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Problems We Found In Indianapolis Water

Ernesto Esquivel | Policy Nerd   

For Hydroviv’s assessment of Indianapolis’ drinking water problems, we collected water quality test data from the utility provider and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. We cross referenced Indianapolis’ water quality data with toxicity studies in scientific and medical literature. The water filters that we sell at Hydroviv are optimized to filter out contaminants that are found in Indianapolis’ drinking water.

Where Does Indianapolis Source Its Drinking Water?

Indianapolis primarily sources its drinking water from the White River, Fall Creek, Eagle Creek Reservoir, and 6 groundwater wells. Citizens Energy Group, the utility provider, delivers drinking water to over 800,000 residents in the Indianapolis area.

Lead In Indianapolis Drinking Water 

In recent years, Indianapolis has had a major problem with lead in drinking water. Lead enters tap water through old lead service pipes and lead-containing plumbing.10% of sites that were tested for lead had concentrations over 9 parts per billion. The City of Indianapolis tested 58 samples and reported one sample over the 15 parts per billion action level set by EPA. It’s important to note that the Center for Disease Control, Environmental Protection Agency, and  American Academy of Pediatrics all recognize that there is no safe level of lead for children. Additionally, these measurements may not be a true indication of your tap water if your home has lead plumbing or lead fixtures. Treated water leaving the plant may be in compliance with loose EPA standards, but could become contaminated once it enters older infrastructure. Houses built before 1986 were most likely built with lead plumbing and lead fixtures. Lead exposure can cause developmental issues, lowered IQ, and damages to the kidneys and brain.

Disinfection Byproducts In Indianapolis Drinking Water 

Citizens Energy Group detected disinfection byproducts or DBPs in this years drinking water assessment. DBPs are split into two categories: Total Trihalomethanes (TTHMs) and Haloacetic Acids-5 (HAA5). Concentrations of haloacetic acids were detected at 39 parts per billion and reach levels as high as 50 parts per billion. EPA’s Maximum Contaminant Level is 60 parts per billion for Haloacetic Acids. Concentrations of trihalomethanes were detected at 61 parts per billion, but had levels as high as 86 parts per billion. EPA’s Maximum Contaminant Level is 80 parts per billion for trihalomethanes. Disinfection Byproducts are a category of emerging contaminants which means they have been detected in drinking water but the risk to human health is unknown. DBPs are formed when chlorine based disinfectants are routinely added to the water supply to kill bacteria. Regulatory agencies have very little knowledge about the adverse health effects of DBPs, and their toxicity. EPA has stated that they have been linked to an increased risk of bladder cancer, as well as kidney, liver, and central nervous system problems.

It’s important to note that only a handful of contaminants are required to be included in annual Consumer Confidence Reports, and that there are hundreds of potentially harmful unregulated contaminants that aren’t accounted for. If you’re interested in learning more about water filters that have been optimized for Indianapolis tap water quality, feel free to visit www.hydroviv.com to talk to a Water Nerd on our live chat feature or send us an email at hello@hydroviv.com.

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5 Things Houston Residents Need To Know About Chromium 6 In Drinking Water



Eric Roy, Ph.D.  |  Scientific Founder    

Since a local news story broke about high levels of chromium 6 (also known as hexavalent chromium) in Houston's tap water (which serves about 2.2 million people), we've been getting a lot of questions about chromium 6.  The goal of this Houston water contamination article is to speak to the science, comment on the current federal regulations, and to give Houston residents practical advice on how to reduce their exposure to Chromium 6.

Why Should I Care About Chromium 6 In Drinking Water?

Chromium 6 is a highly toxic form of chromium that is known to cause cancer in humans.  It contaminates drinking water supplies through wastewater discharge from industries including:  steel production, leather tanning, textile manufacturing, wood preservation, and electroplating.  In more popular culture, it was the chemical made famous by Erin Brockovich, whose story was made into a movie starring Julia Roberts.  To be clear, chromium 6 is NOT the same thing as chromium 3 (also known as trivalent chromium)

How High Are Chromium 6 Levels In Houston's Tap Water?

Houston's tap water chromium 6 levels are very high, 3rd highest of major US cities, behind only Phoenix and St. Louis.  The 3 year average for Houston's drinking water supply is just under 750 parts per trillion, peaking at 6500 parts per trillion.  To put it in perspective, these levels are roughly 35-300 times higher than the 20 part per trillion concentration established using criteria widely cited by scientists and doctors for negligible risk.

Is Houston In Violation Of Federal Regulations?

Even though it is a known carcinogen, the US EPA does not currently regulate chromium 6.  Instead, EPA lumps highly toxic chromium 6 into the same category as chromium 3 (a form of chromium that is an essential dietary nutrient).  Because chromium 6 is unregulated, water contaminated with high levels is considered "compliant" with federal regulations.  This is absurd.

Are These High Levels Due To A Recent Temporary Spike In Chromium 6?

No.  The local and nationwide stories are shining a light on a longstanding and ignored problem.  

How Can Houston Residents Reduce Their Exposure To Chromium 6? 

The only way to remove the chromium 6 from Houston's drinking water is to filter it out  with a water filter that is designed to remove chromium 6 or reverse osmosis.  Boiling or freezing water does not remove chromium 6.   

As always, we encourage people to take advantage of our "Help No Matter What" approach to technical support.  Our water quality experts will help you solve your problem, even if you have no intention of buying a Hydroviv Water Filter for your home. 

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Problems We Found With Phoenix Water Quality

Kezia Snipe | Hydroviv Research Analyst   

For Hydroviv’s assessment of Phoenix's water quality, we aggregated water quality test data from City of Phoenix Water Services Department, the water provider for Arizona’s capital city, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as well as from samples that we collect and analyze.  We cross reference these data with toxicity studies in the scientific and medical literature, and look at upcoming regulatory changes.  The water filters that we offer at Hydroviv are optimized with this research in mind.

Source Of Phoenix Drinking Water

The sources of Phoenix’s city and tap water include rivers, lakes, streams, springs and wells. In 2016, about 98 percent of Phoenix’s water came from surface water that mostly started as snow pack. Phoenix’s primary sources of untreated surface water are the Salt, Verde and Colorado rivers. Some water from the Agua Fria River is mixed with water from the Colorado River when stored in Lake Pleasant. The water is then delivered to one of the city’s five water treatment plants. Colorado River water is delivered to the city via the Central Arizona Project aqueduct. Water from the Salt and Verde rivers is delivered via the Salt River Project canal network. The remaining two percent of Phoenix' drinking water was supplied by about 20 groundwater wells currently operated by the city.

Chromium 6 In Phoenix Drinking Water Is Highest In The US

Chromium 6 (also known as hexavalent chromium) is a highly toxic metal that is not regulated by the EPA.  Unfortunately, Phoenix's city and tap water  has the highest levels of this toxic metal among all major US cities.  In recent years, tap water in Phoenix has averaged 8 parts per billion for Chromium 6, with a maximum of 54 parts per billion.  For the sake of perspective, these levels correspond to 400x and 2700x higher than the concentration determined by toxicologists to have negligible impact on cancer risk.   We strongly recommend that all Phoneix residents filter their water for chromium 6.

Arsenic In Phoenix Drinking Water

Arsenic is a toxic metal that is known to cause cancer and other health issues.  Unlike lead, which distributes into water from plumbing, arsenic comes from the source water itself.  Phoenix is in compliance with EPA water quality standards but it’s important to mention that EPA’s standard balances the toxicity against the costs of removing arsenic from drinking water. Phoenix's most recent tap water quality report shows an average arsenic concentration up to 8 parts per billion.  We highly recommend that anyone with more than 1 part per billion take steps to remove arsenic from their water, especially if they have children.  

Lead Levels In Phoenix Drinking Water

Lead enters tap water through older lead service pipes and lead-containing plumbing.   When corrosion control measures put in place by the municipality fail (like what recently happened in Flint, Michigan), lead leaches into the drinking water, and can reach dangerous levels. Currently, 10% of samples analyzed for lead in Phoenix are over 5 parts per billion.  While currently in compliance with federal regulations, EPA and CDC both acknowledge that there is no safe level of lead, and federal regulations do not take into account levels measured at an individual tap.  

Disinfection Byproducts (DBPs)

DBPs are a category of emerging contaminants that form when chlorine-based disinfectants react with naturally-occurring organic matter.  Although these chemicals are not currently regulated very well, the EPA has admitted that they are associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer, as well as kidney, liver, and central nervous system problems.

Chlorine

Like many other municipalities in the United States, Phoenix injects its city and tap water with chlorine, which is typically used to protect against waterborne illness.  Chlorine is not typically considered to be harmful on its own but many find that removing chlorine from drinking water greatly enhances its taste and odor.  

Still Have Questions?

Hydroviv is a water filtration company that uses water quality data to optimize water filters for each city’s water.  The chemicals that we list above are what we consider to be “points of emphasis” for the filters that we sell in Phoenix, but all of our filters provide broad protection against other contaminants commonly found in drinking water (e.g. VOCs, solvents, pesticides, mercury).  If you’re interested in learning more about our city-specific water filters, feel free to visit www.hydroviv.com, reach out by email (hello@hydroviv.com) or through our live chat.  We also frequently post water-related news on Twitter or Facebook, so check us out!

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Problems We Found With Chicago's Drinking Water

Kezia Snipe | Research Analyst   

For Hydroviv’s assessment of Chicago's water quality, we aggregated water quality test data from the City of Chicago Department of Water Management, the water provider for America’s third largest city, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as well as from samples that we collect and analyze.  We cross reference these data with toxicity studies in scientific and medical literature, and look at upcoming regulatory changes.  The water filters that Hydroviv offers are optimized with these numbers in mind.

Chicago's Polluted Source Water:  Lake Michigan

The City of Chicago pulls raw drinking water from Lake Michigan and treats it at two water treatment plants. The Jardine Water Purification Plant serves the northern areas of the City and suburbs, while the Sawyer Water Purification Plant serves the southern areas of the City and suburbs. Lake Michigan has a long history of pollution problems, including a recent chromium 6 release from an abutting steel facility

Lead Contamination In Chicago Tap Water

Lead enters tap water through older lead service pipes and lead-containing plumbing. Because an older city like Chicago has a large number of lead pipes, we are not surprised to find high lead levels in Chicago.  Additionally, recent media reports identified Chicago as a city that used "sampling cheats" to report artificially low concentrations.  Even so, in the most recent EPA data, 10% of samples analyzed for lead in Chicago were over 9 parts per billion. Though Chicago's water quality is technically in compliance with federal regulations, the EPA and CDC have both acknowledged that there is no safe level of lead, and federal regulations do not take into account levels measured at an individual tap.  First-draw samples that we pulled and analyzed for lead in Chicago (17 total) were all over 20 ppb.  We highly recommend that Chicago residents that live in the older part of the city filter their water for lead.

Chromium 6 Contamination In Chicago Tap Water

Chromium 6 is an extremely toxic metal that is not currently regulated by the EPA. In recent years, Chicago tap water has averaged 190 parts per trillion for Chromium 6.  For the sake of perspective, these levels are 9.5 times higher than the concentration determined to have negligible impact on cancer risk

Disinfection Byproducts (DBPs) In Chicago Drinking Water

DBPs are a category of emerging contaminants that form when chlorine-based disinfectants react with naturally-occurring organic matter.  Although these chemicals are not currently tightly regulated, the EPA has admitted that they are associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer, as well as kidney, liver, and central nervous system problems.

Chlorine Makes Chicago Tap Water Taste Bad

Like most other municipalities in the U.S., Chicago injects its water with chlorine to protect against waterborne illness. While not typically considered to be harmful on its own, many people find that removing chlorine from drinking water greatly enhances its taste and odor.   

Still Have Questions About Chicago Tap Water?

Hydroviv is a water filtration company that uses water quality data to optimize water filters for each city’s water.  The Chicago water pollution issues that we list above are what we consider to be “points of emphasis” so we can design and build the best water filter for Chicago tap water, but all of our water filters provide broad protection against other contaminants commonly found in drinking water (e.g. VOCs, lead, solvents, pesticides, mercury).

If you’re interested in learning more about water filters that have been optimized for Chicago's drinking water problems, feel free to visit www.hydroviv.com, reach out by email (hello@hydroviv.com) or through our live chat.  We also frequently post water-related news on Twitter or Facebook.

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Problems We Found In Oklahoma City's Drinking Water

Kezia Snipe | Hydroviv Research Analyst

For Hydroviv’s Oklahoma City water quality report, we aggregated water quality test data from Oklahoma City Utilities, the city’s water provider, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as well as from samples that we collect and analyze.  We cross reference these data with toxicity studies in scientific and medical literature, and look at upcoming regulatory changes.  The water filters that we build for people who live in Oklahoma City are optimized with these figures in mind.

Source Of Oklahoma City Drinking Water

Oklahoma City’s water footprint spans 250 miles and includes seven surface water reservoirs from five counties in Oklahoma. They include Canton Lake in northwest Oklahoma, McGee Creek, Lake Atoka, and Sardis Lake in southeastern Oklahoma, as well as Lake Overholser, Lake Hefner and Lake Stanley Draper in Oklahoma City.

Arsenic In Oklahoma City Drinking Water

Arsenic is a toxic metal that is known to cause cancer and other health issues. Unlike lead, which distributes into water from plumbing, arsenic comes from the source water itself. Long Beach is in compliance with the EPA’s water quality standards but it is very important to point out that EPA’s standard balances the toxicity against the costs of removing arsenic from drinking water. The most recent Oklahoma City water quality report revealed an average arsenic concentration up to 2 parts per billion for  the cityHydroviv recommends that anyone with more than 1 part per billion take steps to remove arsenic from their water, especially if they have children. 

Chromium 6 Levels In Oklahoma City Drinking Water

Chromium 6 is a highly toxic metal that is not regulated by the EPA.  In recent years, Oklahoma City’s tap water has averaged 110 parts per trillion for Chromium 6, with levels reaching 390 parts per trillion.  While they are in compliance with nonexistent federal and very loose state regulations, these levels are 5.5-19 times higher than the concentration determined to have negligible impact on cancer risk

Lead Levels In Oklahoma City Tap Water

Lead is a contaminant that enters OKC's tap water when it leaches from lead-containing pipes, valves, joints, and fixtures, and homes built before 1986 are particularly susceptible.  2015 was the most recent year when Oklahoma City collected samples for lead analysis, and they found that the 90th percentile was 5 parts per billion or below.  For sake of comparison, the American Academy Of Pediatrics is lobbying for policy that fixes taps for children that produce water with more than 1 part per billion lead.

Disinfection Byproducts (DBPs) In Oklahoma City Drinking Water

DBPs are a category of emerging contaminants that form when chlorine-based disinfectants react with naturally-occurring organic matter.  Although these chemicals are not currently regulated very well, the EPA website discloses that high levels of disinfection byproducts in drinking water are are associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer, as well as kidney, liver, and central nervous system problems.  Oklahoma City's disinfection byproduct levels are on the upper end of compliance.

Use Of Chloramine In Pittsburgh Tap Water

While most cities use chlorine as the primary disinfectant, Oklahoma City water is disinfected with chloramine (which is formed by mixing chlorine and ammonia).  Chloramine is the primary culprit for what many customers report as the “bad taste”of tap water, and unlike chlorine will not dissipate if left in the fridge overnight.  Most one-size-fits-all water filters use filtration media that successfully removing chloramine, but the filters that Hydroviv builds for Oklahoma  City use special filtration media that are designed to remove chloramine as well.

Still Have Questions About Oklahoma City Tap Water Or Water Quality In General?

Hydroviv is a water filtration company that uses water quality data to optimize water filters for each customer's water.  The contaminants that we list above are what we consider to be major “points of emphasis” that we use to build water filters that are built specifically for Oklahoma City, but our filters provide broad protection against a wide range of additional contaminants found in Oklahoma City's tap water.

If you’re interested in learning more about water filters that have been optimized for Oklahoma City's water, or just have questions about water quality in general, feel free to visit www.hydroviv.com, reach out by email (hello@hydroviv.com) or through our live chat. We also frequently post water-related news on Twitter or Facebook.  We pride ourselves in being a reputable source of information on water quality, and your questions will be answered by scientists, not salespeople (we don't have any salespeople on staff).

Please Share Our Oklahoma City Water Quality Report On Social Media With Anyone You Think Would Benefit From The Information!

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Problems We Found In San Antonio Drinking Water

Kezia Snipe | Hydroviv Research Analyst

For Hydroviv’s San Antonio water quality report, we aggregated water quality test data from the San Antonio Water System, the water provider for the Texas city and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as well as from samples that we collect and analyze. We cross reference these data with toxicity studies in scientific and medical literature, and look at upcoming regulatory changes.  The water filters that Hydroviv offers are optimized with these numbers in mind.

Source Of San Antonio Drinking Water 

The source of the San Antonio Water System drinking water originated as groundwater from the Edwards, Carrizo and Trinity aquifers, and in some areas, surface water from Canyon Lake and Lake

Lead In San Antonio Drinking Water

Lead enters tap water through older lead service pipes and lead-containing plumbing. When corrosion control measures put in place by the municipality fail (like what recently happened in Flint, Michigan), lead leaches into the drinking water, and can reach dangerous levels. Currently, 10% of samples analyzed for lead in San Antonio are 4.08 parts per billion. Though San Antonio's water quality is in compliance with federal regulations, the EPA and CDC have both acknowledged that there is no safe level of lead, and federal regulations do not take into account levels measured at an individual tap. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that any taps used to serve children have lead levels no higher than 1 part per billion.

Chromium 6 In San Antonio Drinking Water

Chromium 6 is an extremely toxic metal that is not currently regulated by the EPA. In recent years, San Antonio tap water has averaged 140 parts per trillion for Chromium 6. For the sake of perspective, these levels are 7 times higher than the concentration determined to have negligible impact on cancer risk


Disinfection Byproducts (DBPs) In San Antonio Drinking Water

DBPs are a category of emerging contaminants that form when chlorine-based disinfectants react with naturally-occurring organic matter.  Although these chemicals are not currently regulated very well, the EPA has admitted that they are associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer, as well as kidney, liver, and central nervous system problems.

Still Have Questions About San Antonio Drinking Water?

Hydroviv is a water filtration company that uses water quality data to optimize water filters for each customer's water.  The contaminants that we list above are what we consider to be major “points of emphasis” that we use to build water filters that are built specifically for San Antonio's water quality, but all of our  filters provide broad protection against a wide range of contaminants (including lead).

If you’re interested in learning more about water filters that have been optimized for San Antonio tap water, or just have questions about water quality in general, feel free to visit www.hydroviv.com, reach out by email (hello@hydroviv.com) or through our live chat. We also frequently post water-related news on Twitter or Facebook.  We pride ourselves in being a reputable source of information on water quality, and your questions will be answered by scientists, not salespeople (we don't have any salespeople).

Please Share This Article On Social Media With Anyone You Think Would Benefit From The Information!

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