Drinking water 


February 19, 2002
8.      NEWS -  Drinking water may have caused miscarriages

Twenty-five women who suffered miscarriages are suing the city of Chesapeake, Virginia over chemicals in the public drinking water supply. The women suspect that contaminated water caused their miscarriages.

As reports the Washington Post (2-10-02), "The women are alleging  that the city did not adequately warn them about potentially harmful  levels of toxins in their water, sometimes nearly 10 times higher than the danger level identified in the largest public health study to date."

According to the Post, a growing number of studies are linking birth defects and miscarriages "to chemicals that are produced when chlorine, used to purify drinking water, mixes with organic matter, such as fertilizer in surface water." Officials from the chemical and water industry say the evidence is inconclusive.

The Environmental Protection Agency has called the evidence of chlorination byproducts in drinking water "an important health concern."  Many residents are unaware that levels of chlorination byproducts often rise above EPA limits.

Because there has never been a comprehensive study of the city's miscarriage or birth defect rates, "it is impossible to draw a comparison between the period when the byproducts were spiking and when
they were not," reports the Post.

Annette Spaven told the Post, "I just hope that...people will pay attention to what's going on in their cities. No one should have to go through what we have."

"You just take for granted...that you never have to second-guess what's in your water," she said.


On October 31, 2001, EPA announced that the arsenic standard in drinking water will be 10 parts per billion (ppb). This standard will improve the safety of drinking water for millions of Americans, and better protect against the risk of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.  

The Environmental Working Group's Drinking Water Reports.

In The Drink is a report on drinking water in Tennessee and nationwide.

How to Interpret Your Consumer Confidence Report
Is your drinking water safe? Click above for a great web site that helps you interpret the Consumer Confidence Report your utility is required to provide with your water bill.


June 19, 2001
4.  Learn About Your Drinking Water: Local Reports Out this Month:

If you are one of the more than 260 million people who receive water from a community water supply, keep your eye out for this year's water quality report.  The report will include a brief description of the source of your drinking water and the levels of contaminants that may be found in it when it
reaches your tap. Water suppliers are required to deliver these annual reports (also called consumer confidence reports) to their customers by July
1.  The report may arrive along with your bill or as a separate mailing.

Apartment dwellers can get a copy from their landlord or directly from their water supplier.   Many reports are available on the Internet, and EPA has links to hundreds of them at

March 14, 2001  

EPA Releases Drinking Water Infrastructure Needs Survey


October 10, 2000 



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