Water Pollution problems

The NY Times is running a series on America's water problems.
 
Legislation is an interesting issue.  People think "if it's legal, it must be safe."  But the challenge is the laws were written in response to issues several decades ago, before the large scale use, or ability to detect of chemicals.  Before folks really understood how these chemicals could affect people, or what they would do in combination, as a cocktail in the water system.
 
The list of pollutants to detect is laughable.  The penalties to the industries that do pollute are as weak.  The areas mentioned in the article have access to legal water.  And each living person has access to water, but quality and long term effects are not considered.  Unfortunately the body count doesn't rise fast enough in order to merit more attention.
 
This also highlights another issue in our water infrastructure.  We know that at least 20% of all treated water is lost to leaks/drips/cracks in the infrastructure.  When the water pressure is high enough, that essentially pushes the outside contaminants away from the leaks, and keeps the water inside the system relatively consistent.  But what happens when the water pressure is dropped?  We only check for the water quality as it leaves the facility, not what happens to it as it travels along the pipes to the taps.  If more materials get into the system.  Or when the treatment cocktail is changed, and all the material that has collected on the inside of the pipes suddenly gets cleared. This causes issues quickly.  It's happened before, and will happen again.