Epic failures to provide safe drinking water to people have resulted from the business as usual of destroying the natural environment. The NYT article, "The Threats to Our Drinking Water" cites two major incidents that compromised a large sector of peoples water supplies.
The Elk River in Charleston, West Virginia, was polluted massively from 7,500 gallons of a coal processing chemical called 4-methylcyclohexanemethanol (MCHM). Ironically the company responsible is called Freedom Industries, which granted 300,000 people across nine counties freedom from clean drinking water.
The other case in Toledo, Ohio caused 400,000 peoples drinking water to be declared unsafe due to the toxic blue-green algal blooms in Lake Erie resulting from fertilizer runoff. Microcystin, the toxin secreted by Microcystis Aeruginosa is a cyanotoxin, not required to be testing for by federal water quality regulations. It
These blooms are a major problem where I reside in northern California where low river flows from water diversion exacerbates the blooms from local agriculture runoff. As a result public notices have to be posted warning that children, the elderly and pets can die from exposure to this water. Oh Joy. And dams along the rivers actually created large stagnant pools where these blooms flourish. It particularly sucks for the indigenous people here who conduct rituals in the rivers that their cultures revolve around. Here is an excerpt from Wikipedia:
Among cyanotoxins are some of the most powerful natural poisons known, including poisons which can cause rapid death by respiratory failure. The toxins include potent neurotoxins, hepatotoxins, cytotoxins, and endotoxins. Recreational exposure to cyanobacteria can result in gastro-intestinal and hay fever symptoms or pruritic skin rashes. Exposure to the cyanobacteria neurotoxin BMAA may be an environmental cause of neurodegenerative diseases such as ALS, Parkinson's Disease andAlzheimer's Disease. There is also an interest in the military potential of biological neurotoxins such as cyanotoxins, which "have gained increasing significance as potential candidates for weaponization."
As if it is bad enough there is fluoride put into two-thirds of the countries water supply.