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Articles by Natasha Gilbert

Natasha Gilbert is a freelance writer covering nature, the environment, agriculture and international development.

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David Butts inspects tainted water collected from taps in his home in Industry, Pennsylvania, when his filter is shut off. Tests have shown his tap water contains manganese.

This story was co-published with Public Health Watch.

When David Butts’ water filter is off and he turns on a tap in his modest house in this rural community, black water streams out.

Butts said his water has gotten progressively worse in the past decade.

The 56-year-old retired home contractor is angry that he must spend around $50 a month on filters to clean his drinking water. And he worries that before he began using filters five years ago, the dirty water was threatening the health of his ailing, elderly mother, who lives with him.

Butts is not the only one upset over tap water. Dozens of other residents in this no-frills borough about an hour’s drive northwest of Pittsburgh have experienced repeated bouts of discolored water for years, costing them money and raising fears for their health. Residents say the tainted water stains bathroom fixtures and clothing, and residual sludge blocks pipes and destroys washing machines and water filters. Some are especially worried that the... Read more

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