When discussing water pollution, there are often a lot of terms and statistics that are thrown around that may confuse some people. I think it is rare to find sites that break things down but here is a pretty good one. This is about improvements in water quality for the Ohio River. Clearly, it takes CWA to enforce laws and regulations for a difference to be made. The following article from Water Quality Protection is a great example.
Water Quality Protection
Regulatory Oversight Showing Weaknesses
The Ohio River is now the worst toxic water dump in the U.S. In response, in 2009, ORF launched the Protect Our Water campaign.
Improvements in water quality were achieved in the Ohio River watershed due primarily to passage and enforcement of the Clean Water Act (CWA) in 1972. However, threats continue from stormwater runoff, agricultural runoff, mercury deposition from coal-fired plants, and millions of gallons of untreated sewage that flow into the river each year from sewer overflows. Furthermore, Over the last two years, evidence indicates that government pollution prevention and enforcement programs are not working well. Reports by USEPA, Environment America Research & Policy Center, and The New York Times indicate that:
1. In 2007, polluters dumped 31 million pounds of toxic chemicals into the Ohio River making it the most toxic river in the country
2. Violations of the Clean Water Act are going unprosecuted
3. 49% of lakes and reservoirs are contaminated above EPA safe levels
Amazingly, in some cases this is permitted pollution; however, the number of permit violations appears to be growing. Unfortunately, the political will to enforce water pollution laws has waned and is now further stressed by economic recession and shrinking government budgets. So, under the auspices of the Protect Our Water campaign ORF is now conducting an independent investigation to identify polluters threatening our waterways and drinking water supplies, and force compliance with the law.
If ones takes the time to research water pollution there is so many scary fact out there. As someone who drinks a lot of water, and goes swimming a lot, it frightens me a little. I think everyone would be inspired to investigate the cleanliness of their water sources if they know the facts. Knowledge is power in this case.