The political and practical concerns surrounding modern farming have led to an increase in the use of insecticides and pesticides. It may be the case that you only buy organic produce rather than food that has been grown using these methods. As commendable as that may be, sadly, it doesn’t protect you and your family from all the effects of these chemicals. One of the main issues that we have in our country today is a reduction in our water quality due to agricultural runoff. When it rains, the water gathers up the chemicals on the ground and flushes them into our aquifers and waterways. Consequently, our domestic water supply has become compromised and a number of health concerns have been raised.
The Impact on Natural Systems:
When scientists talk about natural systems, they are referring to geographical systems, such as rivers and also flora and fauna. The way living plants, birds and animals interact with water can provide a great deal of information for environmental scientists. A recent study was carried out by the U.S. Geological Survey across several states and associated rivers. The scientists were looking the impact of agricultural chemicals on natural systems, and they tracked toxins called neonicotinoids. These toxins were found to be universally present in every watershed that was tested, throughout every growing season.
The Threat to the Food Chain:
The impact of these findings that were published recently raises a lot of questions about the threat posed by modern farming techniques. The creatures most at threat, are of course the targeted group; insects. These insects form the base of the food chain for both birds and aquatic life. Another recent study in Holland showed a decline in aquatic and avian life in areas where insecticides had been used. The concentrations found in the U.S. are lower than the level that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considers to be fatal for aquatic insects. Other scientists believe that the EPA estimates for toxicity levels may be too high and further study is required.
The Presence of Neonicotinoids:
Neonicotinoids are synthetic nicotine, they’re a neurotoxin that was first introduced in the mid 90’s, and they have exploded in popularity. These are now the most used insecticides worldwide, replacing chemicals that were deemed to be too toxic for human and animal life. The Neonicotinoid family, includes clothianidin, acetamiprid, imidacloprid, nithiazine, nitenpyram, thiacloprid, and thiamethoxam. It seems clear that these chemicals are affecting the lives of flora and fauna, but there is no scientific consensus on the level of risk to human health.
If you’re concerned about high levels of insecticides or other contaminants in your water, contact a local water treatment professional. There are many different models of water softeners/water conditioners and water filtration systems available to deal with a diverse variety of water quality issues. Always make sure that your chosen water professional has full WQA certification to ensure that they meet and even exceed water industry standards.
About The Author, Terry Reeh, EcoWater Systems of Nebraska:
With more than 25 years experience in the residential and commercial water treatment space, Terry is a WQA (Water Quality Association) certified water specialist, LEVEL 3, as well as a WQA certified sales representative. Terry currently sits on EcoWater Systems (a Berkshire Hathaway Company) national Peers committee, as a water treatment expert advising other water professionals with less experience on best trade and technology practices. EcoWater Systems of Nebraska is one of the biggest water treatment and water delivery businesses in the state.