavailable for human use.                                                              UNWater.org
  • An estimated half of the world’s wetlands have been lost since 1900.
  • Wetlands cover up to 6% of Earth’s surface and play a vital role in regional ecosystems. The main causes of their loss have been drainage and conversion of wetlands to agricultural or urban land, compounded by pollution.  Wetlands have been described as "nature’s kidneys," cleansing our water supply of contaminants.                                                    UNWater.org

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