We would like to believe that our water supplies are safe and reliable, but that’s not always the case. In fact, water supplies can become contaminated with various types of chemicals and toxins due to being dumped or accidentally spilled into the groundwater or emptied into the sanitary sewer system where it cannot be effectively removed at treatment plants. The contamination often occurs through the negligence or criminal actions of others, especially those that run manufacturing plants, landfills, dry cleaning businesses and gas stations.
If you suspect that your drinking water has been contaminated, you should first contact your county or city health department, the environmental protection division of your State government and the Federal Environmental Protection Division (EPA). Next contact a law firm that practices environmental law to determine if there are other steps you need to take. The State and Federal environmental agencies will conduct at an investigation at some level to determine if contamination has occurred and the source.
The governmental agencies and attorneys will provide you with any information on any health risk associated with the contamination and any steps you can take to safeguard you and your family’s health. Ultimately, it is medical professionals who can best weigh the risks. The law firm that you contact may be able to point you to various state and federal health resources that can assist you in finding the appropriate health providers to advise you.
In addition to potential health risks, contaminated soil and groundwater can severely depress your home’s fair market value. When you go to sell your home, you will most likely be required to reveal that such contamination exists, especially where the chemicals or toxic contaminants have caused noxious vapors to intrude into your home.
Just ask yourself if you would be willing to purchase a home where such contamination exists. Even if you would, don’t you believe a substantial discount would be warranted? In some severe situations, you may even be forced to move from your home by a governmental health agency and prohibited from selling your home.
Obviously, the costs of medical care and the loss of your property’s fair market value can be substantial and devastating. Both Federal and State laws exist that allow you to seek recovery of those expenses.
You also entitled to seek compensation for the mental duress, and physical pain and suffering, caused by the contamination. Finally, in a number of situations, you can even recover the contingency fees and litigation expenses incurred in having to retain a law firm.
Even if you feel that getting your case to trial and winning will be difficult, do not be discouraged. An experienced attorney can provide you with the knowledge and advice that can help you decide whether to pursue legal action.