Anyone who thinks Federal, State and Local governments will steer the ax away from the budgets of water testing programs needs to wake up… and smell the bacteria!
As an example, “The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency usually gives Wisconsin about $225,000 for tests, but it will get about half of that this year. The money will be used to test the highest-priority beaches, or about 84 out of 192 of them, according to the Associated Press.” ( source )
So… what about potential water quality problems at the OTHER beaches? How will swimmers know if the temptingly cool water at those beaches or in those rivers and streams contains dangerous levels of bacteria, parasites, pesticides, etc.?
Quite simply, they WON’T and each swim could be their LAST!
No, not really, but we simply could not resist adding a bit of life or death drama to this article.
Seriously, though, swimming in water that contains high levels of certain bacteria could result in gastrointestinal troubles and in some cases death if swimmers accidentally ingest mouthfuls of water.
OK, so testing is NEEDED, we know, but WHO would test water for FREE?
In the article referenced above they talked about how the city of Milwaukee forged a partnership with a local University that had academic interest in water quality and made arrangements for the University to share the results of its testing program with the municipality.
Hey, while the water testing may not get performed by a professional water lab, no, the testing will at least shed SOME light on water conditions at popular bodies of water in the area — and quite possibly keep unsuspecting swimmers from entering water that could make them very ill!
Moral of the story?
Should you find yourself faced with budget cuts that will affect your ability to have water tested in your area, you may have to get creative like the folks in Milwaukee who tapped into the local resources of a university.
We also read about local residents in other areas having fundraisers to cover the expenses associated with having the water tested at their favorite beaches, lakes and rivers.
At the end of the day we say this: Without water testing you will NEVER know if the water in front you will harm you so make every effort to test on a regular basis!
After all… It’s your water, your health… and ultimately your LIFE!