Drinking Water News You Need: E. Coli Found In New York Water, West Virginia Continues To Recover From Chemical Spill & A Michigan 5-Year Old Turns Birthday Party Into Clean Water Fundraiser

by admin on January 31, 2014

Last week, we were among the many sharing and striving to help West Virginia residents still living with significant water contamination issues.  This week, The New York Times broke a story nearly as troubling.

In the investigation, a corresponding video of which appears above, water samples from eight of twelve rooftop water towers (depended on by thousands of New Yorkers for drinking water) tested positive for coliform.  Five of twelve tested positive for E. Coli, making the water essentially unfit for human consumption.

Learn more about the findings of this investigation in the video above.

In Other Drinking Water News:

West Virginia American Water Customers Line Up For Clean Drinking WaterSenators Introduce Legislation To Prevent Future West Virginia-Like Chemical Spills
“No West Virginian or American should have to worry about the contamination of their water supply from a chemical spill,” said Senator Barbara Boxer, the Democratic chairwoman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, when introducing a new bill designed to streamline oversight of chemical facilities.  Read more about this legislation, introduced by Boxer this week with West Virginia senators Joe Manchin and John Rockefeller, in the release shared by Huffington Post above.

State of the Union Receives Positive Feedback From Clean Water ActionClean Water Action Give Obama’s State of the Union Cautiously Positive Review
In this week’s State of the Union, President Obama shocked and delighted many when he referred to climate change as a ‘proven fact.’  This type of statement led to high marks from Eric Keller, a campaign organizer for Clean Water Action that hosted a viewing party.  While reaction was mostly positive, some were concerned that Obama continues to promote the use of natural gas and fracking as potential energy solutions.

Water Quality Commitment More Than Evident In Iowa
A voluntary water quality strategy drew high praise this week from members of the Iowa house, Quad-City Times reports.  The strategy, which includes providing funds to farmers that implement water quality improvement practices, was described as a ‘breath of fresh air’ by Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey, even as concern over an admitted lack of timelines and measureable outcomes was voiced.

Chlorinated Municipal Water System For Haiti Earns Award For Clemson Students
This week, the Institute of International Education announced that Clemson Engineers for Developing Countries won a 2014 Andrew Heiskell Award for their help in developing the first chlorinated municipal water system in Haiti’s Central Plateau.  Greenville Online shares more details on this award-winning project that is changing the lives of thousands for the better.

Olivia Harrison Turns Birthday Party Into Clean Water Fundraiser5-Year Old Turns Birthday Party Into Clean Water Fundraiser
Our admiration goes out this week to five year old Olivia Harrison.  When planning her birthday party, Harrison decided to forgo the trappings of a traditional birthday party, and instead, turn her special event into a ‘water party’ to help children in Africa gain access to clean drinking water.  Harrison’s party raised $400 for the Samuel Omogo Foundation, a non-profit that has helped build ten water wells in Africa over the last several years.

Water Filtration Product of the Week:  Water Test Kits

WaterSafe Well Water Test KitWith the recent coverage of the chemical spill in West Virginia and E. Coli contamination in New York, home water test kits are becoming a hot item.  But these kits, including the popular WaterSafe Test Kit pictured, are designed far more for regular proactive use than sudden reactive.

For instance, as we move into spring, a common concern for well water users is the organic matter and sediment that can enter into one’s drinking water supply as ice and snow begins to melt.  A water test kit can help you determine what type of contaminants you are dealing with as the seasons begin to change.  (If you use well water in a cabin that you inhabit seasonally, in fact, it is recommended that you test and sanitize your water before you drink it, water filter or no water filter.)

Water test kits are even proving valuable in municipalities as many are adept at picking up on traces of E. Coli, currently plaguing the water supplies of many in New York City.

While a water test kit can help you determine what type of contaminants you are dealing with, if test results or common-sense factors lead you to believe that your water could be unsafe to drink, we recommend that you have it professionally tested prior to using.

If you have any questions, I would encourage you to call our customer service department 1-888-801-PURE (7873).

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If you are a veteran, currently serving in the Armed Forces, or are buying a gift for a veteran or soldier, use the discount code ‘VETERAN’ at checkout to take 10% off your entire order!

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Gina February 3, 2014 at 9:00 pm

These are all alarming stories, that could have been prevented by the end user, or the consumer, with a good quality water filter. The story about the little girl is inspiring though, as not many kids would forgo their birthday party to try and raise money instead of receiving gifts.

As for the water test kits, while they can be useful under some circumstances to test for common contaminants, these would be completely useless for people living and getting the water in West Virginia, as the government doesn’t even test for the chemicals that were in the water. Although they don’t test for several hundred of them, this one would not show up on a water test kit.


Mike Yanke February 4, 2014 at 10:28 am

Hi Gina –

Thank you for the comment.

In regards to your note on the water test kits, you are correct in that these test kits would not test for MCHM, the chemical spilled into West Virginia’s drinking water supply. Unfortunately, very little is known about this chemical and its impact on human health.

You can read more about what we do know about MCHM in our recent post below:

However, other contaminants – including bacteria like E. Coli and lead – far more common to find in drinking water, can be detected with many of the water test kits we provide here:

If you have any questions about or water test kits, specifically in regards to the contaminants they help to detect, I would encourage you to call our customer service department at 1-888-801-PURE (7873).

Thanks again for connecting!


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