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Expecting the unexpected may help you avoid water problems

If you were born and raised in Savannah, Tybee Island or another Georgia region, or for that matter, anywhere in the United States, rancid, contaminated drinking water is not likely high on your list of worries. In fact, that's usually something people in the United States and Canada and other advanced countries tend to imagine when thinking of Third World populations around the globe. However, the crucial factor in something that's unexpected is that you were unable to prepare for it.

In recent years, there have been several serious water crises throughout the nation. Those who had always enjoyed fresh, clean drinking water were suddenly witnessing their children and loved ones becoming gravely ill, with many even dying. From extremely high lead levels to aggressive E. coli bacteria, several public water supplies were grossly contaminated, causing illness and deaths to great numbers of victims.

How to tell if your water is bad

When it comes to contaminated drinking water, there are several overt and other not so noticeable ways to determine whether there might be a problem. Keeping the following red flags in mind might save your life or that of someone you love:

  • Chlorine bleach smell: While many public swimming pools have strong odors of chlorine, it's not something you should smell when using water at a sink. If you do smell bleach at the tap, it bears further investigation before drinking!
  • Gas or oil: Definitely not a scent that should accompany your drinking water, smelling gas or oil is an obvious sign that something is not right.
  • Metallic taste: Many people who have contaminated water from pesticides describe the taste as sharp or metallic. If you take a sip of water and it tastes like you have a mouthful of pennies, it is best not to drink any more and to report the issue immediately.
  • Discolored fixtures: If your spigot or other sink fixtures turn bluish-green, it might mean there is copper in your drinking water.

The list above shows contaminants that exhibit obvious signs. Other potentially lethal toxins such as lead are odorless and tasteless, causing grave risk to all who consume such water. Gastrointestinal, behavioral and cognitive symptoms are associated with lead poisoning. Researching the topic and gaining as much information as possible are often the best means for preventing illness.

There are hundreds of active lawsuits in Flint, Michigan, at this time regarding a contaminated water supply and long-term consumption of lead-laden water. There are similar situations in North Carolina and other areas outside of Georgia. Regularly checking your water supply is also a logical step to take to preserve safety. If a problem arises, you can contact the appropriate local officials and authorities to report the issue.

If you have suffered injury or illness due to a contaminated water supply and have questions regarding how to seek justice, you can obtain information and guidance through consultation with an experienced environmental law attorney.

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