Problems We Found With Buffalo Drinking Water – Hydroviv

Problems We Found With Buffalo Drinking Water

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Problems We Found With Buffalo Drinking Water

Emma Schultz, M.S. | Scientific Contributor   

For our assessment of Buffalo tap water, we aggregated water quality test data from Buffalo Water (managed by Veolia NA), 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 Buffalo are optimized with these issues in mind.

Source Of Buffalo Drinking Water

Buffalo’s tap water is surface water-based and originates in Lake Erie. Despite its size, Lake Erie is a very shallow lake, and has a water detention time of only 2.6 years. This quick turnaround time for water replenishment helps to explain the success of cleanup efforts following the heavy pollution of Lake Erie in the 1960s and 1970s. Buffalo’s water intake is located upstream of the Niagara River in the Emerald Channel, and flows through a mile-long tunnel before reaching a pumping station. Water then proceeds to underground basins for treating and filtering, before being stored in a 28 million gallon clearwell.

Lead In Buffalo 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 Buffalo found an average of 2.5 parts per billion, with a 90th percentile concentration of 4.1 ppb, and samples ranging up to a concerning 33.5 ppb. 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 In Buffalo Drinking Water

Chromium 6 is a highly toxic metal not regulated by the EPA. Buffalo’s tap water recently averaged 70 parts per trillion for chromium 6, with samples ranging up to 90 ppt. These levels are 3.5 times higher than the concentration determined to have a negligible impact on cancer risk.

Use Of Chlorine In Buffalo Tap Water

Like many cities in the United States, Buffalo adds chlorine to its water supply to keep consumers safe from waterborne illness. While not considered overtly harmful, many people find that when they remove the chlorine from their tap water, they notice an improvement in taste and odor. When you choose to filter your tap water, we believe you will notice an immediate taste enhancement.  

Still Have Questions About Buffalo’s 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 Buffalo 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 Buffalo 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