A serious problem affecting large urban areas is the contamination of its drinking water. According to the EPA chemicals such as those from herbicides and household cleaners, along with high concentration of copper and even sex hormones can be found in large portions of our drinking water. Many of these chemicals can cause various health hazards even with only short term exposure. Health hazards ranging from cancer to neurological defects can become more prevalent in areas with contaminated water.
The EPA has set limits on the concentration of chemicals allowed in drinking water, however, this is not always easy to enforce. The best solutions can be started from the bottom up. People can contribute to the solution by purchasing non-toxic natural cleaners, or simply by adding more plants and natural areas to soak up the extra water that makes its way to our sewers. This issue can also be tackled at the government level. According to the Chicago tribune only about $7 per month per household will not only clean the Chicago River but will keep it clean for years to come. It is all up to us to create the change or support those who can.