Hurricane Irma made landfall in The Florida Keys and then again south of Naples, Florida on September 10th, its high winds destroying buildings and knocking out power to more than a million people. The widespread flooding across the coast lead to damage that would create unsafe drinking water in several counties throughout Florida, bringing to life the warning from Quartz the day before that “Hurricane Irma will likely cover South Florida with a film of poop.” Irma caused dozens of vulnerable and rickety sewage systems to overflow onto the landscape of an already flood prone state after the power went out, taking with it any hope the pumping stations, installed in the 1970’s, could keep up with the storm surge. Streets, waterways, and residences have been impacted across the entire state. Lee County, which includes Fort Myers, has had an estimated sixty-eight sewage system overflows due to the hurricane, but has no estimate as to how many gallons of sewage were spilled. This is an extremely dangerous situation to residents’ health, because if sewage makes its way into the waterways, Florida’s drinking water will be contaminated with toxins and bacteria that could lead to serious health risks. Three more “minor” overflows occurred in Collier County, including one in Naples, totaling two hundred gallons of spilled sewage between the three sewage systems. These three “minor” overflows should concern Florida citizens, as there are still the sixty-eight overflows that I mentioned earlier, in Lee County, with no number as to how many gallons were spilled. Such a large amount of sewage being released into the ground could result in gastrointestinal illnesses if the sewage has contaminated drinking water. These sewage overflows make Florida’s water quality questionable, as there is an increased possibility for the water to contain contaminants, such as chemicals, toxins and bacteria. The Water Management District has installed temporary pumps to relocate floodwaters into the Big Cypress Basin in Collier County, before moving the floodwaters back out to sea. This will hopefully reduce the amount of floodwaters that are pouring into the Imperial River and keep a large amount of toxins out of the ground and out of the waterways. After Irma, Sarasota County alone had over 242,000 cubic yards of debris that needed to be removed and properly disposed of. This large amount of debris is very concerning, as it is likely to contain toxins, chemicals, or bacteria that are harmful to people; the longer it is waiting to be collected, the more potential it has to spread those toxins into waterways and into the water supply. Several counties in Florida have also issued water advisories for enteric bacteria. With such an obscure name, the presence of enteric bacteria in water reveals that there is fecal pollution present in the water. Yes, that is gross. Swimming in, or ingesting this water, could lead to an upset stomach, diarrhea, eye irritation, and skin rashes. If none of those symptoms sound like much fun to you, which I am guessing they don’t, you are not alone. We have come to rely on water that is readily available, clean, and safe for people to drink, bathe and cook in, and unfortunately that is something that Florida is having to struggle with the aftermath of Hurricane Irma. While, during the flooding, safe drinking water was made available to residents, more long-term options need to be considered for Florida residents. Individual residences should look into water filtration systems to provide the peace of mind that comes with having safe and pure drinking water. Our water filtration system utilizes KDF media to remove chemicals, heavy metals, chlorine, and bacteria that live in water. Our filtration system will not require any maintenance, making it the best water filtration for whole house usage; yet will continue to provide you with high quality, safe, and clean drinking water. Let us help you, your family, and your loved ones be safe and healthy by providing you with the best water available.