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What’s Wrong With What We Drink?

Contaminated water in America is not confined to Flint, Michigan. Ralph welcomes Seth M. Siegel, author of “Troubled Water: What’s Wrong With What We Drink,” who not only outlines the problem with our most precious resource but tells us what we can do to fix it.


Seth M. Siegel is a lawyer, an activist, a serial entrepreneur and the author of the New York Times bestseller, Let There Be Water. His writing has appeared in leading publications in America, Europe and Asia. Mr. Siegel has spoken on water policy hundreds of times around the world and in Congress, the United Nations, the World Bank, and at dozens of leading universities. His latest book is Troubled Water: What’s Wrong With What We Drink.

“We were led to believe falsely that Flint was a unique situation… I believe that once we alert Americans everywhere that this is just not a problem on Indian reservations – although it’s a terrible problem there. It’s not just a problem in poor black communities – although it’s a terrible problem there. But this is a universal problem. Once people understand that, I believe people will demand of their public officials that they start to move on this.” Seth M. Siegel, author of Troubled Water: What’s Wrong With What We Drink

“As regards to drinking water ‘legal’ does not necessarily equal ‘safe.’ We are led to believe ‘Oh, the water’s fine. The EPA blessed it. It’s fine. The mayor said it’s fine.’ And the mayor could say, ‘Hey, it’s completely legal according to all the EPA guidelines.’ But it doesn’t mean the water is necessarily safe.” Seth M. Siegel, author of Troubled Water: What’s Wrong With What We Drink


  1. stephen says:

    thanks so much for this.

    i drink public water. i use glass or ceramic or earthenware containers to drink from. i cook my beans in steel containers.

    chlorine is a problem, especially chlorinate. i have heard that vitamin C (fennel seed, lime juice, ginger) breaks the bonds that hold the elements of chlorine together.

    salt in water helps break the pesticide/herbicide bonds.

    ralph says end on end that we own this and that (that there is a commons). the problem is that our entry points into power (employment, government, family) are profoundly skewed toward personal wealth. this is a >2500 year old problem.

    i just read in a biography about Will Rogers that Dawes “scared” the non-black landless into a theft scheme with bankers on the basis that the Cherokee nation was a reflection of Henry George. Robert Owen, in 1826, published a statement in The New Harmony Gazette called On Individual Society vs. Cooperative Society. At that time, there was concern for the problem of single-family housing. How long will we be scared into living in perpetual conflict? As long as we have no clear option. A funded option. an opt into public control. not governmental control, municipal control.

    public banks are a start. Ranked Choice Voting is a way to get there.

    • Afdal Shahanshah says:

      Stephen, unfortunately what you refer to as ranked choice voting (Instant Runoff Voting is the precise term) is not a path to getting there. Why? Because Instant Runoff Voting still fundamentally encourages too much tactical voting for third parties to break through power. Every country and municipality that has used IRV for single-winner (non-proportional) elections has maintained a two-party system in those offices because IRV simply isn’t good enough. There do exist far superior voting methods to IRV and progressives have really got to get informed about them already. Please learn about Approval and Score voting, it’s very important that voting method reform advocates choose the right method. If you pick a bad one like IRV you risk confusing and deflating the movement for multi-party electoral politics, or worse, the general public getting so upset with IRV’s unsavory pathologies that they repeal IRV and return to plurality voting (as Burlington, Vermont did in 2009), convincing themselves that alternative voting methods are a waste of time and effort.

  2. Thanks No says:

    I used to work for water quality and management for a state EPA. It is worse than you think. I have seen what local utilities will do to ensure they pass inspection. We should start from the assumption that ALL tap water and most bottled water is contaminated.

  3. Thomas M says:

    I was surprised that the topic of fluoride didn’t come up in this show!!!!!
    May be some other time.
    Thanks for taking my comment.

    Thomas M.’
    Vancouver, WA

  4. CConcern says:

    The dramatization of DuPont’s poisoning of a community “Dark Waters” hits the big screen today. I’m glad to see it broke through the fantasy lineup. The PFAS story is beginning to be heard.

    • Mary C. Dare says:

      Einstein’s nephew Dr ,Bhonner ,(the soap company) wrote an anti fluoride letter to a Christian newspaper saying Fluoride would be a slow certain death!!

  5. David Coles says:

    There was essentially no mention of specific contaminants that are known to be dangerous and should be monitored, but are not being monitored. My conclusion is that the 91 contaminants already being regulated are indeed the most important. If we should really be alarmed about the thousands of others, some specifics would help.

  6. I listened to the radio show and I read the book Troubled Water. I actually spoke with Seth about this problem and I want to pass on some information that we discussed. I work for a company called The Trident Water Company and we re located in Port St. Lucie, Florida. We make water with what we call Pure Water Generators which we say Trident makes water under a license from Mother Nature and here is why. There are 3.8 quadrillion gallons of water in the clouds at all times. It has been there since the beginning of time and it never dissipates. It has been there since the beginning of time and will always be there because of the water cycle. In the clouds, water is in a in a gaseous state, then it rains and it turns from a gas into water. The lightening occurs and it charges the rain and makes Ozone which is the most powerful anti-bacteria in the world. When we make our water we use this same process and it is patented. Our water is pure. We will deliver it in glass bottles which are reusable and delivered to homes in PSL in wood crates which are also reusable and recyclable. Our process never hurts the environment, all of our delivery products used are reusable. Go to our website and read the FAQ’s and it will answer just about every question you have on pure Drinking Water.

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