With wind speeds exceeding 150 miles per hour, hurricanes in the US demolish everything that comes along their way. Among many tragic incidents that dominate our news channels and magazines after an intense hurricane, (such as flooded towns, shattered properties, and extended power shortages) an important impact of the hurricane that’s often overlooked is the contamination of drinking water.
When a landfall occurs because of a hurricane or flooding that takes place due to a catastrophic rainstorm, a huge quantity of toxic substances and other contaminants get dumped in the soil, septic systems, and water supply. These effects tend to persist for long durations and may lead to severe health issues.
Hurricanes in the US
Recently, on August 30, 2021, a landfall occurred on US shores because of Category 4 Hurricane Ida. Because of the storm, over 1 million people experienced power outages and extensive property damage.
Another hurricane Florence, (category 1 hurricane on September 14, 2018), caused similar damage in North California.
About a year before Florence, Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Harvey swept through several US states causing approximately $175 billion damage in the country overall.
While all of these hurricanes caused a different degree of destruction, all of them caused a notable upsurge in the number of chemicals, waste, and debris in the country’s water supply systems.
Common Dangers of Hurricanes on Drinking water
Hurricanes and floods cause the pig waste to leach into the groundwater that serves well water systems and municipalities.
Chemical byproducts and coal ash from industries can accumulate with the drinking water in the US states that utilize coal in power generation plants.
Pesticides, fertilizers, and other toxins from the farms enter the floodwaters and streams and eventually escape into your area’s well system.
Water treatment systems heavily rely on electricity. Since hurricanes lead to frequent water outages, your water may not get properly treated when there’s a hurricane.
Considering the above-mentioned factors, US residents who are affected by hurricanes should use non-electric commercial water softeners. They should test their water treatment systems and inspect their drinking water to identify possible contamination. According to the Water Quality Association, people should consider protecting their water taps with a reliable whole-house system from a reputable company.
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