Environmental advocates and state residents are one step closer to receiving improved waterways after the Delaware House unanimously passed the Clean Water for Delaware Act. Some of the main components of the proposed legislation include rebuilding Delaware’s drinking water and wastewater infrastructures, preventing flooding, avoiding water contamination, and a $50 million investment in a Clean Water Trust. The Clean Water Trust would increase funding to counter water pollution to better serve residents, especially those who reside in low-income areas. Additionally, the proposed bill contains water reports, urgent projects, and plans to address pollution in the state. Future projects would be regulated by a Clean Water Trust Oversight Committee.
Delaware waterways are a vital resource and drive the economy as well, including fishing and boating industries. According to state officials, more than 377 bodies of water in Delaware are in dire need of repair because of pollution from bacteria, toxins, and other harmful contaminations. Additionally, more than 100 miles of waterways have fish consumption advisories because of pesticides and other chemicals. Many state residents are eager to have essential waterways cleaned and maintained.
Individuals who are suffering from an illness they believe was caused by exposure to contaminated water should reach out to an experienced toxic tort lawyer for assistance.
In order to prevent water contamination, one must understand the types. Water is a universal solvent, meaning that water can quickly dissolve substances, which makes it vulnerable to contaminants from farms, towns, and factories. Some common types of water contamination include the following:
Agricultural: The agricultural industry is the top consumer of global freshwater resources, which leads to significant contamination. When it rains, fertilizers, animal waste, pesticides, and other toxins can flow into waterways. Nutrient pollution, which is caused by nitrogen and phosphorus, is the top threat to waterways. It can cause dangerous algae blooms.
Sewage and wastewater: Showers, toilets, sinks, and sewage produce forms of wastewater. Stormwater runoff can leak into water supplies as well. Some negligent companies will discard industrial waste into water sources.
Oil pollution: Oil and gas from vehicles and large oil spills can contaminate water sources also. Tankers, both illegally and legally, spill contaminants.
Radioactive substances: Nuclear power plants, uranium mining, and hospitals, and other entities that use radioactive materials contribute to water contamination. Radioactive waste can last for thousands of years, which further contributes to the problem.
All of these forms of water contamination are harmful, which is why advocates and organizations, such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), enforce regulations to keep drinking water and other related sources safe.
It may be hard to detect water contamination, and one of the best ways to determine if drinking water is affected is using a test. A local water purification company will be able to perform a water test to establish if it is safe. The test will also help a homeowner know how to fix the problem. Water filters and softeners can lessen the risk of water contamination.
Some signs that tap water is unsafe include the following:
Cloudiness: Typically, water should be clear. Cloudiness may not be harmful in certain circumstances, but it reveals that there are pathogens or chemicals.
Buildup: Some homeowners may discover that their hands feel slimy after washing their hands with soap and water. Substances can leave deposits on the skin, which can feel slime-like.
Color: Yellow, brown, orange, blue, or green water can be unsafe. Yellow water may indicate that there is a cancer-causing agent or a sign of buildup of lead, copper, or iron. Orange and brown water might contain too much iron, lead, or rust. Green or blue water could be signs of copper and corroded pipes.
Smell: If the water smells like bleach, there could be too much chlorine. Chlorine is added to water supplies to eliminate bacteria and toxins, but when it’s mixed with other compounds, it can be harmful. A fish-like or sulfur smell could be a sign of water contamination as well.
Taste: A metallic taste could be a sign of rusty pipes. In some cases, it could indicate a low pH level.
Health effects may not show up immediately. For this reason, people should regularly inspect and make sure their water supply is safe. Generally, health-related signs of waterborne illnesses include these issues:
It is important to understand that contamination can come from different areas in the home. One might unknowingly bathe in contaminated water, too.
When a person is harmed by water contaminants, chemicals, or another toxin, they may be eligible to pursue a toxic tort claim. A toxic tort is a type of personal injury claim, and the plaintiff has the burden of proof that another negligent party caused their injury or illness. Showing that water contamination led to one’s illness is often challenging because symptoms may not develop right away.
A toxic tort lawyer will help their client with their case. A lawyer will investigate the circumstances and file a state or federal claim if necessary. A large and powerful corporation, manufacturer, distributor, or another entity may be responsible for water contamination, especially if it involves industrial waste or a similar scenario. However, a dedicated and experienced lawyer will be able to collect evidence, strengthen a claim, and fight for their client’s rights. As soon as one begins to suspect that contaminated water is directly causing their injury or illness, they should seek legal representation, since there are time limits to file a claim.
The Delaware House passing the Clean Water for Delaware Act is a step in the right direction; however, residents are still being affected by contaminated water. If you believe you are sick because of water contamination, an experienced Wilmington toxic tort lawyer at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. can help you with your case. Our legal team understands the dangerous effects of water contamination, and we are ready to help. Complete our online form or call us at 302-656-5445 for a free consultation. Located in Wilmington and Millsboro, Delaware, we serve clients throughout Dover, New Castle County, and Sussex County.