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Tainted Water Issue Extends Beyond Flint

Media exposure surrounding the Flint, Mich., water crisis may have put the spotlight
back on contaminated drinking water. But it’s certainly not the only place where it’s

In fact, only nine U.S. states — Alabama, Arkansas, Hawaii, Kentucky, Mississippi,
Nevada, North Dakota, South Dakota and Tennessee — have reported safe levels of
lead in their water supply, according to Environmental Protection Agency data
obtained by CNBC.

And, in many instances, lead isn’t the only problem.
Here are three other cities where residents faced troubling issues with tainted

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Crystal City, Texas

In February of 2016, foul-smelling black water came pouring unexpectedly out of
faucets in Crystal City, Texas. Some residents compared its appearance to oil,
according to interviews by KSAT.

The city said the dark-colored water was a result of sediment that ran through to
distribution lines when an elevated water tank was flushed.
City Water/Wastewater Superintendent Carlos Ramirez told CNN that, when they
were draining the tanks, they didn’t know what was inside, adding that it hadn’t
been cleaned in decades.

Jackson, Miss.

In January of 2016, Jackson residents learned that the water in some homes had
tested above the recommended level for lead. The samples had been gathered and
tested six months prior.

A repeat sampling on Jan. 29 indicated only two of the 13 original locations
continued to test above actionable levels.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Lead and Copper Rule, a water
system must take action if more than 10 percent of the samples test positive for
lead levels above 15 parts per billion (ppb).

The 2012 water assessment report for Jackson found that 10 percent of samples
exceeded lead levels of 14 ppb and five samples exceeded 15 ppb.

Those findings did not prompt any requirements for the city to maintain its
compliance, according to The Clarion-Ledger.

New Orleans

In July of 2015, a potentially deadly amoeba was found in the New Orleans water
supply for at least the second time in two years, according to ABC News.

The tainted water was taken from a sample in the St. Bernard Parish neighborhood.
It tested positive for Naegleria fowleri, which is a naturally occurring pathogen in
freshwater. If it enters the body through the nose and travels to the brain, it can be

A 60-day chlorine treatment was ordered by the Louisiana Department of Health
and Hospitals.


The Clarion-Ledger