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Troubled Water: What's Wrong with What We Drink

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  53 ratings  ·  23 reviews
New York Times bestselling author Seth M. Siegel shows how our drinking water got contaminated, what it may be doing to us, and what we must do to make it safe.

If you thought America's drinking water problems started and ended in Flint, Michigan, think again. From big cities and suburbs to the rural heartland, chemicals linked to cancer, heart disease, obesity, birth
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published October 1st 2019 by Thomas Dunne Books
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Sep 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

This book was really comprehensive in its coverage on the history of drinking water, some notable places where there are unique situations, and laws involving drinking water. I learned a lot!

I had never fully realized all of the roadblocks to getting cleaner drinking water. I really appreciate that this author put all of this information together. Clean water should be important to everyone, and I think everyone should read this
Oct 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The USGS (United States Geological Service) has an interesting Water Science School document called "The Water in You: Water in the Human Body." In it we learn that all told, the human body is composed of about 60% water. Some organs and tissues have higher water content than others, for instance our lungs are about 83% water, kidneys about 79%, brain and heart about 73% and even our bones are about 31% water. One should consider where that water comes from and what is in that water that makes ...more
May Ling
Nov 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science
Summary: So well written on the topic of water safety. I did not know a lot about the topic and now, wow, I’m a bit concerned and yet thankful for the fact I live in metro NYC. I think everyone should read this book, especially if they have children.

First, I dream that one day I’ll be able to take complex topics and write them as plainly and as easy to read as Seth does. Wow. I’d like to meet you if you ever see this review.

Second, for those that might be concerned that this is some sort of
Budd Margolis
Oct 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I received a complimentary copy and was asked to provide an honest review which I am happy to do as I am deeply concerned about the quality of our life and health as I hope you are as well?
The author decided to focus on the quality of the water in the United States with the recognition that some countries have better and some have worse water. But the USA has tremendous wealth and could well afford to provide safe and clean water to its citizens. It does not.
The EPA is lax in protecting us from
Donna Hines
Aug 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, netgalley
The trouble with clean drinking water didn't happen overnight nor will it be solved in one day. It began way before Flint Michigan or California but it won't end with just toilet to tap solutions.
Treating raw sewage for human consumption may be just the start as many areas are seeking clean water solutions to the numerous health problems from lead, radon, perchlorates, to contaminants that are less well known but equally destructive to the human body.
These contaminants result in everything from
Oct 20, 2019 rated it liked it
I just finished reading the book. The description of the author on the Macmillan Publishing website is, in relevant part "SETH M. SIEGEL is a lawyer, an activist, a serial entrepreneur and the author of the New York Times bestseller Let There Be Water."

Let me start with praise; the book is incredibly researched and well-written. My praise cannot go further. The book details the sometimes horrible health and other consequences of the adulteration of drinking water. So far I am reminded of a
Brandon Pytel
Nov 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
In his second book, Siegel explores drinking water in the U.S. and the surprising lack of regulation of the industry. In the wake of environmental disasters linked to water – Parkersburg, Flint, Newark, Hoosick Falls (where the book starts) – Siegel dives into how we got into these messes, how regulatory agencies and politicians failed us, and how we ended up with dangerous drinking water linked to cancer and other health problems.

Part of the root of the problem is the lack of regulatory
Oct 29, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: health, politics
First, I want to thank St. Martin's Press for the advance reader copy.

Unfortunately for me, I didn't like it as much as his last book, Let There Be Water. In Let There Be Water, I came away thinking that most of the narrative was fact based and fairly presented. I think he does a good job of being fact-based in Troubled Waters, but he makes little effort to fairly present the issue. I think my main takeaway is disappointment. I think Seth points out many failures in the regulation of drinking
So, here I sit, reviewing this book, drinking water from my fridge in my metal water bottle...thinking I'm doing the right things. Well...maybe. Does the bottle have a plastic lining? I don't know. If so, is it lined with BPA? Is the fridge filter getting out contaminants? What about all those facial scrubs I used to use that have those tiny particles?? They cannot be filtered out in municipal treatment centers. Well, shall I just use bottled water and forego the tapwater? Where did the water ...more
Feb 14, 2020 rated it liked it
Siegel's previous book about water issues induced some hard wincing with its happy-smiley tone. But it sounded like that problem wouldn't come up this time, given that the topic of this one was how American drinking water is a terrifyingly underregulated crapshoot. Indeed, the author mostly tamped down his starry-eyed optimism this time, as he roved from talking about industrial chemicals to pharmaceuticals to plastic residues to lead piping to severe regulatory dysfunction.

I'm still not won
Sep 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Troubled Water by Seth Siegel was very eye opening and I would recommend everyone read it. There was a lot of content in it about things that I was already aware of, such as how so much of the chemicals that we use just end up back in our water, through things such as run off, landfill contaminants, or chemicals that are not filtered out. But it is one thing to know about it, and a completely different thing to read about it all together and in the same place. Overall, it was a very disturbing ...more
Nov 23, 2019 rated it liked it
Received complimentary copy of this book from the publisher with the request to read and post an honest review.

This book is extremely detailed and well researched. There are parts I found extremely well written, as well - particularly the Orange County section, which details an area in America which has an effective drinking water policy. I also appreciate the author being truly non-partisan in his approach to the book, which is tough to do given drinking water problems, and drinking water
Ted Haussman
Jan 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
This one goes into the category of "everything that you were vaguely aware of, but didn't really want to know" but now, having read it, you know. The short story is our government and water utility are not protecting our health, or doing so minimally. The system is and can be gamed so that water utilities can actively thwart reporting spikes of chemicals in our water. And the fact remains that unless you live in a forward thinking place that has been proactive about water treatment, you are ...more
Nov 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The author should be commended for defining in a concise and clear language the challenges we face as a community and country to our “troubled water.” The EPA appears to be complicit and adversarial in the water crisis and there appears to be little leadership in D.C. to take on the water crisis. Mr. Siegel is a wordsmith and the prose moves along telling the story of where we were, where we are and where we might be in this arena. This book is a wake up call and solutions are offered at the end ...more
Alan Kolok
Feb 21, 2020 rated it liked it
Troubled Water is a lay persons guide to the world of drinking water. The book has a market, probably a vast one, in that it might appeal to the general public, but the language is a bit loose. For example, in one part of the book, Siegel makes the claim that Orange County's water is devoid of chemicals, those that the EPA regulates and those that they don't. How can you possibly know if a chemical has been removed if it is not measured? Um, no.

I get the point that this book is for the
Lisa Rose
Feb 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio, nonfiction
By the same author of "Let There Be Water' (on how Israel can be a model to the world on water usage and technology). My main takeaway for this one; we all need to invest in home water filters as US policy, regulation and infrastructure have not kept up with the pollutants in our drinking water.
Check out and put in your zipcode to find out what contaminants are in your drinking water.
William T
Jan 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is a hard one to rate and review. The author does a great job of making a fairly narrow subject matter, drinking water, accessible, understandable and relevant. I am thrilled I read it, but I am not sure who I could recommend it to who would really be committed to reading it.

If you are interested in all things water, and you should be, then this is an important book.
Rachel Stevenson
Nov 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audiobooks
This was a very informative book about some of the contaminants that can be in our drinking water. Each chapter in this book focuses on either a comtaininant or the laws and organizations that impact our drinking water. It is important to understand the issues surrounding our water and to ensure we understand what is in our drinking water.
Neil McGee
Oct 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Finished yesterday and has changed me and my drinking habits by making me not take something as vital as the health of water for granted.

Bottled water is for drinking, tap water is for everything else.

There is no important use of money than to purchase clean healthful water.
Margaret Bowman
Jan 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
A thorough and detailed look at today's drinking water systems and challenges.
Kitten Kisser
Aug 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Teflon In The Drinking Water, No Regulations, Toilet to Tap, Where's The Grey Water?

This was an interesting, disturbing, & at times boring read. I run my own small organic farm, with my own well water. Fracking moved in (of course, where else would one frack but in low populated areas with people who have no voice?). Naturally I am concerned about my well water. I do not use chemicals (not even the organic approved types). That doesn't mean my water is safe to drink. My water runs through
Linda Bond
Sep 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The author of Let There Be Water has turned his attention to the contaminants in our drinking water – contaminants that could be removed, but at a relatively small price that most municipalities seem reluctant to meet. And if you think bottled water is a solution, think again. From the well-known disaster at Flint, Michigan, to the complicated nature of our water systems (so many separate utilities, so little coordination), to a discussion of the sources of our contaminants, Mr. Siegel takes us ...more
Jul 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Troubled Water: What's Wrong with What We Drink is an eye opening read. I think every one should read it. Highly recommended. Five plus stars.
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Seth M. Siegel is a businessman, activist and writer. His essays have appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times and other publications around the world on business, political and cultural issues. Siegel has often appeared on television and has been widely quoted in major print media. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.