Problems We Found With Dallas Tap Water
Kezia Snipe | Hydroviv Research Analyst
For Hydroviv’s assessment of Dallas tap water, we aggregated water quality test data from the Dallas Water Utilities, the water provider for the major 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 we offer at Hydroviv are optimized with these numbers in mind.
Dallas Source Water
Dallas uses surface water from seven sources: the Elm Fork of the Trinity River and lakes Ray Roberts, Lewisville, Grapevine, Ray Hubbard, Tawakoni and Fork. As is the case with any surface water source, these lakes and rivers can become contaminated by any polluter within the watershed (e.g. gas stations, industrial sites). For those proficient with GIS, you can view the potential sources of contamination identified by the municipality and state as part of the source water assessment program. Unfortunately, when we did this, most of the potential sites were marked with "No Information."
Chromium 6 Contamination In Dallas Drinking Water
Chromium 6 is an extremely toxic metal that is not currently regulated by the EPA. In recent years, Dallas tap water has averaged 270 parts per trillion for Chromium 6, but measurements have been as high as 500 parts per trillion. For the sake of perspective, the average level reported is roughly 13 times higher than the concentration determined to have negligible impact on cancer risk.
Lead In Dallas 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. In the most recent data, the 90th percentile value for lead concentration was 1.1 parts per billion, which means that roughly 10% of the taps sampled are expected to be over that level. Though the city is in compliance with federal regulations (and the levels reported by Dallas are lower than the national average), 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. We encourage Dallas residents (particularly those who live in older buildings (pre 1986) to test their water for lead, using a certified lab (test kits from Amazon/Hardware stores are NOT accurate, and are typically used by companies to upsell expensive laboratory analysis).
Disinfection Byproducts (DBPs) In Dallas Tap Water
DBPs are a category of emerging contaminants that form when chlorine-based disinfectants react with naturally-occurring organic matter. Because Dallas disinfects its water with chlorine to protect against waterborne illness, it's no surprise that disinfection byproducts are present in the water. Although regulation for these chemicals is loose, and the toxicology is not yet well-understood, EPA has acknowledged that some disinfection byproducts are associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer, as well as kidney, liver, and central nervous system problems.
Chlorine In Dallas Tap Water
Like most other large municipalities in the U.S., Dallas injects its water with chlorine to protect against waterborne illness. While not typically considered to be harmful on its own, Hydroviv's Dallas users rave about how much better their water tastes when they use a properly designed water filter.
Still Have Questions About Dallas 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 design and build the best water filter for Dallas 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 Dallas tap water, 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.
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- Kezia Snipe