Poisoned Waters – Sources and Impact of Water Pollution
The 1972 Clean Water Act regulates discharges of pollutants into U.S. waterways and sets quality standards for surface waters. It was supposed to ensure clean water for swimming and fishing, yet after more than four decades of clean water regulations, our waterways are in serious jeopardy.
November 5, 2016 | Source: Mercola | by Dr. Joseph Mercola
The 1972 Clean Water Act1 regulates discharges of pollutants into U.S. waterways and sets quality standards for surface waters. It was supposed to ensure clean water for swimming and fishing, yet after more than four decades of clean water regulations, our waterways are in serious jeopardy.
In Frontline’s special report, “Poisoned Waters,”2 which originally aired in 2009, correspondent Hedrick Smith reveals the deplorable state of two great coastal estuaries: the Puget Sound and Chesapeake Bay.
Toxic runoff from industry, agriculture and suburban areas are still flowing into these waterways, polluting the food chain and drinking water for millions of Americans.
Why has the U.S. so utterly failed to protect water quality? And what are the ramifications of this water pollution? These and other questions are explored in this special report.
Industrial Agriculture Is the Largest Water Polluter in the US
Industrial agriculture is arguably the largest contributor to water pollution across the U.S., and this pollution poses multiple threats. Wildlife are dying and bizarre disfigurements of aquatic creatures are becoming commonplace: frogs with six legs, for example, or male fish that lay eggs.
Fish with cancerous lesions are also becoming more common. A recent U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) study found an alarming rate of white sucker fish with prominent tumors in several of Wisconsin's Lake Michigan tributaries. As noted by MLive.com:3
“Because white suckers, also called mullet, eat from the sediment on river bottoms, their overall health is considered an indicator of the environmental degradation within an ecosystem.”
If fish are succumbing to cancer due to toxins in the environment, is it any wonder that cancer is one of the leading killers of humans, who are at the very top of the food chain?