The Clean Water Act requires all water sanitation departments to meet minimum standards of water toxicity. This entails that all sanitation stations must make sure that a certain amount of chemicals and waste products are removed from water be it to be safe for swimming or drinking. The water sanitations systems, however, are not required to cleanse drinking water of harmful pesticides.
As water flows down the Mississippi river it accumulates more and more chemicals used in farming. None of these chemicals are tested for or required by law to come out of the water supply. The delta of the Mississippi, in New Orleans is highly toxic. It is filled with all the waste products of farming and none of the water is cleaned before it comes out of faucets in peoples homes.
As a result of this over site in legislation, water sanitation is at its lowest when it enters the Gulf of Mexico. While it is still considered drinkable, the water is full of chemicals that would otherwise be considered unsafe for human consumption. The city of New Orleans has one of the highest rates of intestinal cancers in the country.
This effects the economy of the area in that it effects the people of the area. Health insurance rates are considerably higher in this area due to the increased risk of cancers and worker productivity is cut down by illness. It is little wonder that businesses and people have been leaving this city since the late 1990's.