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Environmental impacts we bring upon our water

Isabella Perez

In Flint, Michigan in the year 2016, because of money loss the state of Flint Michigan decided to switch its water supply from Lake Huron to the Flint River. After, the residents started to notice that the water had become different. Due to the color, they assumed it was sewage, but it turned out to be iron—and worse. “The Flint River is 19 times more corrosive than the Lake Huron supply” (Ganim and Tran). The pH levels in the water supply caused the copper pipes to melt, which raised the levels of lead in the water. Later, this caused residents to become extremely ill. Officials ignored the issues and said the water was healthy until the doctors looked at the water. Eventually, it was made publically known that the federal law had not been followed.

Incorrectly built pipelines with leaks or cracks can cause not only oil spills, but changes in the environment. In Oklahoma, before 2009, there was an average of two earthquakes a year with a magnitude of 3 or greater which had grown to 907 earthquakes per year reaching up to 4.3 magnitude present day (Whitaker). There is extreme poverty in Oklahoma and most jobs come from working on the pipelines. Not only do jobs come from working on the pipelines, but most of the things people own or use contain oil. For example, gasoline, belts, shoes, and so much more. The director of OWOW, Tom Cech said, “It’s easy to be mad at energy companies, but at the same time, we are part of the process.” 

Two-thirds of aquatic life is considered to be endangered species because of improperly disposed toxic waste. Over the last 100 years, humans around the world have dumped a large number of chemicals into our environment. Many of these chemicals are harmful and dangerous, especially if mixed with other chemicals. The improper handling of such chemicals is the result of water population and water supplies being treated like toxic waste dumps. The impacts on people and mammals include genetic mutations, diseases, birth defects, and other effects of improperly disposed chemicals (Espinoza).

Oil spills, toxic waste, incorrectly built pipelines, and corrosive water which causes pipes to melt are all caused by people. These things not only affect people negatively, but we’re the ones who cause them. Because of improper usage of water supply and pipelines, we create damage in our environment. Our man-made issues cause raised lead levels, poverty because of massive earthquakes, loss of water supply due to oil spills, and so much more. Take care of our water supply.

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