Clean Water Connections
In my ongoing journey to help communities impacted by contaminated tap water, I may be on the verge of uncovering a significant crisis in Louisiana.
On May 11th, 2021, The Brockovich Report featured an article on potential tap water issues in Sulphur, the thirteenth largest city in Louisiana, with a population of nearly 22,000. One out of every 6.5 residents lives in poverty.
People in the community have been reporting unexplained sickness and discoloration of their water. However, since water contamination was only a theory, I decided to take initiative and try to get to the bottom of it. Through my organization, I planned to find a water testing company willing to donate its products to help the community. I cold-called several companies and got in touch with the CEO of SafeHome, a nationally recognized water testing company that utilizes an EPA-approved lab. He agreed to donate test kits for the community.
My next step was to contact a resident of Sulphur who would be willing to distribute the kits throughout the city. I connected with a local activist, and together we teamed up to obtain numerous water samples.
The results of the water tests that I received after I wrote my initial college essays are shocking. I discovered that the lead levels at Sulphur High School are three times over the EPA acceptable limits. I also found several homes with similar results.
Under EPA guidelines, if lead concentrations exceed a certain threshold in more than 10% of taps sampled in a particular community, the water system servicing those residents must undertake a number of actions to control corrosion and inform the public of ways to protect their health. My goal is to force the city through community activism to test at least 10% of the homes for potential lead contamination issues.
While more testing needs to be done, I believe that my actions are working. The tests demonstrate evidence of lead contamination in the community, including a public school, where residents (including children) are at risk. If additional tests detect the same issues, I hope the city will take corrective measures and possibly save many people from serious health issues.