Wildfires: Their Long Term Impact on Drinking Water
California fires have been devastating this year, bringing attention to the risks area residents face, both now and in the future. What may not be apparent is that these fires bring risks to us all.
Public drinking-water utilities face a daunting challenge to develop plans and strategies for managing floods and treating polluted water that result from wildfires. This is made even more challenging due to the unpredictability of wildfires and the extent of their damage.
One health risk is the compromise of drinking water quality.
As ash from smoke settles, it becomes part of runoff from rains. This means it is entering our water systems at a much higher rate than normal.
Why is this important? The ash from smoke is toxic and can poison and contaminate public drinking water.
Just as wildfires impact air quality, they can also affect the quantity and quality of water available. Water supplies can be adversely affected during the active burning of a wildfire and for years afterwards…In the aftermath of a large wildfire, rainstorms flush vast quantities of ash, sediment, nutrients and contaminants into streams, rivers, and downstream reservoirs. The absence of vegetation in the watershed can create conditions conducive to erosion and even flooding, and naturally occurring and anthropogenic substances can impact drinking water quality, discolor recreational waters, and may potentially contribute to harmful algal blooms. —EPA.GOV
Safe Drinking Water — What Can I Do?
The first step is to test the water coming into your home, then put effective water filtration systems in place, if needed. The last step is to bring quality water with you whenever you’re on the go.
Award-winning water filtration, expertly engineered to reduce the maximum amount of contaminants. Whether your water comes from a city or a well, Aquasana filtration systems instantly transform ordinary water into clean, extraordinary water. Their systems remove a maximum level of contaminants with industry-leading results for your peace of mind.
Insulated, sleek, and down-right functional – the stainless steel water bottle by S’well will become your new favorite on-the-go companion. Say goodbye to disposable plastic water bottles and hello to reusable water bottles made to last. Keeps Drinks Cold for 41 Hours and Hot for 18 – with No Condensation – BPA Free Water Bottle.