Greenspace, film May 3, 2012 By Jordan Sayle

California Sprinkler/ATO Pictures

California Sprinkler/ATO Pictures

If you’re in a big city, chances are you’re just fine with your tap water. If your water tastes funny in New York, it’s probably your pipes. But if you’re on well water, like 40 million Americans are, your water might not be tested at all, so the burden is really on the user, and a lot of people don’t know that. The other thing is we produce over 80,000 chemicals that we use in this country, and only five are regulated by the Toxic Substances Act.

In so many of the scenes, we see that no one is able to fix the problems they encounter. Why is it so hard?

It’s hard not only to hold polluters accountable but to show the link to the pollution. Water moves, it’s underground. The chemicals can stay in the environment for centuries, so to try to pinpoint that moving amorphous evidence to one act and one company or one industry or one person, it makes the idea of protecting ourselves from that pollution a lot more complicated.

At one point in the film, Erin Brockovich says, “We can’t survive on Diet Coke.” Of course, the makers of Coca-Cola themselves depend on a supply of municipal water. So let’s talk about the other solutions, something like Porcelain Springs, the brand of filtered sewage water that you have people try out.

The recycled water experiment in the film served a two-fold purpose. One was to explore the idea. Recycled water could be a real substantial portion of what municipalities use. It is a strong solution and one that I hope will continue to be adopted in the face of some public fear and resistance.

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