Learn How to Fight Coal Ash Contamination in Our State!
A recent report revealed that coal ash contamination in Illinois is worse than we could have imagined. It claims that the groundwater near 22 of 24 coal ash sites contains pollutants that threaten human health. These include carcinogens, neurotoxins, and poisons.
These findings are alarming, but what do they mean for residents in the Chicagoland region?
In this post, we will explain why this problem is happening, the health problems it can create, and what you can do to protect your health.
What is Causing the Coal Ash Crisis?
Like many water contamination issues, coal ash pollution is preventable. Unfortunately, many power plants across the state have not been doing their part to keep the problem in check.
When coal burns, it leaves behind a powdery substance known as coal ash. Power plants dispose of this waste in landfills. This practice would be fine if these dumpsites lived up to EPA standards. Unfortunately, most of them don’t.
The problems with the landfills are manifold. First, many of them do not have the proper protective lining, which allows the coal ash to contaminate the groundwater. Many of these landfills are also situated very close to rivers and lakes with only a small strip of embankment separating them. Unsurprisingly, as the embankments begin to erode, coal ash from the landfills infiltrates the bodies of water and damages the ecosystem.
Once in our groundwater, lakes, and rivers, it’s only a matter of time before it shows up in the water we drink. Consequently, many private wells and city water supplies have already been affected by coal ash contamination.
How Can Coal Ash Affect Your Health?
Coal ash contains numerous toxins that can do a person harm. Some of the most harmful pollutants include arsenic, boron, chromium, lithium, and manganese. These pollutants can cause numerous health problems, such as throat scarring, nervous system damage, reproductive issues, and cancer.
The report also noted that many of the areas threatened are low-income regions with less access to health care. This fact only heightens the urgency to protect people’s health by combatting the problem.
What is Our State Doing to Combat the Coal Ash Problem?
The release of the coal ash study has brought much-needed attention to this issue. It has sparked calls to increase protections against coal ash contamination and hold the coal companies responsible for the crisis. And state politicians seem to be receptive to their ideas, as some have made public statements on the need for reform.
Time will tell whether Illinois gets its coal crisis under control. In the meantime, we as citizens can support groups that are speaking out and raising awareness about the issue. One way to do this is to sign petitions that encourage Illinois officials to act. Together, we can make Illinois water safe for all.
What Can You Do to Defend Your Home?
It is encouraging to see how much is being done to address this problem. However, the harsh truth is, no matter how much action we take, much damage has already been done. Coal ash pollutants don’t dissipate naturally, so they’re going to be in our water for a while.
For this reason, Illinois homeowners should be cautious with their water consumption. The best way to do this is by investing in the right water treatment equipment.
A whole house water filter system can keep contaminants like coal ash out of your water. It is easy to install and delivers water that tastes great and, most importantly, contains no pollutants.
However, not all water filter brands are created equal. Some are better at keeping out certain contaminants than others. Therefore, it takes some research to determine the best possible filter for your home.
If you are uncertain about what water filter to pick, licensed water treatment experts are invaluable resources. They can test your water for coal ash and other pollutants to establish the type of filtration you need. Then they can install the filtration system to give you the high level of protection you deserve.
Do You Know If Your Water Contains Coal Ash?
If you live near a coal plant or coal ash landfill, then your water could be at risk. Large urban areas like Joliet and southwest Chicago have experienced private well contamination due to their proximity to coal plants. So, don’t hesitate to get your water tested if you’re concerned.
At Angel Water, we employ licensed plumbers who can use their expertise to give you the protection you need. They can test your water and recommend the best filter for your home from our wide range of options.