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Wildfires in California Have Major Impact on Water Quality

19 December, 2018 (13:05) | Drinking Water, Drinking Water System, Impurities Found in Drinking Water, Impurity Solutions, Reverse Osmosis, Water, Water Safety | By: admin

CA wildfires affecting drinking waterWith California battling some of the worst wildfires right now, it is important to be aware of the many aspects of everyday life that they will affect. Right now, we are concerned about the loss that so many residents are facing; loss of homes, loss of land and even loss of life. And while they are seemingly common here in California, their impact is lasting and we want everyone to know how the future of drinking water will or could be affected.

The Importance of Forests on our Drinking Water

In California, for example, a lot of our water is sourced from forest lands. According to one report, approximately 80 percent of all freshwater in the United States, is from forested land. Along with this, more than 3,400 public drinking water systems are located in watersheds containing national forest lands. During a wildfire, many of these watersheds and water sources can be burned down or eliminated, flooded or changed. More than 12 million acres of land, including important forested water-supply watersheds, have burned in the southwestern U.S. in the past 30 years.

The Effects on Drinking Water

There are various ways that our drinking water will be affected by a wildfire. The short-term effects include things like ash settling on lakes and reservoirs where we get water for drinking water supplies. Furthermore, burn areas are more prone to erosion which will increase the amount of sediment accumulating in water resources. Not to mention the water used to fight the fires; if fire retardant gets into surface water that is used for drinking water, it may cause temporary increases in nitrate/nitrite levels and/or water cloudiness. These potential impacts are considerable – they change the quantity and quality of our water sources. Now, we have less water to treat and more contaminants to treat whether we’re using the water for domestic, agricultural, industrial, safety or ecological reasons.

Long term effects include things like increased water contamination and the need for more treatment of our tap water (which also requires more money), post-wildfire precipitation affecting water sources, changes in watersheds and local ecology and more.

How Will Drinking Water Stay Safe?

Local municipalities and officials are always attempting to find ways to keep drinking water safe during and after wildfires. Nature can be unpredictable, though, so sometimes we need to take matters into our own hands until there is an actual plan. Water treatment plants will do their best to reduce contaminants, but a home drinking water system or home water filter may also be a good investment to reduce the impact of wildfires on your home’s tap water. We offer a number of products that can protect the quality of your drinking water and keep your family safe from all of the impacts that wildfires have on your water – we wish we could help keep everyone safe in general! We are sending thoughts and prayers to those affected by the raging wildfires as the last burns are slowly and finally being put out.

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