Problems We Found In Baltimore's Drinking Water – Hydroviv

Problems We Found In Baltimore's Drinking Water

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Problems We Found In Baltimore's Drinking Water

Kezia Snipe | Hydroviv Research Analyst

For Hydroviv’s assessment of tap water in Baltimore, MD, we aggregated water quality test data from City of Baltimore Department of Public Works, 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 the scientific and medical literature, and look at upcoming regulatory changes.  The water filters that we build for our neighbors in Baltimore (Hydroviv is a DC-based company) are optimized with this research in mind.

Source Of Baltimore's Drinking Water

Baltimore uses surface water from rainfall and snowmelt as the source of its water. This water, approximately 75-billion gallons of storage volume at maximum capacity, is collected and stored in the City-owned and operated watersheds: Liberty, Loch Raven, and Prettyboy.

Lead In Baltimore 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 Baltimore are over 5 parts per billion. Though 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.  Homes built before 1986 are most susceptible to lead contamination.  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 Baltimore Drinking Water

Chromium 6 is a hazardous metal not fully regulated by the EPA. Baltimore’s tap water recently averaged 39 parts per trillion for chromium 6. These levels are nearly 2 times higher than the concentration determined to have a negligible impact on cancer risk.

Disinfection Byproducts (DBPs) In Baltimore 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 Baltimore 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 Baltimore, but all of our 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 Baltimore 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).

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  • Kezia Snipe