The Stream, November 5, 2021: List of Contaminants in U.S. Drinking Water Continues to Grow


  • New research in India discovers a filtration process for groundwater contaminated with arsenic.
  • Utilities and regulator across the United States say they’ve discovered nearly 60 new contaminants in the country’s water supply.
  • The city of Hamilton in Ontario, Canada develops a new system for detecting leaks in water pipes.
  • Egypt shows support for new Somalian water projects in the Horn of Africa.

Rising sea levels in Bangladesh are inundating farmland and contaminating water supplies.

“My children can’t tolerate this water. They suffer from stomach problems, diarrhea and dysentery. And they feel sick all the time.” – Nazma Khatun, a resident in the village of Gabura, Bangladesh. An increase in climate disasters like monsoons and flooding are bringing saltwater further inland in Bangladesh, destroying farm land and contaminating drinking water supplies. Al Jazeera reports that Khatun, the villager in Gabura, spends most of her income on medicines for skin diseases many residents suffer from due to water and land contamination from rising sea levels. Climate change has impacted Bangladesh more than almost any other country in the world, despite the fact that Bangladesh has hardly contributed to overall carbon emissions.


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Research Leads To Life-Saving Arsenic Filter For Rural Indian Villages

New research out of India has identified a process to purify groundwater contaminated with arsenic. Arsenic in drinking water is a major issue throughout poor Indian villages. The new study identifies two bacteria species from soil which the researchers claim can lessen toxicity by eating away at arsenic levels. The research, according to The Telegraph India, has led to the development of a cost-effective arsenic-removal filter that could save the lives of rural villagers.



A new report from the Environmental Working Group (EWG) found that water utilities and regulators in the United States have discovered 56 new contaminants in drinking water over the last two years. The Guardian reports that EWG senior scientists Tasha Stoiber said the list of contaminants is likely much longer, but regulators and utilities are not properly monitoring the country’s water supply.


The city of Hamilton in Ontario, Canada has launched a new leak-detection program after finding that 26 percent of the city’s water supply is lost due to broken or leaky pipes. CBC reports that the new system will help the city reduce energy consumption and boost water supply. Since September 1, the system has detected 75 leaks, 62 of which have been fixed.


During an event at Cairo Water Week, Egypt expressed support for Somalian water projects, including building dams and developing irrigation systems, around the horn of Africa. Al-Monitor reports that Somalia sought to create stronger ties with Egypt as it searches for more water sources. Climate change has ravaged Somalia with erratic rainfall, high temperatures, and prolonged drought.

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