Problems We Found With Anchorage Drinking Water – Hydroviv

Problems We Found With Anchorage Drinking Water

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Problems We Found With Anchorage Drinking Water
Emma Schultz M.S. | Scientific Contributor   

For our assessment of Anchorage tap water, we aggregated water quality test data from the Anchorage Water & Wastewater Utility, the water provider for Anchorage, 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 sell in Anchorage are optimized with these issues in mind.

Source Of Anchorage Drinking Water

Anchorage tap water comes from both ground and surface waters. Eklutna Lake, which is surrounded by the snowfields and glaciers of Chugach State Park, accounts for approximately 84% of the water that Anchorage customers receive. Supplementary surface water comes from Ship Creek, much of which is also in Chugach State Park. Ancillary groundwater (12% of the supply in 2016) comes from ten wells in Anchorage and Chugiak-Eagle River, which pump from aquifers that are also recharged by the runoff and snowmelt from the Chugach Mountains.

Lead In Anchorage Drinking Water

Lead enters into a customer’s tap water through lead service pipes and lead-containing plumbing. When corrosion control measures fail (such as recently happened in Flint, Michigan), lead leaches into the drinking water, and reaches toxic levels. Recent analysis for lead in Anchorage found a 90th percentile concentration of 1.4 parts per billion. Of the 52 sites sampled, one site exceeded the set Action Level of 15 ppb. Follow up with the residence in question found a diminished value in lead concentration after a system flush. While Anchorage is in compliance with all federal regulations, both the EPA and CDC acknowledge that there is no safe level of lead. In addition, federal regulations cannot possibly account for levels measured at an individual tap.

Chromium 6 In Anchorage Drinking Water

Chromium 6 is a highly toxic metal not currently regulated by the EPA.  Anchorage tap water has recently averaged a substantial 580 parts per trillion for chromium 6. These levels are 28 times higher than the minimum concentration determined to have a negligible impact on cancer risk.

Disinfection Byproducts (DBPs) In Anchorage Drinking Water

DBPs are emerging contaminants that are formed when chlorine-based disinfectants are added to the water supply, and later combine with naturally-occurring organic matter.  These chemicals are not well-regulated, but the EPA has stated that they are linked to an increased risk of bladder cancer, as well as kidney, liver, and central nervous system problems. Anchorage tap water has recently had somewhat high levels of DBPs, with a 2016 average of 55.9 parts per billion (more of which comes from trihalomethanes than from haloacetic acids).

Use Of Chlorine In Anchorage Tap Water

As with much of the United States, Anchorage adds chlorine to its water to protect its consumers against waterborne illness. While not considered overtly harmful, many people find that removing chlorine from their drinking water greatly improves their overall taste and odor.  When you choose to filter your tap water, we expect that you will notice an immediate improvement in taste.  

 

Still Have Questions About Anchorage Tap Water?

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” so we can build the best water filter for Anchorage tap water, but all of our water filters provide broad protection against other contaminants commonly found in drinking water (e.g. VOCs, heavy metals [including lead], pharmaceuticals, solvents, pesticides, mercury).

If you’re interested in learning more about water filters that have been optimized for Anchorage tap water, 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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  • Emma Schultz