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AMERICA: Puerto Rico Residents Forced to Drink Contaminated Water

Desperate Puerto Rico residents are drinking contaminated water as 36 percent of the island’s homes remain without potable water. The Environment Protection Agency, EPA, confirmed that residents are now filling jugs and buckets with water from several Superfund sites, or “waterways,” where “hazardous commercial and industrial wastes have been ... dumped.” Citizens are taking water from the Caguas, San German, Dorado, Cabo Rojo and Maunabo Superfund-designated sites, among others scattered throughout the island. The Sewer and Aqueduct Association, a government authority, is distributing water from the Dorado well. Most of these localities, including San German, are contaminated with tetrachloroethylene and trichloroethylene solvents used to degrease and clean industrial machinery, as well as to dry clean clothes. The EPA advised residents “against tampering with sealed and locked wells or drinking from these wells, as it may be dangerous to people’s health.” Yet, people in Puerto Rico have no other choice.

The Sewer and Aqueduct Association, a government authority, is distributing water from the Dorado well.

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