Drinking Water News Roundup: New York water standards deferrals, microplastics in Pennsylvania

Drinking Water News Roundup: New York water standards deferrals, microplastics in Pennsylvania
March 29, 2021 Grace Dempsey
Photo by unknown via peakpx.com cc 0.0

From lead pipes to PFAS, drinking water contamination is a major issue plaguing cities and towns all around the Great Lakes. Cleaning up contaminants and providing safe water to everyone is an ongoing public health struggle.

Keep up with drinking water-related developments in the Great Lakes area.

Click on the headline to read the full story:


More than 8 of every 10 Illinoisans live in a community where brain-damaging lead was found in the tap water of at least one home during the past six years, a new Chicago Tribune analysis found.

The alarming results are from a limited number of samples collected under federal regulations by the state’s 1,768 water utilities. Only a few dozen homes are monitored by each utility, but when combined the tests provide snapshots of a widespread threat to public health that for decades has been largely ignored.


On Sunday, City of Bloomington Utilities (CBU) crews were dispatched to repair a water main break in east Bloomington. Water service was shut off for 9 addresses; all other addresses in the area placed under a boil water advisory. The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) requires all public water systems to issue a boil water advisory when the pressure drops below 20 psi in the water main.

Indiana residents are already at greater risk for unsafe levels of arsenic in private drinking water wells than people in some other states — and a new study shows drought can make the problem worse. Arsenic naturally occurs in the ground, but long-term exposure to the metal in drinking water can increase your risk for all kinds of health problems — including bladder, lung, prostate, and skin cancers.


Drinking water in Mound, Minnesota, may have unsafe levels of manganese. The city recently tested the water supply and found elevated levels of manganese in two wells. Both had levels that ranged from 470 to 750 parts per billion, which is higher than the health guidance of 300 parts per billion.

New York:

New York State has granted 21 Long Island water providers additional time to meet new drinking water standards, while an environmental group is calling on the state to deny further delays in implementing the requirements. Water providers said they are working within state guidelines and that extensions are needed in some cases to get expensive new treatment systems in place.

The state Department of Health in August adopted maximum contaminant levels for three chemicals: 1,4-dioxane, perfluorooctane sulfonic acid, and perfluorooctanoic acid.


A federal judge blocked new oil and gas leasing and fracking in Ohio’s Wayne National Forest, a popular destination for outdoor recreation and the only National Forest located in the vast state.

The ruling rebuked the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) for failing to consider threats to public health, endangered species, and watersheds before opening more than 40,000 acres of the forest to fracking last year.


Plastic permeates Pennsylvania’s waterways, according to a study released Wednesday by PennEnvironment’s Research & Policy Center. The environmental organization conducted a survey to study the presence of microplastics — pieces of plastic debris less than 5 millimeters long, often too tiny to be caught by water-filtration systems — in the state’s rivers, creeks, and streams.

Turns out, microplastics are everywhere.


The state of Wisconsin is stepping in to help the Town of Campbell, where close to 200 wells are contaminated with dangerous man-made chemicals. Under the interim area-wide drinking water advisory, the DNR will continue to provide water to any family on French Island if they are not already getting bottled water from the City of La Crosse.

Read more drinking water news on Great Lakes Now:

PFAS in the House: Are toxic “forever chemicals” a steady drip in this reporter’s home?

Speaking of Water: How Can the Biden Administration Deliver on Environmental Justice Pledges?

Nestlé Exit: North American bottled water brands sold to investment firm

How does a $641 million Flint water settlement get to residents? Attorneys give answers

Drinking Water News Roundup: Climate change and Illinois water withdrawals, clean water for Michigan students

Drinking Water News Roundup: Lead in NY schools, Minnesota water exhibit, Wisconsin water week

Explainer: Who regulates U.S. drinking water, and how?

Featured image: Faucet with dripping water (Photo by unknown via peakpx.com cc 0.0)


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