Georgia ranks fifth among states with the most drinking water violations. That’s according to a new study by the Natural Resource Defense Council (NRDC), an environmental advocacy group.
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The study says Georgia’s violations happened mostly in rural areas with smaller water systems.
“Atlanta is a very large system and so, they likely have many professionals on staff who keep up with the rules,” said Mae Wu, the staff attorney in the NRDC’s health program. “They have technical ability to handle all the different problems and issues that come up, whereas a lot of the smaller systems do have trouble with keeping up with the rules, treatment of the water, and being able to afford the best treatment systems.”
James Capp, chief of the Watershed Protection Branch of the Georgia Environmental Protection Division, disagreed.
“If we find a problem, we’re going to fix it and the excuse of whether it was a small system or a big system really is not relevant at that point. I mean, everybody deserves clean water,” Capp said.
He said it’s also important to note that while Georgia has a lot of procedural violations, it doesn’t have a high number of health-based violations.
“When they transition to discussing the most number of health-based violations, we’re not on that list. I think that says something positive about the drinking water that we have in our state,” Capp said.
Procedural violations address paperwork and deadline issues, as opposed to health issues like lead in the water.
More information on this report can be found here.