As we search the nearby universe for signs that we are not alone, scientists say the single most important thing they look for is water. Any form of life that we know of, or can even imagine, requires the presence of water. Yet to look at the dramatically declining quality of the water in the earth’s oceans and in our lakes, rivers, streams, aquifers and reservoirs makes one pause and wonder whether we really appreciate this most precious resource.
Pollution on Water
There are many causes for water contamination but they fall into two general categories: Direct and indirect contaminant sources.
- Direct sources - factories, refineries and waste treatment plants that discharge fluids directly into water supplies.
- contaminants entering the water supply from soils and groundwater
systems and from the atmosphere via rain. Soils and groundwater contain
the residue of fertilizers, pesticides and improperly disposed industrial
waste. Atmospheric contaminants come from automobile exhaust, power plants
and other industrial factories.
Effects of Water Pollution
Infectious diseases including diarrhea, skin irritation and respiratory problems can be spread through contaminated water. These diseases are more prevalent in areas with poor sanitary conditions. Organic compounds present in pesticides can damage the nervous system and can cause cancer. Some chlorides can cause reproductive and endocrine system damage. Lead affects the central nervous system. Benzene and other petrochemicals can cause cancer. Chlorinated solvents are linked to reproductive disorders and some cancers. Arsenic can cause liver and nervous system damage. Stagnant water and untreated water provide a habitat for mosquitoes and parasites that spread diseases especially in tropical regions.
Legal Rights for
Claims for personal injury due to water contamination are usually filed in state courts and each state has a law requiring claims to be filed within a certain period of time after a diagnosis– usually between one year and three years. Because time is required to investigate and evaluate a case in order to determine the nature and extent of contaminant exposure and what companies or businesses were responsible, commencing the process should not wait until the time limit has nearly expired.
Most law firms and lawyers experienced in contaminated water illness and injury claims provide their services on a contingent fee basis. This means that they only earn a fee if they are successful in obtaining compensation for the claimant. In addition, they will fund the costs of the litigation including the cost of investigating and verifying a claim and preparing it for filing.