According to the article linked below, coal ash contains several heavy metals, including lead, mercury, and arsenic, which can get into drinking water when coal ash is improperly dumped, or dump sites are unregulated.
According to this article from Charlotte, North Carolina, city officials believed that an increased level of arsenic found in one of the city’s reservoirs is the direct result of pollution from coal plants. Arsenic, along with zinc, are two metals found in coal ash, the spread of which can contaminate water. Samples of fish from the reservoir also detected traces of mercury, another toxin in coal ash.
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