There’s a disturbing problem here, the main point being that we only learn about spills, leaks, etc. when they are very large, large enough to really smell and taste bad, and often are not pretty, either. But what about the other leaks and spills that are not so large, but which nevertheless can cause health problems? Those occur, but those drinking the coolaid made from that water won’t know.

What is to be done about those whose drinking water comes from rivers and streams that are subject to such discharges? There are types of monitoring systems that could help. Also, I’m a firm believer in taking samples and storing them over time. One big composite sample, say for a year, even, could be mixed up and analyzed for very low concentrations of things. The results could help point the way to culprits such as the West Virginia spiller.