Problems We Found With Orlando Drinking Water


Emma Schultz, M.S.  |  Scientific Contributor
**Updated July 17th, 2019 to include current data

For our assessment of Orlando tap and drinking water quality, we aggregated water quality test data from the Orlando Utilities Commission, the water provider for Orlando, 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 Orlando are optimized with these tap and drinking water quality issues in mind.

Source Of Orlando Drinking Water

Orlando drinking water comes from Lower Floridan Aquifer, which is located a quarter mile underground. This deep aquifer is located underneath layers of sand and clay, as well as being underneath the Upper Floridan Aquifer and a layer of limestone. The Orlando Utilities Commission operates seven water treatment plants, which draw up the water from the aquifer and treat it before sending it off to customers.

Lead In Orlando Drinking Water

Lead enters into Orlando's tap and drinking water through older 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 reaches dangerous levels. 2014 analysis for lead in Orlando found a 90th percentile concentration of 5 parts per billion, with one sample exceeding the Action Level of 15 ppb. EPA and CDC have made clear that there is no such thing as a safe level of lead, and of course, federal regulations cannot take into account levels measured at an individual tap. Hydroviv Undersink filters are NSF/ANSI 53 certified to remove lead from drinking water.

Chromium 6 In Orlando Drinking Water

Chromium 6 is a dangerous metal not well regulated by the EPA. Orlando tap water quality recently averaged 46 parts per trillion for chromium 6. These levels are 2 times higher than the concentration determined to have a negligible impact on cancer risk.

Disinfection Byproducts (DBPs) In Orlando Drinking Water

DBPs are a category of halogenated emerging contaminants that form when chlorine-based disinfectants (added to the water supply to protect consumers) react with naturally-occurring organic matter. EPA regulates two categories of DBPs: total trihalomethanes and haloacetic acids 5. These chemicals are not well regulated, although the EPA has explicitly stated that they have been associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer, as well as kidney, liver, and central nervous system problems. Trihalomethanes in Orlando water ranged as high as 82.41 parts per billion, but averaged 77.94 parts per billion. These levels are just shy of the EPA Maximum Contaminant Level of 80 parts per billion.

Use Of Chlorine In Orlando's Tap Water

Like many cities and towns in the United States, Orlando adds chlorine to its water to protect consumers against waterborne illness. While not considered harmful on its own, many people find that removal of chlorine from drinking water improves taste and odor. When your tap water is filtered, we believe you will notice an immediate taste improvement.

Still Have Questions About Orlando's Tap Water?

Per and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) are a category of emerging contaminants. They have been detected in a growing number of municipalities across the United States. Most cities are not required to test for or remove PFAS from drinking water, including Orlando. Not all water filters are designed to remove PFAS from tap water. If you'd like find water filters that remove PFAS from tap water, check out this Duke/NC State PFAS study.

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 Orlando tap water, but all of our home water filtration systems provide broad protection against other contaminants commonly found in drinking water (e.g. VOCs, heavy metals [including lead], pharmaceuticals, solvents, pesticides, mercury).

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