Problems We Found With St. Petersburg's Drinking Water
Emma Schultz, M.S. | Scientific Contributor
For our assessment of St. Petersburg tap water quality, we aggregated water quality test data from the Water Resources Department of the city of St. Petersburg 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 St. Petersburg are optimized with these issues in mind.
Source Of St. Petersburg Drinking Water
The City of St. Petersburg's tap water is supplied by Tampa Bay Water, a regional water utility with six members, of which the city of St. Petersburg is one. The water that consumers receive comes from a mixture of groundwater, surface water, and desalinated water. The majority of groundwater originates from eleven well fields pumping from the Floridan aquifer. Surface-based water originates in the Alafia River, the Hillsborough River, the C. W. Bill Young Regional Reservoir, and the Tampa Bypass Canal. Desalinated water comes mainly from the Hillsborough Bay and is treated at the Tampa Bay Seawater Desalination plant. The city of St. Petersburg maintains the Cosme Water Treatment Plant, located in northwest Hillsborough County.
Lead In St. Petersburg Drinking Water
Lead enters into St. Petersburg consumer's tap water through old lead service pipes and lead-containing plumbing. When corrosion control measures fail (as recently witnessed in Flint, Michigan), lead leaches into the drinking water, reaching toxic levels. Recent analysis for lead in St. Petersburg found an average of 2.1 parts per billion, with 1 of the 86 samples exceeding the action level of 15 ppb (at 18 ppb). Both the EPA and CDC recognize that there is no such thing as a safe level of lead. Federal regulations cannot possibly take into account levels measured at an individual tap.
Chromium 6 In St. Petersburg Drinking Water
Chromium 6 is a highly toxic metal that is not regulated by the EPA. St. Petersburg’s tap water recently averaged 82 parts per trillion for chromium 6. These levels are 4 times higher than the concentration determined to have a negligible impact on cancer risk.
Use Of Chloramine In St. Petersburg Tap Water
While most cities use chlorine as the primary disinfectant, St. Petersburg’s water is disinfected with chloramine, which is made by combining chlorine and ammonia. Chloramine is the frequent issue when customers report a “bad taste” in their tap water, and unlike chlorine will not fade away if left in the fridge overnight. The recent chloramine running annual average for St. Petersburg was 3.81 parts per million, with samples ranging as high as 6.6 ppm; the maximum residual disinfectant level, in comparison, is only 4.0 ppm. Most one-size-fits-all water filters use filtration media that don’t adequately remove chloramine, but the filters that Hydroviv builds for St. Petersburg use special filtration media that are purpose-built to remove chloramine as well.
Still Have Questions About St. Petersburg’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 St. Petersburg 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 St. Petersburg tap water, feel free to visit www.hydroviv.com, reach out by email (email@example.com) or through our live chat. We also frequently post water-related news on Twitter or Facebook.
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- Emma Schultz