In a few recent cases over the summer, water contamination affected children who swam in ponds and lakes carrying deadly amoeba; one child died, the other one is slowly regaining her health and strength. In other cases, city water supplies are contaminated or treated with products that cause reactions to our skin. Unfortunately, water contamination is often not detected in advance. We only find out when someone becomes seriously ill, or worse, dies. How careful do we have to be about checking our water supplies and sources?
When swimming or playing in a natural body of water, it’s a little more difficult to detect any type of contamination unless there are physical signs that have already been posted to stay out of that body of water. The water may look clear, but could be swarming with amoebae. Or, the water may look murky, but kids don’t think twice about swimming in that water anyway. Unless the water is from a private pond or source, it may be difficult to determine the extent of the contamination or who is responsible. In other cases, if there is a contamination in a water source that is most often used in a home or campground, what are some things you can look for if you suspect that the water is just “off”? Look at the following:
- Appearance: if the water looks visibly cloudy or murky, or sudsy.
- Odor: does it smell foul, or smell of petroleum?
- Taste: Does it taste salty, or even have a taste? Clean water generally will not have a specific taste.
Sometimes you may not feel the effects of water contamination until much later, just like food poisoning. The situation could prove fatal, however, if not treated sooner rather than later. Water sources such as wells and areas deemed fine for public consumption may be later proven to be contaminated. Contamination occurs in many different ways. In the movie Erin Brockovich based on a real story, many residents in an areas were affected deeply by side effects of water contamination in their homes, with animals, and their children. No one thought to trace the effects back to the water source until much later when there was a cover-up scheme by those who wanted to buy out the land for property owners in exchange for not taking any of the matters to court.
If you have felt the ill-effects of possible water contamination, or know someone who is ill or has died as a result of water contamination, enlisting the advice of an attorney who can work with various agencies and employ proper investigation techniques will lead you to a resolution for your case quickly and efficiently.