Secure Safe Drinking Water
Many rural American families are denied a basic human right—affordable access to clean, safe drinking water. About 43 percent of all Americans draw their drinking water from the ground, and the vast majority of rural households rely exclusively on wells.
In some regions of the country, including Maine, one in five homes with wells have dangerously high levels of arsenic, uranium, manganese, and radon, which have been linked to lower IQ in children, and skin, lung, and bladder cancer over a lifetime. Yet, less than half of well owners have tested their water for these toxic contaminants.
The Environmental Health Strategy Center supports model legislation in Maine to improve testing rates for wells, through educational outreach, and to secure funding to help low-income families afford water treatment systems. Public health scientists agree: we must give all children a healthy start by ensuring safe drinking water at home.