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Problems We Found With St. Petersburg, Florida Drinking Water

Emma Schultz @ Monday, November 27, 2017 at 1:24 pm -0500

Emma Schultz, M.S.  |  Scientific Contributor
**Updated May 30, 2021 to include current data

Our Water Nerds have updated our assessment of St. Petersburg drinking water to include the most current data. To do this, we aggregated water quality test data Water Resources Department, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as well as from samples that we collect and analyze. Our team is then able to cross reference these data with toxicity studies in scientific literature. The water filters that we sell in St. Petersburg are optimized with this information in mind. 

Source Of St. Petersburg Drinking Water

The City of St. Petersburg gets drinking water from a mix of groundwater and surface water sources. St. Petersburg is part of Tampa Bay Water, along with six other regional members. Groundwater originates from eleven well fields from the Floridan aquifer. Surface-based water comes from the Alafia River, the Hillsborough River, the C. W. Bill Young Regional Reservoir, and the Tampa Bypass Canal. 

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 1.6 parts per billion. EPACDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics all recognize that there is no safe level of lead for children. 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 (hello@hydroviv.com) or through our live chat. We also frequently post water-related news on Twitter or Facebook.

Please Share This City of St. Petersburg water Quality Article On Social Media With Anyone You Think Would Benefit From The Information!

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Problems We Found In Miami, Florida Drinking Water

Analies Dyjak @ Monday, December 4, 2017 at 3:47 pm -0500

*Updated 5/18/21 to Include Most Recent Data*

Christina Liu | Hydroviv's Science Team

Miami-Dade County Water Department (MCWD) delivers drinking water to over 2.3 Million people each day. MCWD operates three regional water treatment plants: Alexander Orr, Jr., John E. Preston and Hialeah. There are five smaller water treatment plants which make up the South Dade Water Supply System and the Hialeah Reverse Osmosis Water Treatment Plant. For Hydroviv’s assessment of Miami-Dade County’s drinking water, we aggregated water quality test data from Miami-Dade County’s Water and Sewer Department, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Environmental Working Group, and the US Geological Survey. Our Water Nerds then cross referenced these data with toxicity studies in the scientific and medical literature, as well as upcoming regulatory changes. The custom water filters that we build for our customers in Miami are optimized with this research in mind.

Source of Miami-Dade County’s Drinking Water

Miami-Dade’s primary source of drinking water is groundwater from wells. The wells withdraw primarily from the Biscayne Aquifer with a limited number of wells withdrawing from the Floridan Aquifer. The Biscayne Aquifer is located just below the land surface in South Florida and is composed of a porous rock with small cracks and holes through which rainwater seeps and fills.

What Are The Major Concerns in Miami-Dade County’s Drinking Water?

Contaminants of concern in the Miami-Dade County’s drinking water include Lead, PFAS, Disinfection Byproducts, Radium, Uranium, Arsenic, and Chromium 6. Chloramine is used to disinfect the water.

Lead In Miami-Dade County’s Drinking Water

In 2018, Hydroviv’s Founder and Chief Scientist was interviewed by The Miami Times and discussed the issue of lead in the drinking water tested in homes in the Miami-Dade County area.  

Lead enters into the consumer's tap water through old lead service pipes and lead-containing plumbing. When corrosion control measures fail (as witnessed in Flint, Michigan), lead leaches into the drinking water, reaching toxic levels. 2020 lead sampling by the Miami-Dade County Water Department detected levels as high as 3.6 parts per billion. EPA, CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics all recognize that there is no safe level of lead for children. In addition, Federal regulations cannot take into account levels measured at an individual tap.

PFAS in Miami-Dade County's Drinking Water

Per and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) are a category of emerging contaminants commonly used in firefighting foam, Teflon, non-stick surfaces, stain-resistant surfaces, and food packaging. The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) has determined that PFAS exposure is associated with various adverse health effects, including an increased risk of cancer, lowered fertility rates, and developmental issues in infants and young children. A new study out of The Yale School of Public Health recently found that exposure to PFAS increases the risk of miscarriage by 80-120% in pregnant women. The Centers for Disease Control also issued a disclosure regarding a potential intersection between PFAS and COVID-19.

Even small amounts of PFAS are extremely toxic. PFAS are measured in parts per trillion, and one part per trillion is equivalent to one drop of water in 20 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

PFAS have been detected in a growing number of municipalities across the United States. Miami-Dade County voluntarily tested the water for PFOS and PFOA, and the levels were measured to be as high as 36 ppt and 11 ppt, respectively. Not all water filters are designed to remove PFAS from tap water. If you'd like to find water filters that remove PFAS from tap water, check out this Duke/NC State PFAS study. Hydroviv filters are NSF/ANSI Standard 53 certified for PFOA/PFOS removal.

Disinfection Byproducts (DBPs) In Miami-Dade County’s Drinking Water

DBPs are a category of 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 (TTHMs) and Haloacetic Acids (HAA5). The EPA has stated that DBPs have been associated with increased risk of bladder cancer, as well as kidney, liver, and central nervous system problems. In 2020, Haloacetic Acid levels ranged as high as 43 parts per billion, nearing the EPA Maximum Contaminant Level of 60 parts per billion, while Total Trihalomethane levels ranged as high as 80 parts per billion, which is at the EPA Maximum Contaminant Level of 80 parts per billion.

Radium and Uranium in Miami-Dade County’s Drinking Water

Radium is formed when uranium and thorium undergo radioactive decay in the environment.   Two of the main radium isotopes found in the environment are radium-226 and radium-228. Radium in drinking water is of primary concern because this radiation may cause cancer, kidney damage and birth defects.  Radium levels in 2020 were reported to be as high as 1.9  ppb with the EPA Maximum Contaminant Level Goal 5 ppb.  Uranium levels measured at 10 ppb in 2020, with the EPA Maximum Contaminant Level Goal set at 30 ppb.  

Use Of Chloramine In Miami Tap Water

While most cities use chlorine as the primary disinfectant, all of the municipalities within Miami use chloramine, which is made by combining chlorine and ammonia. Chloramine is frequently the 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 2020 chloramine running annual average for the Miami-Dade County was 2.5  parts per million, with samples ranging as high as 5 ppm while 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 Miami-Dade county water use special filtration media that are purpose-built to remove chloramine as well.

Arsenic in Miami-Dade County Drinking Water

Arsenic is a hazardous heavy metal that can cause cancer and other health problems. Arsenic originates in source water naturally. 2020 Arsenic levels measured across the different water treatment systems ranged from 0.4 ppb to 2 ppb.  While Miami-Dade County’s Arsenic levels were not in violation of EPA water quality standards, consumers should know that the U.S. EPA's standard balances toxicity against the costs of removing arsenic from drinking water. We strongly suggest that tap water with levels higher than 1 part per billion be treated to remove arsenic, especially in homes with children.

Chromium 6 Levels In Miami-Dade County’s Drinking Water

Chromium 6 is a highly toxic metal that is not regulated by the EPA. Miami-Dade Water was measured to have Chromium 6 levels ranging from 38 parts per trillion to 170 parts per trillion.  California has determined that 20 parts per trillion is the contaminant level below which there is minimal health risk.  The Chromium 6 levels in the Miami-Dade County Water System range from about 2 to over 8 times the level generally accepted as safe.

How Can Hydroviv Help Me?

Hydroviv is a water filtration company that uses water quality data to optimize water filters for each customer's water. The contaminants that we list above are what we consider to be major “points of emphasis” that we use to build water filters that are built specifically for Miami-Dade County water, but all of our filters also include broad protection against a wide range of contaminants.

If you’re interested in learning more about water filters that have been optimized for Miami-Dade tap water, or just have questions about water quality in general, feel free to visit www.hydroviv.com, reach out by email (hello@hydroviv.com) or through our live chat. We post water-related news on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook

Hydroviv's drinking water filters carry NSF certifications to Standard 42 (aesthetic effects-Chlorine Removal) and Standard 53 (health effects--Lead, VOCs, and PFOA/PFOS removal), and are independently tested to remove hundreds of contaminants.

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Problems We Found In Norfolk, Virginia Drinking Water

Emma Schultz @ Saturday, December 2, 2017 at 10:13 am -0500

Emma Schultz, M.S.  |  Scientific Contributor
**Updated July 5, 2021 to include current data

For our assessment of Norfolk's tap water quality, our Water Nerds aggregated the most recent water quality test data from the City of Norfolk Department of Utilities, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as well as from samples that we collect and analyze. Our team cross references these data with toxicity studies in scientific and medical literature, and look at upcoming regulatory changes. The water filters that we sell in Norfolk are optimized with these data in mind.

Source Of Norfolk Drinking Water

Norfolk’s drinking and tap water is a mixture of surface and groundwater. Water comes from eight reservoirs, with two in Norfolk proper, three in Virginia Beach, two in Suffolk, and one in Isle of Wight. Water also comes from the Blackwater and Nottoway Rivers, and four deep wells in Isle of Wight County. The City of Norfolk Department of Utilities operates two water treatment plants, the 37th Street Treatment Plant and the Moores Bridges Treatment Plant, where water is treated and filtered before being delivered to customers.

Per and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) In Norfolk Drinking Water

PFAS are a class of chemicals found various non-stick, stain resistent products, as well as fire fighting foam. PFAS are considered to be "emerging contaminants" because they are not currently regulated by EPA, but are known to be toxic and persistent in the environment. PFAS have historically been an ingredient in fire fighting foam, which is why they're often found on or near military bases. Norfolk detected PFAS levels between 73-3,373 parts per trillion, which are upwards of 169 times higher than advisory levels. Hydroviv undersink filters remove PFAS. If you'd like to check out third-party data on our removal rates, send us an email at hello@hydroviv.com.

Lead In Norfolk Drinking Water

Lead enters Norfolk consumer's tap water through old lead service pipes and lead-containing plumbing. When corrosion control measures fail (such as what recently happened in Flint, Michigan), lead leaches into drinking water and can reach toxic levels. Recent analysis for lead in Norfolk's water found a 90th percentile concentration of less than 2.5 ppb. While the Action Level is 15 ppb, the EPACDC and American Academy of Pediatrics recognize that there is no safe level of lead for children. In addition, federal regulations cannot possibly take into account levels measured at an individual tap.

Chromium 6 In Norfolk Drinking Water

Chromium 6 is a highly toxic metal that, while monitored, is not regulated by the EPA. Norfolk’s tap water recently averaged 46 parts per trillion for chromium 6. Average levels are 2 times higher than the concentration determined to have a negligible impact on cancer risk.

Disinfection Byproducts (DBPs) In Norfolk 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 concluded that they are associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer, as well as kidney, liver, and central nervous system problems. EPA regulates two categories of DBPs: Total Trihalomethanes (TTHMs) and Haloacetic Acids (HAA5). The average concentration of TTHMs in Norfolk drinking water are 45 parts per billion. The average concentration of HAA5 in Norfolk drinking water is 26 parts per billion. For a bit of context, the Maximum Contaminant Level for TTHMs is 80 parts per billion, and 60 parts per billion for HAA5.

Use Of Chloramine In Norfolk Tap Water

While most cities use chlorine as the primary disinfectant, Norfolk’s water is disinfected with chloramine, which is produced by mixing chlorine and ammonia. Chloramine is primarily responsible for what many customers report as the “bad taste”of tap water, and unlike chlorine will not dissipate if a container of water is left in the fridge overnight. Most one-size-fits-all water filters use filtration media that doesn’t do a great job removing chloramine, but the filters that Hydroviv builds for Norfolk uses special filtration media that is purpose-built to remove chloramine as well.

Still Have Questions About Norfolk’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 Norfolk 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 Norfolk 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.

Please Share This Norfolk Tap Water Quality Article On Social Media With Anyone You Think Would Benefit From The Information!

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Problems We Found In Garland, Texas Drinking Water

Emma Schultz @ Friday, December 8, 2017 at 9:45 am -0500

Emma Schultz, M.S.  |  Scientific Contributor
**Updated August 6, 2019 to include current data

For our Garland water report, we aggregated water quality test data from Garland Water Utilities, 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 Garland are optimized with these issues in mind.

Source Of Garland Drinking Water

Garland’s drinking water is surface water-sourced, and is purchased from the North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD). Water is pumped from Lavon Lake, Jim Chapman Lake, Lake Tawakoni, Lake Texoma, and the East Fork Raw Water Supply Project. Water is treated at one of the NTMWD’s six water treatment plants before being distributed to the City of Garland. Water may be stored in one of eight ground storage tanks or three elevated storage tanks.

Lead In Garland Drinking Water

Lead enters into tap water through old lead service pipes and lead-containing plumbing. When corrosion control measures fail (such as recently seen in Flint, Michigan), lead leaches into drinking water and can reach hazardous levels. A recent water quality analysis for Garland revealed a 90th percentile concentration of 3.88 parts per billion. While the Action Level is 15 parts per billion, both the EPACDC, and the American Academy of Pediatrics all recognize that there is no such thing as a safe level of lead for children. In addition, federal regulations cannot take into account levels measured at an individual tap.

Chromium 6 In Garland Drinking Water

Chromium 6 is a highly toxic metal that, although monitored, is not regulated by the EPA. Garland’s tap water recently averaged 91.2 parts per trillion for chromium 6. These average levels are over 4 times higher than the concentration determined to have a negligible impact on cancer risk.

Disinfection Byproducts (DBPs) In Garland Drinking Water

DBPs are a category of emerging contaminants that form when chlorine-based disinfectants react with naturally-occurring organic matter. While these chemicals are not well regulated, the EPA has stated they have an association with an increased risk of bladder cancer, as well as kidney, liver, and central nervous system problems. EPA regulates two categories of DBPs: Total Trihalomethanes (TTHMS) and Haloacetic Acids 5 (HAA5). The average concentration of TTHMs is 36 parts per billion, and 25 parts per billion for HAA5. For a bit of perspective, the outdated Maximum Contaminant Level for TTHMs is 80 parts per billion and 60 parts per billion for HAA5.

Use Of Chloramine In Garland Tap Water

While most cities use chlorine as their primary disinfectant, the City of Garland’s water is disinfected with chloramine, produced by mixing chlorine and ammonia. Chloramine is primarily responsible for what 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 Garland use special filtration media that is purpose-built to remove chloramine as well.

In 2016, the running annual average for chloramines was 2.93 parts per million and the upper detected range was 4.2 parts per million, which is over the Maximum Residual Disinfectant Level (MRDL) of 4.0 parts per million. It is important to note that while this is above the MRDL, it is not a violation.


Still Have Questions About Garland’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 Garland 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 Garland 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.

Please Share This City of Garland Water Quality Article On Social Media With Anyone You Think Would Benefit From The Information!

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Problems We Found In Durham, North Carolina Drinking Water

Emma Schultz @ Tuesday, November 28, 2017 at 1:28 pm -0500

**Updated June 11, 2021 to include most recent data
Emma Schultz, M.S. | Scientific Contributor

Our Water Nerds have updated our analysis of Durham, North Carolina drinking water to include the most updated data. Our team has aggregated water quality test data from the City of Durham Department of Water Management, 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 Durham are optimized with these issues in mind.

Source Of Durham Drinking Water

Durham gets its drinking water from surface water sources. The two primary sources are Lake Michie and Little River Reservoir. Supplementary water is supplied by Jordan Lake and Teer Quarry. The two treatment plants in Durham are the Williams Water Treatment Plant and the Brown Water Treatment Plant.

PFAS In Durham Drinking Water

Per and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances or PFAS are a category of chemicals found in various non-stick/stain resistant products, as well as fire fighting foam. PFAS are considered to be "emerging contaminants" because they are not currently regulated by EPA, but are known to be toxic, carcinogenic, and persistent in the environment. High levels of PFAS have been detected throughout the entire state of North Carolina, specifically in Durham. Most municipalities don't test for or remove PFAS from tap water, and most water filters are not designed to remove PFAS. A recent study by Duke University and NC State University revealed elevated levels in of a variety of PFAS compounds in Durham tap water. 

Lead In Durham Drinking Water

Lead enters Durham drinking water through older lead service pipes and lead-containing plumbing. When corrosion control measures fail (such as in Flint, Michigan), lead leaches into drinking water and reaches toxic levels. Recent analysis for lead in Durham tap water found 90th percentile concentrations of .003 parts per billion. Although the Action Level for lead is 15 ppb, both the EPA and CDC recognize that there is no such thing safe levels of lead. Of course, federal regulations cannot take into account levels measured at an individual tap.

Disinfection Byproducts (DBPs) In Durham Drinking Water

DBPs are a category of emerging contaminants formed when chlorine-based disinfectants combine with naturally-occurring organic matter. While these chemicals are not well regulated, the EPA has explicitly stated that they are linked to an increased risk of bladder cancer, as well as kidney, liver, and central nervous system problems. Both regulated types of DBPs (total trihalomethanes and haloacetic acids 5) are elevated in Durham drinking water. 

Use Of Chloramine In Durham Tap Water

While many cities use chlorine as their primary disinfectant, Durham’s water is disinfected with chloramine, made by combining chlorine and ammonia. Chloramine is the frequent culprit 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 Durham was 2 parts per million. Most one-size-fits-all water filters use filtration media that don’t adequately remove chloramine, but the filters that Hydroviv builds for Durham use special filtration media that are purpose-built to remove chloramine as well.

Still Have Questions About Durham’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 Durham 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 Durham 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.

Please Share This City of Durham Water Quality Article On Social Media With Anyone You Think Would Benefit From The Information!

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