Forest Fires and the Long-Term Devastation to our Drinking Water
The fires that tore through California in 2018 burned nearly 1.9 million acres of land, destroyed tens of thousands of homes, businesses, and structures, and upended the lives of millions of people, with one fire alone taking at least 86 lives. The devastation of these fires has left lives forever changed, and rebuilding is an uphill battle for many families and business owners. Unfortunately, the destruction did not stop when firefighters contained the flames. Even homes that were left standing after the fiery assault swept through weren’t spared.
The problem? Water quality.
The heat of the wildfires’ flames caused plastic water pipes to melt, releasing benzene, a cancer-causing chemical, into water systems. Even boiling water doesn’t resolve the problem, so that residents with completely intact homes still had to move into hotels.
When vegetation is burned and soil is exposed, sediment gets flushed into water systems, which contain spores of an intestinal infection-causing parasite. This can cause everything from intestinal distress in relatively healthy people to death in people who have compromised immune systems, who are undergoing chemotherapy, or are elderly.
And remember that you can’t assume that the water coming from your tap is healthy for you. City water treatment plants do what they can to protect citizens, and remove many water-borne threats, but they are not equipped with the resources or technology to make your water what it needs to be. Chemicals, toxins, parasites, and various threats to our health and wellness are pushed through the plumbing into our homes, and unless you take the right steps, they’re going right into your body.
You can have your water tested so you know exactly what you’re dealing with.