3 Instances When the Government Was Held Accountable for Water Contamination

In many cases, the government is responsible for water contamination. This can happen in several ways, such as through negligence or failure to take action.

The government is often responsible for failing to properly manage its resources and infrastructure. When this happens, it can lead to contamination due to poor management practices, such as not following proper safety protocols or ignoring warning signs. For example, if an oil company fails to follow proper procedures when drilling for oil—such as not properly cleaning up after spills—this could result in groundwater contamination.

A government may also be held accountable if they fail to protect its citizens from harm caused by other parties who are responsible for pollution. For example, if an oil company spills toxic chemicals into nearby streams or rivers without warning local residents about potential risks posed by those chemicals, then they could be held liable for any damages caused by those chemicals.

In this article, we will take a look at some cases of water contamination that were caused by the negligence of the government.

Camp Lejeune Water Contamination

The contamination of water at Camp Lejeune has been one of the most egregious government fails in recent history. The contamination was discovered in 1987, but it took until 1988 for the government to admit that there was a problem. In 1988, they began providing bottled water to the residents of Camp Lejeune and eventually replaced all of the plumbing and drinking fountains at the base with new ones that were filtered.

The initial investigation into the problem found that a chemical called trichloroethylene had leaked into ground wells used by soldiers living on the base. Trichloroethylene is used to clean metal parts, but it also has carcinogenic properties. The chemical was found at levels of up to 220 parts per billion (ppb), which is above what the EPA considers safe for humans over long periods of time (70 ppb).

The government believes that this leak occurred sometime between 1953 and 1987—a period when the Defense Department was responsible for maintaining its own water systems on base. However, it wasn’t until 1984 before they started testing for chemicals such as trichloroethylene in drinking water supplies across America because Congress passed a law requiring DOD to test its installations for hazardous chemicals in 1986 after several reports.

However, there are still many victims who have not received the payout for the Camp Lejeune Lawsuit. The government will have to pay a hefty amount to settle this lawsuit. Over a five-year period, it will cost the government an estimated $2.2 billion to pay the victims of Camp Lejeune. Up to 900,000 service members may have been exposed to the contaminated water, according to the VA estimate.

Flint Water Crisis 

Flint’s water crisis was a man-made disaster caused by the government’s negligence. The government failed to provide proper infrastructure, leading to lead contamination and other problems.

While the city depended on the Flint River for its water supply, children under the age of 6 had a 46% increased likelihood of testing at or over the CDC’s level of concern for lead exposure—5 micrograms per deciliter of blood. The blood lead levels of more than 7,000 kids aged 6 and under were examined by the CDC.

The state was aware of this problem but did not act until late September 2015, after the issue received widespread media attention and led to criminal investigations. The MDEQ has been heavily criticized for failing to require corrosion control chemicals to be added when Flint switched its water source and for ignoring residents’ complaints about discolored water, as well as test results showing elevated lead levels in tap water samples taken at homes with lead service lines in Flint during this time period.

West Virginia Chemical Spill

In January 2014, a chemical spill in West Virginia contaminated the local water supply. The incident was caused by a broken storage tank and resulted in over 300,000 people being without clean water for days.

The West Virginia chemical spill was a tragedy that left many people without clean drinking water for days and has been linked to an increase in cancer rates and other health problems.

The company responsible for the spill had known about it for months prior to its release into the town’s water supply but failed to report it as required by law.

There have been many lawsuits filed against companies involved in this spill due to negligence on their part which led to the contamination of their own product resulting in millions of dollars worth of damage done by their negligence alone.

The first time that the government was held accountable for its actions during the spill was when they were sued by residents of Charleston, West Virginia. They alleged that the companies involved with the spill and their negligence caused health problems for them and their families.

The second time that they were held accountable was when they settled with families who had been affected by the spill. They settled out of court, but it is unknown how much money they paid out or if they will pay more in future claims from people who were affected by their negligence at all levels: local, state, and federal levels.


In conclusion, it is evident that there are many instances when the government is held accountable for water contamination. These include cases where the government has been negligent in its duty to ensure that clean and safe water is available to all citizens. In order to ensure that this does not occur again, we must ensure that we hold our governments responsible for any future contamination of water sources.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back To Top