Opinion: UCF Drinking Water May be a RiskColumns, Health, News, Safety, UCF Administration, Your Voice — By Tyler M. Neher on June 30, 2012 at 6:11 pm Tweet
UCF tap water is consumed daily by tens of thousands of students, faculty, and staff members. Although it is assumed that the second largest school in the nation would provide a clean and safe source of potable water, that is unfortunately not the case. Environmental watchdog Environmental Working Group has published on their website that over the course of 343 cross campus tests, UCF has listed above the national average for exceeded health guidelines, health standard exceedances, which was four times the national average, and number of pollutants found. The specific pollutants found to be above the national health average included one isotope of Radium, Alpha particle radiation, and Cadmium.
These contaminants shouldn’t be taken lightly. On June 10, 2012, international news source Al Jazeera covered the story of tap water contamination at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. Over 130,000 formal complaints have been filed by current and former residents of the Marine Corps base against the federal government instillation for contaminating their families to toxic and radioactive chemicals through the tap water system. One man interviewed broke down and sobbed as he detailed how he felt betrayed when his daughter was diagnosed and eventually perished from leukemia caused by the tap water poisoning.
UCF should be held responsible and take action. Resources should be allocated to discovering the sources of the contaminants and addressing the issue. A university of this size should not exceed health guidelines on something that nearly every student is exposed to. UCF is putting the entire community in danger of poisoning by not acting on this issue.
Toxicity reports can be found here:
Al Jazeera article and video can be found here:
**UPDATE: July 2, 2012***
According the the June 2012 UCF Consumer Confidence Report on tap water quality, UCF tap water has continued to score above the Maximum Contaminant Level Goal for Alpha Particle Radiation, two isotopes of Radium, Nitrate, Sodium, Cadmium, Haloacetic Acids, Trihalomethanes, and Lead. These known contaminants and hazards to human health were found in UCF drinking water at levels below the legally allowed level, but above the recommended levels according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The tests were performed by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, and reflect the 2011 monitoring year. The results are publicly available, and can be located at the UCF Facilities Operations website.