Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of Hurricane Sandy that left 46 people dead and over $30 billion dollars in damages to businesses and home owners. Many are still without power and water and as cities do their best to respond to victims of Sandy’s wrath there’s no telling exactly when we full recovery from the impact is near.
One pressing issue is now the raw sewage and industrial chemicals floating through New York waterways. New York City’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg tweeted yesterday that tap water is safe to drink despite skeptics opinions. An article on the Huffington Post stated that the toxic stew of debris in the waterways may threaten the health of residents already dealing with more direct damages from the disaster. The Connecticut Department of Health released a public drinking water boiling advisory for 11,072 residents in danger of drinking contaminated water.
For now, sticking to a plentiful supply of bottled water might be the best for individuals and families. Daniel Stone and Luna Shyr reported for National Geographic News that even without directly drinking the brackish water — which could potentially spread the bacteria E. coli — contaminants can make their way into human bodies, through the air, or even through the faucet.
The Center for Disease Control instructs individuals who may have cloudy water running from their faucets to mix in 16 drops of bleach to water before drinking, a recipe that may not go over well with most residents opposed to downing a glass of a toxic cleaning product.
For now, areas hit by Hurricane Sandy should listen to the news or their water company until they know that water is completely safe. Any water that is dark, has an odor or floating pieces of matter should not be used.
If you were affected by Hurricane Sandy are you concerned about your city’s water supply quality?