Hurricane Sandy’s Impact on Water Quality

In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, reports of  lost services (electricity, heat, phones, public transit, and internet) have flooded the media. Most of us take these services, luxuries if you will, for granted so in the event of their collapse (especially after a natural disaster) it certainly complicates life. One service that emerged unscathed, and arguably the most important, was the water supply. On November 1, 2012 New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg tweeted “NYC Tap Water is absolutely safe to drink.”

In a Washington Post article by James Salzman (author of “Drinking Water: A History”) he reminds readers of how for a very, very long time in our history having clean, safe drinking water was a huge problem and one that caused many (in modern times considered avoidable) deaths. Post-Hurricane Sandy however, drinking water systems triumphed. Beach water quality has suffered and residents of the hardest hit areas are encouraged to avoid going in the water altogether.

Rebuild and repair efforts have been underway for quite some time now with much work still left to do. Out of this tragedy though, it serves as a reminder to the fury of mother nature, the triumph of the human spirit, and how even in the darkest of times, there is always something to be thankful for (and in this natural disaster the drinking water supply remained in tact which speaks volumes).

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