Great diversion: City of Waukesha looks to receive Lake Michigan water

WAUKESHA, Wisc. – The city of Waukesha has a radium problem, and it’s looking to Lake Michigan for a solution. Although talks of drawing water from nearby Lake Michigan began in 2002, Waukesha has struggled with radium contamination since the late 1970s when the Environmental Protection Agency lowered the acceptable limit for radium in public […]

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Episode 3: Water truck serves Navajo Nation residents

Darlene Arviso, a member of the Navajo Nation, drives a diesel truck with a big tank to dozens of rural homes near Thoreau, New Mexico, every day. Navajo families depend on her for clean drinking water because much of the groundwater in their wells is contaminated with uranium from Cold War-era mines. Reporter Lauren Kaljur […]

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East Chicago resident fights to educate others about contaminated water near Superfund site

EAST CHICAGO, Ind. – Growing up in the Calumet neighborhood of East Chicago, Maritza Lopez, 54, has experienced a significant number of health issues that she believes have been a result of living in a city that has lead-contaminated drinking water. She said she lives in “ground zero.” East Chicago is populated with mostly low-income […]

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The bigger, the better? Disparities between small and large water systems

In the U.S., it’s often a case of the bigger the system, the better the drinking water quality. Most water systems in the U.S. are small and serve 3,300 people or less. These smaller systems may be numerous, but they only serve 7 percent of the population. The vast majority of Americans get their water from larger systems. Smaller […]

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Connecticut resident tries to solve health mystery, discovers arsenic contamination in well

WESTON, Conn. – The wooded village of Weston boasts forest walks and brooks, but the pastoral beauty of this wealthy southwestern Connecticut community can be deceiving, as Jessica Penna learned. Penna, who lives on Farrell Road in Weston with her family, is one of about 823,000 people who rely on water from unregulated private wells […]

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N.C. coal ash management: How an environmental disaster became a political one

PHOENIX – On June 1, 2015, then Republican North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory held a private meeting with environmental regulators and Duke Energy executives at the Governor’s Mansion. Months before the meeting, state regulators issued Duke a $25 million fine – the largest in state history – for leaks from coal ash ponds into groundwater […]

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Episode 2: Chlorine causing health concerns

Water treatment experts say chlorine is used to treat contaminated water because it’s the most inexpensive method – not because it’s the most effective. But some residents in St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana, say their health is paying a high price. From raw red rashes to scalp psoriasis, one local resident said it’s as if he’s […]

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How septic systems can contaminate your drinking water

The majority of the 43 million Americans who rely on private wells for their drinking water also use onsite sewage disposal systems known as septic systems. Septic systems rely on the earth to sanitize the water, but they’re complicated. In fact, many Americans don’t understand how they work. News21 reporter Bryn Caswell explains what these […]

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North Carolina residents struggle with well contamination

WALNUT COVE, N.C. – Andree Davis said she tries not to go out in public: She’s afraid of how people will react when they see her. The 67-year-old North Carolina resident has dark spots all over her body. Davis said when she absolutely has to leave her house, she always wears long sleeves and pants – […]

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Wisconsin community grapples with bovine feces in water

KEWAUNEE COUNTY, Wisc. – In 2014, a study by U.S. Department of Agriculture researcher Mark Borchardt indicated that 40 of 131 residential wells sampled in Kewaunee County were contaminated with bovine feces. Lynn Utesch, the founder of environmental advocacy group Kewaunee Cares, sees the presence of bovine feces in the water as coinciding with the […]

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