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Are Public Drinking Fountains Safe?

Wilmington Environmental Lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. Are Here to Fight for Your Rights if You Are Sick Because of Water Contamination.

Most people do not think twice about water safety when they drink from a drinking fountain. Almost all public water fountains that are found in public buildings, schools, and parks get their water from the public water service. Whatever treatment, screening, and testing process is done at the water plant is usually the only type of screening the water goes through before you consume it. In most instances, the water is safe. However, there have been cases where the water being pumped out to the public has been contaminated.

Drinking contaminated water can cause health problems ranging from skin rashes to cancer. The severity of the illness depends on many factors, including what chemical or bacteria and what amount got into the water. Also, the length of time you were exposed to the contaminated water could dictate how sick you become.

Sources of Drinking Fountain Contamination

Since most drinking fountain water comes from a publicly-owned, government water processing plant, the contamination usually happens before it gets to the plant. For whatever reason, the plant does not test and treat the water to remove that particular chemical or substance. Groundwater can be contaminated by many sources:

  • coli which is found in human and animal fecal waste.
  • Water additives such as fluoride and chlorine.
  • Erosion of natural deposits such as mercury, lead, and asbestos.
  • Organic chemicals often found in run off from herbicides or pesticides used on crops or discharged from chemical, agricultural, and other industrial factories.
  • Inorganic chemicals discharged from refineries and factories such as nitrate, arsenic, and cyanide.

What Are Physical Symptoms From Drinking Contaminated Water?

Sometimes, it may take years to realize that you are drinking contaminated water. However, with some types of exposures, there are certain physical symptoms that you may notice. Some symptoms you may experience from drinking contaminated water include:

  • Diarrhea.
  • Nausea.
  • Intestinal or stomach cramping.
  • Intestinal or stomach aches and pains.
  • Dehydration.

Medical Conditions Caused by Contaminated Water

There are many medical conditions that can be caused by drinking contaminated water, such as:

  • Gastrointestinal illness.
  • Legionnaires’ disease.
  • Increased risk of cancer.
  • Anemia.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Increased blood pressure or blood cholesterol.
  • Bone disease.
  • Nerve damage.
  • Liver, kidney, spleen, thyroid, or adrenal gland problems.
  • Dermatitis.
  • Eye or nose irritation.
  • Hair or fingernail loss.
  • Intestinal lesions or polyps.
  • Reproductive problems.
  • Nervous system, cardiovascular, circulatory, or central nervous system problems.

There are local, state, and federal laws that protect public water sources. The Clean Water Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act are federal laws that set regulations and standards that control how wastewater, chemicals, and other dangerous substances are disposed of all in protection of ground water and navigable waterways.

Wilmington Environmental Lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. Are Here to Fight for Your Rights if You Are Sick Because of Water Contamination

If you believe you are experiencing health problems due to drinking contaminated water, speak to one of our Wilmington environmental lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. Call us at 302-656-5445 or fill out our online form for a free consultation. Located in Wilmington and Millsboro, Delaware, we serve clients throughout Dover, New Castle County, and Sussex County.