Problems We Found With Hialeah's Drinking Water
Emma Schultz, M.S. | Scientific Contributor
For our assessment of Hialeah tap water, we aggregated water quality test data from the City of Hialeah’s Department of Public Works, 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 Hialeah are optimized with these issues in mind.
Source Of Hialeah Drinking Water
Hialeah’s drinking water is groundwater-sourced, and comes from the Biscayne and Upper Floridan Aquifers. Most of Hialeah’s water is purchased from Miami-Dade County; water pumped from the Biscayne Aquifer is treated at facilities owned and operated by Miami-Dade County before being distributed to Hialeah. The Hialeah Reverse Osmosis Water Treatment Plant is jointly owned by the City of Hialeah and Miami-Dade County. Water at this plant is pumped from the Upper Floridan Aquifer.
Arsenic In Hialeah Drinking Water
Arsenic is a dangerous heavy metal known to cause cancer, among other health problems. Arsenic originates in source water. While Hialeah is in compliance with EPA water quality standards, consumers should take note that the EPA's standard balances toxicity against the costs of removing arsenic from drinking water; the standard is therefore quite high. Hialeah’s most recent tap water quality report listed average arsenic concentrations ranging from 0.8-1.5 parts per billion for Miami-Dade County water, with an average concentration of 1.5 ppb. We strongly advocate that tap water with more than 1 part per billion be treated to remove arsenic, especially if there are children in the home.
Lead In Hialeah Drinking Water
Lead enters consumer 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 drinking water and can reach toxic levels. Recent analysis for lead in Hialeah found a 90th percentile concentration of 2.1 ppb, with one location (out of 124 sampled) exceeding the Action Level of 15 ppb. Despite the Action Level being set at 15 ppb, both the EPA and CDC recognize that there is no such thing as a safe level of lead. In addition, federal regulations cannot possibly take into account levels measured at an individual tap.
Chromium 6 In Hialeah Drinking Water
Chromium 6 is a highly toxic metal that, while monitored, is not regulated by the EPA. Hialeah’s tap water recently averaged 66 parts per trillion for chromium 6. These average levels are 3.3 times higher than the concentration determined to have a negligible impact on cancer risk.
Disinfection Byproducts (DBPs) In Hialeah 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 well regulated, the EPA has stated that they are associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer, as well as kidney, liver, and central nervous system problems. DBPs in Hialeah’s tap water had a 2016 local running annual average of 43 parts per billion.
Use Of Chlorine and Chloramine In Hialeah Tap Water
Like most cities in the United States, Hialeah’s Reverse Osmosis plant adds chlorine to its water supply to keep consumers safe from waterborne pathogens. 2016 levels of chlorine, while under the Maximum Residual Disinfect Level of 4.0 ppb, averaged 3.2 ppb, close to the MRDL threshold. While not considered harmful in low concentrations, many people find that removing the chlorine from their water supply results in a taste and odor improvement.
Unlike the Hialeah RO plant, Miami-Dade County’s water is disinfected with chloramine, which is produced by mixing chlorine and ammonia. Chloramine is responsible for what many customers report as the “bad taste”of tap water, and unlike chlorine this bad taste will not fade if a container of water is left in the fridge overnight. Most one-size-fits-all water filters use filtration media that doesn’t adequately remove chloramine, but the filters that Hydroviv builds for Hialeah’s Miami-Dade water use special filtration media that is purpose-built to remove chloramine as well.
In 2016, the local running annual average for chloramines was 2.6 ppm and the upper detected range was 4.5 ppm, which is over the MRDL of 4.0 ppm. Based on previous local running annual averages, this is an Maximum Contaminant Level violation.
When you choose to filter your tap water for either chlorine or chloramine, especially with levels as high as those in Hialeah, we believe you will notice an immediate taste enhancement.
Still Have Questions About Hialeah’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 Hialeah 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 Hialeah 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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- Emma Schultz