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Beyond Flint: Contaminated Drinking Water is Everywhere in America

Agricultural runoff is poorly regulated and turning many waterways across the country into dangerous cesspools

The water crisis in Flint, Michigan, became a national news story, and for good reason. Republican leaders in the state were finally forced to take steps to stop the poisoning of Flint's drinking water with lead and other toxins, foisted on the community as part of a short-sighted cost-cutting measure. Despite improvements, the future of Flint's water supply is uncertain, but at least that story has brought increased attention to the problem of lead in water in many large cities, including Chicago.

The grim reality, however, is that the problems with American drinking water are diverse and widespread, even if most aren't quite as severe as what happened in Flint. Agricultural waste in particular is poisoning water, especially in rural areas, creating a myriad of health risks. Current government policy remains poorly equipped to deal with this issue.

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