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The Dangerous Effect of Coal-Powered Plants on Drinking Water Quality

The poisonous discharge of coal-powered plants has a disturbing effect on the quality of drinking water. Power plant discharge accounts for approximately one-third of toxic environmental pollution. Coal-fired power plants release enormous quantities of toxic metals, amounting up to millions of tons annually. The list of heavy metals includes mercury, arsenic, selenium, thallium, and cadmium.

Without proper water treatment, this discharge can cause severe harm to anyone tapped into the local water supply. Some of these elements can remain in the water despite the standard purification methods of municipal water treatment facilities.

The health ramifications of coal-powered plant pollutants

Pollutants end up in watersheds, like the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, and impact not only the various marine life and marine ecosystems, but also the drinking water for the people living in these areas. The effects on public health are devastating. Toxic waste in drinking water can lead to increased rates of congenital disabilities and cancer, and it is difficult to estimate how many lives are lost because of it each year.

Some groups, like pregnant women, are especially high-risk. Exposure to mercury, in particular, may cause damage to a baby’s brain and nervous system. In a long-term view, this may also translate to issues with cognitive development and motor skills in children.

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Coal powered plants in Maryland

According to the Clean Water Action organization, Maryland has 7 coal-powered plants:

  1. Brandon Shores
  2. Wagner
  3. Dickerson
  4. Chalk Point
  5. Warrior Run
  6. Morgantown
  7. Charles P. Crane

Unfortunately, none of these plants are required to regulate their heavy metal discharge, meaning local waterways are getting contaminated with heavy metals and other harmful contaminants created by these plants. The Clean Water Action organization also states that one power plant in particular, Warrior Run in Alleghany County, discharges into the Lower North Branch of the Potomac River which flows directly into the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) jurisdiction. 

The WSSC is responsible for filtering drinking water for residents living in Prince George’s and Montgomery counties. Without any regulations for coal powered plants, the WSSC must take extra precautions ensuring people are getting clean and filtered water delivered to their homes.

Another plant, Brandon Shores, is quite close to communities like Pasadena, MD and Glen Burnie, MD in Anne Arundel county and the surrounding waterway. Combined with the Wagner plant, the plants consume approximately 4.8 million tons of coal annually

The necessity of drinking water treatment

While the most effective strategy in improving water quality is dealing with the source of pollution, legislation may make that challenging. In 2019, the Federal government proposed to reduce regulations pertaining to coal-powered plants. It is a concerning development, as this can cause further deterioration in drinking water quality. For now, the only possible solution is even more stringent water treatment for domestic use.

Water pollution is very difficult to reverse. Despite advanced and costly technology used to treat water, it can be challenging to reduce the level of pollutants enough to make the water suitable for drinking. The United States Clean Water Act regulates water quality standards, differentiating between various uses (drinking, irrigation, etc.).

Upgrading water treatment facilities in urban areas can reduce pollution in drinking water. However, in some areas, drinking water quality faces so many threats that the treatment facilities find it difficult to cope with the challenge. Before your water enters your home and flows from the tap, it goes through a standard purification process. These steps include coagulation and flocculation, sedimentation, filtration, and disinfection. Sometimes, this process is not enough. Even more, water is susceptible to contamination from other environmental sources and aging systems after it leaves the treatment plant. Your water may look and smell fine but still not meet safety standards.

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Make sure that your drinking water is safe

As far as your drinking water is concerned, you don’t want to compromise. Fortunately, our Hague WaterMax® BEQ has you covered on problematic issues that may concern your home’s water supply. Our system is perfectly designed for the effective filtration of city water by adding another layer of filtration before your water flows from the tap. We are so confident in the quality of our product that we offer a 25-year Manufacturer’s Limited warranty.

The Hague WaterMax® BEQ treats water through a multi-stage process, eliminating sediment, balancing hard water, and removing the taste of chlorine. With our system, you will no longer need to rely on bottled water and can drink clean, fresh water straight out of the tap. You’ll have peace of mind by removing health concerns from drinking questionable water.

For your convenience, we now offer a “contact-less” water test kit for $200 in addition to our free in-person water test for new customers that will be mailed directly to your home. Just get a sample of your water, send it to our lab, and we’ll mail the results directly to you! Call us at (410) 757-2992 to learn how the water experts at Hague Quality Water of Maryland will help you determine the perfect filtration solution for your home.