Don’t drink the water

Published by adviser, Author: The Rocket Staff, Date: February 25, 2016
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“Don’t drink the water” was among the first few pieces of advice that Rocket staffers were given upon arriving at Slippery Rock University.

Poor water quality has been a recurring complaint from most students. The water smells almost sulphuric and the taste is enough to make students opt to buy gallon jugs of water from Giant Eagle rather than drink straight from the tap.

There are also complaints that the water dries out students’ hair and skin, as well as makes their skin more acne-prone.

Many students invest in water filters and purifiers, as well as filters and purifiers for showerheads to combat all of the issues that come with living in Slippery Rock township.

Complaints have come from every corner on campus, but students never could have foreseen that the township hasn’t been up-to-date on testing the water that we all drink, cook with and bathe in.

SRU students received an email about how the water that we bathe in and drink was insufficiently tested for both THHM and HAAC, both of which are byproducts of disinfectants.

For the September 2014 period when water was supposed to be tested, only half of the required tests were conducted. For the December 2014 testing period, all of the tests were conducted, but were conducted 16 days past the deadline.

While some discrepancy in water testing is not necessarily detrimental to all of the lives in Slippery Rock, it’s important that the township takes them very seriously.

The chemicals that the township failed to test for can  cause negative side effects not only through ingestion, but also from steam emitted from hot showers that can enter through the skin, according to the California Department of Public Health.

There may be more at stake than poor taste or dry hair. Over time, exposure to THHM and HAAC can lead to the development of bladder cancer, problems with affected persons’ liver and kidneys or  damage their circulatory systems.

For expectant mothers, there are other dangers: exposure  to these disinfectant byproducts during pregnancy can also cause miscarriages, premature births, low birth weight and birth defects in infants

Testing for these chemicals is important for the health and well-being of every person in Slippery Rock, and that doesn’t just include students, but also anybody in the Slippery Rock area: people who have lived and will live here longer than the standard four years.

The safety of the people in Slippery Rock, including SRU students, could potentiallly be in danger if this negligence continues.

When choosing a place to live, we should be able to trust that we will have clean water.We can’t be skeptical as to whether or not someone will be effectively and regularly checking our water supply.

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