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Group lists Summerville water as ‘polluted,’ ‘contaminated’

We often don’t think about what’s in our water when it comes out of the faucet clear and without dirty particles.

But a report released recently paints a different picture for even the clearest of water. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) released its annual report which indicates a presence of harmful contaminants in the Georgia water supply that can cause cancer, developmental issues in children, problems in pregnancy and other serious health conditions. Harmful contaminants were found in water supplies of 30 Georgia towns or water utilities according the EWG report including Summerville.

EWG found 7 contaminants detected above health guidelines and 8 others detected contaminants in Summerville.

In Georgia, EWG tracked 10 contaminants across the state’s water supply. The following seven contaminants have been detected above health limits in Summerville.

  • Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs) which are linked to bladder cancer, skin cancer and fetal development issues
  • Chloroform which is linked to cancer and fetal development issues
  • Bromodichloromethane which is linked to harm to child and fetuses, as well as reproductive difficulties and cancer.
  • Chromium (hexavalent) which is linked to cancer, liver damage and productive system damages
  • Dichloroacetic acid, increases the risk of cancer and may cause problems during pregnancy
  • Trichloroacetic acid, increases the risk of cancer and may cause problems during pregnancy
  • Perfluorinated chemicals, harmful to the immune system and changes in mammary gland development.

EWG has released a public database cataloging contaminants in water systems in every state in the country — the first comprehensive database of its kind that took two years to build.

“There are more than 250 contaminants across our nation’s drinking water,” said Nneka Leiba, director of Health Living Science at EWG. “About 160 of those are unregulated. And that’s a big concern, because if a chemical is unregulated, that means it can be present in our water at any level — and be legal.”

The EWG is an independent nonprofit organization that used outside scientists to assess chemicals and water samples across the country.

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Casie Bryant is the NW Georgia Regional Manager for AllOnGeorgia.

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