How Unsafe Drinking Water Undermines Public Trust in Government
November 12, 2021
Growing up in Western New York, I have vivid memories of playing outside on hot summer days. My brothers and I would race around our yard, pausing to take a drink from the garden hose. I never thought much about the water I was drinking. Or whether it was safe.
It wasn’t until I moved to Washington D.C. that I started paying attention. In 2004, the city was facing a water crisis—a change in water treatment chemicals released significant amounts of lead into the water supply. In two-thirds of the homes tested, lead levels in the water exceeded EPA limits. The DC water authority sent out a notification that we should avoid drinking unfiltered water. They also sent us a Brita pitcher and a couple filters.