Oct 13, 2017

Puerto Rico Seeks Clean Drinking Water

Safe drinking water sources are limited, in high demand after Hurricane Maria

Puerto Rico needs clean drinking water

Puerto Ricans have started using unsafe sources for drinking water. More than three weeks after Hurricane Maria hit the island, bottled water and clean drinking water are still difficult to find.

According to the New York Times, Walmart and the Federal Emergency Management Agency have been sending millions of bottles of water to Puerto Rico, particularly to rural areas. However, damaged infrastructure has made delivery slow. 

Because of demand, bottled water is regularly out of stock in local stores, causing residents to line up outside delivery trucks to purchase new shipments of water. Because of this lack in bottled water, some Puerto Ricans have turned to unsafe sources, like water wells on Superfund sites. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has advised against this, as the water may be contaminated with harmful toxins.

There have been reports of disease spreading due to lack of clean drinking water. According to CBS, four people have died of the bacterial disease leptospirosis, which is spread through contaminated drinking water. 

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