Problems We Found In Atlanta's Drinking Water
Kezia Snipe | Hydroviv Research Analyst
For Hydroviv’s assessment of Atlanta's water quality, we aggregated water quality test data from City of Atlanta Department of Watershed Management, 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 Atlanta are optimized with these figures in mind.
Source Of Atlanta Drinking Water
The Atlanta water system provides approximately 120 million gallons of treated drinking water for more than 1 million residents in the metropolitan area. The Chattahoochee River serves as the only local surface water supply. The Chattahoochee Water Treatment Plant processes river water directly while the Hemphill Water Treatment Plant processes water from a reservoir that is filled from the river. Together the plants produce 75 percent of Atlanta’s drinking water. The rest of Atlanta's tap water is supplied by the Atlanta-Fulton County Water Treatment Plant that also processes water from the Chattahoochee River. Jointly owned by the City of Atlanta and Fulton County, it produces water for the northeast portion of the drinking water distribution system.
Lead Levels In Atlanta Drinking Water
Lead enters into a consumer’s tap water through old 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 can reach toxic levels. Recent analysis for lead in Atlanta found an average of 2.5 parts per billion. While the regulatory limit is 15 ppb, both the EPA and CDC recognize that there is no such thing as a safe level of lead. Of course, federal regulations cannot take into account levels measured at an individual tap.
Chromium 6 Levels In Atlanta Drinking Water
Chromium 6 is a highly toxic metal that is not regulated by the EPA. In recent years, Atlanta’s tap water has averaged 150 parts per trillion for Chromium 6. While Atlanta's water quality is in compliance with nonexistent federal and very loose state regulations, these levels are 7.5 times higher than the concentration determined to have negligible impact on cancer risk.
Disinfection Byproducts (DBPs) In Atlanta 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.
Still Have Questions About Atlanta 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 Atlanta, but our filters provide broad protection against a wide range of additional contaminants found in Atlanta's tap water.
If you’re interested in learning more about water filters that have been optimized for Atlanta's water, or just have questions about water quality in general, feel free to visit www.hydroviv.com, reach out by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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).
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- Kezia Snipe