Water Quality

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Water Testing Sewage

Water Testing

Sometimes it feels like we take water for granted. Not only do we use it to hydrate ourselves, but also use water to wash ourselves, our clothes, and the dishes! Our source of water comes from the Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers, and it’s not looking too fresh. However, there are water plants: the Baxter Plant, the Queen Lane Plant, and the Belmont Plant that clean and purify that water so that when it travels through miles of pipes, it arrives to our sinks with no hassle, right? Well, the process may seem smooth, but there are times where things can take a bad turn. As it travels through the pipes from the water plants to our homes, that water can still be re-exposed to contaminants and pollutants. When someone drinks dirty water, the short-term effects are diarrhea, vomiting, stomach aches; if someone were to drink it for a long period of time, it can cause cancer, specifically leukemia, infertility, and developmental problems for young infants.

Even though the water is tested before it leaves one of the three plants, after traveling through miles of pipes, water can be contaminated. In 2019, 90% of Philadelphia residents had 3.0 ppb and 0.28 ppb of lead and copper, respectively. This means that there were 3.0 parts per billion of small amounts of contaminant in our drinking water. This is a good thing; low levels of contaminant is in our water! However, the other 10% of residents do not have that luxury. Their water may contain high levels of these chemicals due to corrosion in their pipes or erosion of natural deposits. Students who live in these homes may have to rely on their schools to get clean water. However, there could be an adversity where some public school students in Philadelphia have expressed their concern about contaminated water in the water fountains. While Philly schools are now working to solve these problems, there still needs more work to be done, in both schools and in the Philadelphia community. If you’re curious about the water quality in your area, you can check out this link here.

Getting Clean Water

As a solution, houseplants can help clean up the air a little bit. The English ivy is the most common indoor plant with the most benefits for air quality. According to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), English ivies can remove toxins from the air such as benzene, formaldehyde, xylene, and toluene. As a plus, this ivy also helps removing remove airborne mold in your home which could also cause you to get sick. The snake plant is also very beneficial to have around for those who have asthma. It can help with irritating chemicals that can be found in everyday cleaning supplies. The snake plant has the specialty from removing benzene from cigarette smoke or even car exhaust that you might be breathing in. Also, taking care of this plant is super easy because you don’t need to water it often and it requires very little attention. 

Some foods are known to help with good lung health from which is something everyone could benefit from. A lot of people who have asthma tend to have low vitamin D levels, so foods rich in that would help. These foods could be milk, eggs, and fish, such as salmon. Vitamin E is also very good for the immune system and it helps to protect and repair damaged lung tissues. It also aids in red blood cell formation, which would increases your oxygen levels within the body. These foods could be carrots, red, orange, and yellow fruits and vegetables. Foods that are rich in beta carotene are definitely something to include in your diet as well as magnesium. Magnesium helps improve lung flow and volume, and these foods could be pumpkin seeds, salmon, spinach, and even dark chocolate. Foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation and these are mostly plant based fats such as fish, nuts, seeds, and plant oils.  Before taking any vitamin supplements, always check with your doctor as some supplements may interfere with other medications you may be taking.  (ALEXIS – I WOULD BOLD THIS.) 

 

Amazon Water Program

Roofmeadow is responsible for many green roof architecture and installations in Philly. Ask community members for help, or to raise money, and see if a location you like qualifies for a project.  

Collection

Cloud Nine is a green roof on top of the Guild House West senior residence where volunteers grow crops and herbs to sell at local food markets and donate to food banks. Get your hands dirty and help out. 

Amazon Water Program

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