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What Are Commercial Growers Using to Water Your Food?

The most common way for farmers to water their crops – our food – is through waste water. This is necessary because rainfall rarely supplies enough water and droughts are rampant.  Waste water consists of waste from homes, industry and storm water.  The use of waste water is readily available year round and often is the only source of water available, especially for urban farmers.Using untreated waste water to irrigate crops is a health risk, as it contaminates our food supply.

farmers use contaminated water to grow our food

Waste Water is Used to Grow Your Food

What About Natural Water Supplies?

Other options available to farmers include rivers, wells and ground water.

Let’s look at these options. First we have rivers. According to the Atlantic Wire, half of the rivers in the U.S. pose health risks due to pollution and the Environmental Protections Agency (EPA) concludes that the majority of the rivers and streams in the U.S. can’t support healthy aquatic life.  Furthermore, 71% of the rivers in the north east and deep south were rated poor.

You can probably guess why. Pollution. This polluted water is the cumulative effect of chemicals, waste water and fertilizer. It kills plant life, erodes the soil and harms fish, wildlife and our food. Can you imagine growing food with water that kills life!

Wells and ground water aren’t any safer. Ground water is an accumulation of rain and melting snow.   Ground water always contains contaminants and natural impurities. The effects of pollution on this rain and melting snow further contaminate this water supply.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) some of these “natural contaminants” include chlorides, arsenic, boron and radon – a gas formed by the breakdown of radioactive uranium.  Ground and well water is also littered with byproducts of human activity and can contain fertilizers, animal manures, herbicides, insecticides and pesticides.

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