It’s easy to relegate thoughts of bacteria-laden streams, rivers contaminated with heavy metals, and otherwise polluted water sources to so-called “third-world” countries and developing nations. But the truth is that the same problems that afflict these parts of the globe are very present right here in the United States. What’s more, these water sources are not just in rural America; the problem affects major cities around the country, including our nation’s capital. The Potomac river is perhaps one of the best examples of a polluted major water source. Estimated to provide drinking water to two million people in the capital region, the Potomac and its tributaries have fallen victim to years of disregard by Washington-area residents. The problem stems from urban runoff, neglectful farmers, and land development efforts. Still another example of a polluted American waterway is none other than the “mighty” Mississippi. Flowing from Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico, the water of the Mississippi picks up all sorts of pollutants along the way, and by way of its tributaries, transports them through more than 31 states, affecting millions of people. So what is to be done about this modern-day plague? Residences protect themselves with point of use systems that employ a number of technologies, including reverse osmosis and UV filtration. Businesses on the other hand, generally incorporate application-specific technologies such as those for coffee and ice filtration. Regardless of your specific water concern, it’s important to inform yourself about the quality of your drinking water – it may not be as clean as you think.