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Problems We Found With Greensboro Drinking Water

Emma Schultz @ Thursday, November 2, 2017 at 4:46 pm -0400

Emma Schultz, M.S.  |  Scientific Contributor

For our assessment of Greensboro's tap and drinking water, we aggregated water quality test data from the Greensboro Water Resources Department, the water provider for Greensboro, 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 Greensboro are optimized with these issues in mind.

Source Of Greensboro Drinking Water

Greensboro’s tap and drinking water comes from surface water from three watersheds reservoirs. There are two treatment plants; the Townsend Water Treatment Plant is located northeast of Greensboro and processes water from Lake Townsend, while the Mitchell Water Treatment Plant is located in central Greensboro and treats water from Lake Brandt. The third reservoir, Lake Higgins, is used to refill Lake Brandt as water resources demand. All three lakes are located in northern Guilford County, within a protected watershed of the Cape Fear River Basin. Additional water is received from the Randleman Lake via the Piedmont Triad Regional Water Authority.

Lead In Greensboro Drinking Water

Lead is added to Greensboro's drinking water through contact with older lead service pipes and through lead plumbing. When corrosion control measures fail, as recently occurred in Flint, Michigan, lead leaches into the drinking water, and can reach hazardous levels. Recent analysis for lead in Greensboro's water found 90% of sampled concentrations below 3 parts per billion. While 98.15% of tested residences were below the Action Level of 15 ppb, and Greensboro is in compliance with all federal regulations, federal regulations can of course not account for levels measured at an individual’s tap. It should be noted that both the EPA and CDC have recognized that there is no such thing as a safe level of lead.

Chromium 6 In Greensboro Drinking Water

Chromium 6 is a hazardous metal that is not yet regulated by the EPA. In 2016, Greensboro's water quality averaged 110 parts per trillion for chromium 6. While not regulated, these levels are over 5 times higher than the minimum concentration determined to have a negligible impact on cancer risk.

Disinfection Byproducts (DBPs) In Greensboro Drinking Water

DBPs are a category of emerging contaminants that are produced when chlorine-based disinfectants are added to the water supply and then combine with naturally-occurring organic matter. These chemicals, while not regulated thoroughly, have been found by the EPA to associate with an increased risk of bladder cancer, as well as kidney, liver, and central nervous system problems. The tap water in Greensboro has recently had moderate levels of DBPs, with a 2016 average of 73 parts per billion (with an average of 45 ppb coming from trihalomethanes).

Use Of Chloramine In Greensboro Tap Water

Although most cities use chlorine as their primary disinfectant, Greensboro’s water is disinfected with chloramine, produced by mixing chlorine and ammonia. Chloramine is the primary culprit for what customers often report as the “bad taste” of tap water, and unlike chlorine will not dissipate if left in the fridge overnight. Most one-size-fits-all water filters use filtration media that doesn’t successfully removing chloramine, but the filters that Hydroviv builds for Greensboro's water use special filtration media that are specifically built to remove chloramine as well.

Still Have Questions About Greensboro'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 Greensboro 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 Greensboro 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 Greensboro Water Quality Article On Social Media With Anyone You Think Would Benefit From The Information!

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Problems We Found In San Francisco, California Drinking Water

Analies Dyjak @ Wednesday, September 13, 2017 at 3:09 am -0400

Analies Dyjak, M.A.  |  Hydroviv Research Analyst
**Updated August 16, 2019 to include current data

Our Water Nerds have updated our water quality assessment for San Francisco drinking water. We used the most recent 2019 test data from San Francisco Water, Power & Sewer, the city’s water provider 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 delve into upcoming regulatory changes. The custom water filters that we offer at Hydroviv are optimized with San Francisco's water quality in mind.

Source Of San Francisco Drinking Water

San Francisco source water originates from the Tuolmne River, and is stored in the Hetch Hecthy Reservoir. Water from the Hetch Hetchy is supplemented with water from local watersheds such as the Alameda, Peninsula, San Andreas, and Pilarcitos reservoirs. Emergency supplies include Lake Eleanor, Lake Cherry and tributaries of the Lower Cherry Aqueduct, Early Intake Reservoir and Tuolumne River.

Lead In San Francisco 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. 10% of samples analyzed for lead are 6 parts per billion in San Francisco drinking water. Though in compliance with federal regulations, EPACDC and American Academy of Pediatrics all acknowledge that there is no safe level of lead for children. 

Chromium 6 In San Francisco Drinking Water

Chromium 6 is a highly toxic metal that is not regulated by the EPA. In recent years, San Francisco’s drinking and tap water has averaged 90 parts per trillion for Chromium 6. For a bit of perspective, Chromium 6 levels in San Francisco's tap water quality are 4.55 times higher than the concentration determined to have negligible impact on cancer risk.

Disinfection Byproducts (DBPs) In San Francisco Drinking Water

DBPs are a category of emerging contaminants that form when chlorine-based disinfectants react with naturally-occurring organic matter. EPA regulates two categories of DBPs: Total Trihalomethanes (TTHMs) and Haloacetic Acids 5 (HAA5). Although these chemicals are not currently regulated very well, EPA discloses that high levels of disinfection byproducts are associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer, as well as kidney, liver, and central nervous system problems.

Chloramine Used To Disinfect San Francisco Drinking Water

While most municipalities use chlorine as the primary disinfectant, San Francisco’s water is disinfected with chloramine (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 does not dissipate if a container of water is left in the refrigerator overnight. Most one-size-fits-all water filters use filtration media that doesn’t do a great job removing chloramine, but the filters that we design and build at Hydroviv for San Francisco uses special filtration media that is purposefully designed to remove chloramine as well.

Still Have Questions?

Per and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) are being identified in a growing number of municipalities across the United States. San Francisco has not yet tested for PFAS, but several variations have been detected throughout the state of California. Not all water filters are designed to remove PFAS from drinking water.

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 San Francisco, but all of our filters provide broad protection against a wide range of contaminants.

If you’re interested in learning more about water filters that have been optimized for San Francisco tap water, have questions about our San Francisco water quality report, or 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 also frequently post water-related news on Twitter or Facebook. We pride ourselves in being a reputable source of information on water quality, and your questions will be answered by scientists, not salespeople (we don't have any salespeople).

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

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Problems We Found In Lincoln's Drinking Water

Emma Schultz @ Wednesday, November 1, 2017 at 5:58 pm -0400

Emma Schultz, M.S.  |  Scientific Contributor

For our assessment of the city of Lincoln' water quality, we aggregated water quality test data from Lincoln Water System, the water provider for Lincoln, 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 Lincoln are optimized with these issues in mind.

Source Of Lincoln Drinking Water

Lincoln’s tap water is groundwater-sourced from wells under the Platte River near Ashland. This water is directly influenced by the surface water above. A water treatment plant is located in Ashland, which treats the water before sending it on to customers in Lincoln. There are additional wells located in Lincoln, but water has not been pumped from them during the 2011-2016 period.

Arsenic In Lincoln Drinking Water

Arsenic is a dangerous heavy metal known to cause cancer, among other health problems. Arsenic originates in source water. While the city of Lincoln' water quality is in compliance with EPA water quality standards, consumers should take note that the EPA standard balances toxicity against the costs of removing arsenic from drinking water; the standard is therefore quite high. Lincoln’s most recent tap water quality report listed arsenic concentrations ranging from 6.7-7.8 parts per billion. 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.

Very High Levels Of Lead In Lincoln Drinking Water

Lead enters into tap water through aging 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 Lincoln NE water quality found a 90th percentile concentration of 4.41 parts per billion, with samples ranging up to a staggering 403 ppb. The Action Level for lead, for reference, is 15 ppb. EPA and CDC have stated 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. For perspective, the American Academy Of Pediatrics recommends that children not drink from taps with lead levels over 1 ppb.

Chromium 6 In Lincoln Drinking Water

Chromium 6 is a hazardous metal not fully regulated by the EPA. Lincoln’s tap water recently averaged 39 parts per trillion for chromium 6. These levels are nearly 2 times higher than the concentration determined to have a negligible impact on cancer risk.

Disinfection Byproducts (DBPs) In Lincoln Drinking Water

DBPs are a kind of emerging contaminants that are formed when chlorine-based disinfectants (added to the water supply to keep it safe) then combine with naturally-occurring organic matter. Although these chemicals are not well regulated, EPA has explicitly stated that they have been linked to an increased risk of bladder cancer, as well as kidney, liver, and central nervous system problems. Lincoln’s tap water has recently found DBPs averaging 49.5 parts per billion.

Use Of Chloramine In Lincoln Tap Water

While most cities use chlorine as the primary disinfectant, Lincoln’s water is disinfected with chloramine, which is made by combining chlorine and ammonia. Chloramine is the frequent culprit for what customers report as the “bad taste” of tap water, and unlike chlorine will not dissipate if left in the fridge overnight. Most one-size-fits-all water filters use filtration media that don’t adequately remove chloramine, but the filters that Hydroviv builds for Lincoln use special filtration media that are purpose-built to remove chloramine as well.

Still Have Questions About Lincoln'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 Lincoln 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 Lincoln 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 Lincoln NE Water Quality Article On Social Media With Anyone You Think Would Benefit From The Information!

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Problems We Found In Lexington, Kentucky Drinking Water

Emma Schultz @ Saturday, September 30, 2017 at 10:47 pm -0400

Emma Schultz M.S.  |  Scientific Contributor
**Updated July 31, 2019 to include current data

We've updated our assessment of Lexington drinking water to include the most current data. Our Water Nerds aggregated water quality test data from Kentucky American Water, the water provider for Lexington, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as well as from samples that we collect and analyze.  e cross reference contaminant data with toxicity studies in the scientific and medical literature, and look at upcoming regulatory changes. The water filters that we sell in Lexington are optimized with these issues in mind.

Lexington's Drinking Water Sources

Lexington tap water is sourced from surface water. Water comes from the Kentucky River where it runs through Owen County south of Lexington, and from the Jacobson Reservoir, which is located in Fayette County. According to source water assessments, the Kentucky River is most vulnerable to contamination from agricultural runoff, while the Jacobson Reservoir is most vulnerable to urban storm water runoff.

Chromium 6 Levels In Lexington Tap Water

Chromium 6 is a highly toxic metal that is not presently regulated by the EPA. Lexington's tap and drinking water quality has recently averaged 76 parts per trillion for chromium 6. These levels are nearly 4 times higher than the concentration determined to have a negligible impact on cancer risk.

Disinfection Byproducts (DBPs) In Lexington Drinking Water

Disinfection byproducts (DBPs) are halogenated emerging contaminants that occur when chlorine-based disinfectants are added to the water supply and subsequently combine with naturally-occurring organic matter. These chemicals are not well-regulated, but the EPA has stated that they have been linked to increased risks of bladder cancer, and kidney, liver, and central nervous system problems. The highest level detected in Lexington drinking water was 110 parts per billion, which exceeds the 80 part per billion Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) The highest level of haloacetic acids was 54.2 parts per billion, which is just under the MCL of 60 parts per billion. 

Chloramine Is Used To Disinfect Lexington Tap Water

Although most cities use chlorine as their primary disinfectant, Lexington’s water is disinfected with chloramine, which is generated by combining chlorine and ammonia. Chloramine is often responsible for what customers report as the “bad taste”of tap water, and, unlike with chlorine, this taste does not dissipate if water is left in the fridge overnight. Most one-size-fits-all water filters use filtration media that doesn’t successfully remove the chloramine taste, but the filters that Hydroviv builds for Lexington use special filtration media purpose-built to remove chloramine.

Still Have Questions About Lexington 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 (lead) are part of what we take into consideration when we optimize water filters specifically for Lexington tap water, but all of our water filters provide broad protection against other contaminants commonly found in drinking water (e.g. VOCs, heavy metals, pharmaceuticals, solvents, pesticides, mercury).

If you’re interested in learning more about water filters that have been optimized for Lexington 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 Lexington Drinking Water Quality Article On Social Media With Anyone You Think Would Benefit From The Information!

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Problems We Found In Minneapolis Drinking Water

Emma Schultz @ Tuesday, September 12, 2017 at 3:52 am -0400

Emma Schultz, M.S. | Scientific Contributor
Updated August 5, 2019 to include current data

For our 2019 assessment of Minneapolis drinking water, our team aggregated the most recent available information. We analyzed data from the City of Minneapolis Public Works, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as well as from samples that we collect and analyze. Our Water Nerds then cross reference Minneapolis water quality data with toxicity studies in scientific and medical literature.

Minneapolis Source Water

Minneapolis sources its drinking water from a mix of surface and groundwater. About 25% of Minneapolis water is sourced from the Mississippi River, and the remaining 75% comes from local groundwater sources. 

Chromium 6 In Minneapolis Drinking Water

Chromium 6 (also known as hexavalent chromium) is a highly toxic metal that not currently regulated by the EPA. Minneapolis tap water concentrations in Minneapolis have recently averaged 288 parts per trillion for Chromium 6. For a bit of context, these levels are over 10 times higher than the levels considered to have a negligible impact on cancer risk.

Disinfection Byproducts (DBPs)

Disinfection byproducts (DBPs) are a category of halogenated emerging contaminants that form when chlorine-based disinfectants combine with naturally-occurring organic matter. Although these chemicals are not yet tightly-regulated, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reports that high levels are associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer, as well as kidney, liver, and central nervous system problems. While Minneapolis drinking water quality is in compliance with EPA regulations, Haloacetic Acid (HAA5) concentrations are on the high end (up to 28.4 ppb in the most recent report), and Total Trihalomethanes (TTHMs) were as high as 28.7 ppb.

Chloramine

While most cities use chlorine as the primary disinfectant, Minneapolis tap water is disinfected with chloramine, which is produced by mixing chlorine and ammonia. Chloramine is typically responsible for what customers often report as the “bad taste” of tap water, and unlike chlorine, does 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 adequately remove chloramine, but the filters that Hydroviv builds for Minneapolis' water quality uses special filtration media that are purpose-built to remove chloramine as well.

Lead

Lead is a toxic heavy metal that can a major negative impact on the development of infants and children. While the city is currently in compliance with federal regulations, EPA, CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics all acknowledge that there is no safe level of lead for children. In comparison to the rest of the US, citywide lead concentrations in Minneapolis are relatively low, but roughly 10% of the sampled taps are over 3.8 parts per billion. However, the concentrations measured at an individual tap can be much higher, particularly if your home has plumbing that contains lead pipes, fixtures, or valves.

Still Have Questions?

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 Minneapolis 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).

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