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Problems We Found With Laredo's Drinking Water

Emma Schultz @ Monday, November 27, 2017 at 5:28 pm -0500

BREAKING 9/29/2019: Laredo has issued a city-wide boil order as the result of insufficient tap water chlorination. The city has made the adjustment, and is monitoring levels across the system. Please follow municipality's instructions for when the boil order is lifted. 

Emma Schultz, M.S.  |  Scientific Contributor

For our assessment of city of Laredo's water quality, we aggregated water quality test data from the City Of Laredo Utilities Department, 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 Laredo are optimized with these issues in mind.

Source Of Laredo Drinking Water

Laredo’s drinking water is surface water-based, and comes from the Rio Grande River. There are two water treatment plants that filter and treat water for Laredo customers. The Jefferson Water Treatment Plant has two separate river intakes, pump structures, and related pump units, although one of the pump structures has been permanently closed since 2013. The El Pico Water Treatment Plant is a new facility that commenced operations in 2015. In addition to these treatment plants and associated water storage facilities, Laredo has the option of using Webb County’s Lake Casa Blanca Reservoir in a water emergency.

Arsenic In Laredo Drinking Water

Arsenic is a hazardous heavy metal that can cause cancer and other health problems. Arsenic originates in source water naturally. While the city of Laredo's water quality is in compliance with 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. Laredo’s most recent tap water quality report listed a highest level detected of 4 parts per billion. We strongly suggest that tap water with more than 1 part per billion be treated to remove arsenic, especially in homes with children.

High Levels Of Disinfection Byproducts (DBPs) In Laredo Drinking Water

DBPs are a category of emerging contaminants that are created when chlorine-based disinfectants added to the water supply combine with naturally-occurring organic matter. Although these chemicals are not fully 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. Laredo’s tap water has recently had high levels of DBPs, with a 2016 average of 103 parts per billion. The level of trihalomethanes (TTHM) detected in 2016 ranged as high as 147 ppb, which is nearly double the Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) of 80 ppb. This was a violation, as TTHM levels exceeded the MCL in the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th quarters of 2016. While not a violation, the level of Haloacetic Acids detected also ranged above the MCL of 60 to 83.9 ppb.

Use Of Chlorine In Laredo Tap Water

Like most cities in the United States, Laredo adds chlorine to its water supply to keep consumers safe from waterborne illness. While not considered exceedingly harmful, many people find that when they remove the chlorine from their water supply, they quickly notice an improvement in taste and odor. When you choose to filter your tap water, we believe you will notice an immediate taste enhancement.

Laredo made the news in September of 2016 when five schools tested positive for a lack of chlorine in their water supply, prompting the schools to provide students with bottled water until the system was flushed with enough chlorine to ensure safe levels of disinfection.

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

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Problems We Found With Fort Wayne Drinking Water

Emma Schultz @ Monday, November 27, 2017 at 10:21 am -0500

Emma Schultz, M.S.  |  Scientific Contributor
**Updated July 18, 2019 to include current data

For our assessment of Fort Wayne's tap and drinking water, we aggregated water quality test data from Fort Wayne City 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 Fort Wayne are optimized with these drinking water problems in mind.

Source Of Fort Wayne Drinking Water

Fort Wayne’s tap and drinking water is surface water-based and originates in the St. Joseph River. Fort Wayne operates two dams on the St. Joseph River to ensure sufficient water supply during periods of drought, with emergency reserves available from the Hurshtown Reservoir near Grabill. Water is treated and filtered at the Three Rivers Water Filtration Plant before being distributed to consumers.

Lead In Fort Wayne Drinking Water

Fort Wayne is in violation of the Lead and Copper Rule, with lead levels that exceed the federal Action Level. Lead enters into a Fort Wayne consumer’s tap and drinking water through old lead service pipes and lead-containing plumbing. According to the most recent report, the lead levels in Fort Wayne are 18.4 parts per billion, which is above the 15 part per billion Action Level. When corrosion control measures fail (such as recently happened in Flint, Michigan), lead leaches into the drinking water and can reach toxic levels. EPA, CDC, and the American Academy of Pediatrics all recognize that there is no such thing as a safe level of lead. 

Chromium 6 In Fort Wayne Drinking Water

Chromium 6 is a highly toxic metal that is not regulated by the EPA. Fort Wayne’s tap water recently averaged 215 parts per trillion for chromium 6. These levels are 11 times higher than the concentration determined to have a negligible impact on cancer risk.

Disinfection Byproducts (DBPs) In Fort Wayne Drinking Water

DBPs are a category of emerging contaminants that are formed when chlorine-based disinfectants (added to the water supply to protect it) combine with naturally-occurring organic matter. Although these chemicals are not fully 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. 

Use Of Chlorine In Fort Wayne Tap Water

Like many cities in the United States, Fort Wayne adds chlorine to the water supply to keep consumers safe from waterborne pathogens. While not considered harmful at low levels, many people find that when they remove the chlorine from their tap water, they notice an improvement in taste and odor. When you choose to filter your Fort Wayne tap water, we believe you will notice an immediate taste enhancement.

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

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Problems We Found With Hialeah's Drinking Water

Emma Schultz @ Tuesday, December 5, 2017 at 3:22 pm -0500

Emma Schultz, M.S.  |  Scientific Contributor

For our Hialeah water quality report, 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

The city of 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 the city of Hialeah's water 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 the city of Hialeah's water 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. The city of 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 the city of 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 Hialeah local running annual water 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 (hello@hydroviv.com) or through our live chat. We also frequently post water-related news on Twitter or Facebook.

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

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Problems We Found With Winston-Salem, North Carolina Drinking Water

Emma Schultz @ Tuesday, December 5, 2017 at 3:46 pm -0500

Emma Schultz, M.S.  |  Scientific Contributor
**Updated June 18, 2021 to include current data

For our assessment of Winston-Salem’s tap water quality, we aggregated water quality test data from the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Utility Commission, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as well as from samples that we collect and analyze. Our Water Nerds cross reference these data with toxicity studies in scientific and medical literature, and look at upcoming regulatory changes. The water filters that we sell in Winston-Salem are optimized to remove the contaminants that were detected.

Source Of Winston-Salem Drinking Water

Winston-Salem’s drinking water is surface water-based, with water coming from both the Yadkin River and from Salem Lake. Water is treated at one of the three water treatment facilities operated by the City/County Utility Commission.

Lead In Winston-Salem 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. According to the most recent Winston-Salem water quality analysis the 90th percentile concentration of 53 sampled sites of less than 3 parts per billion for lead in drinking water. While the Action Level is 15 parts per billion, the EPACDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics all recognize that there is no safe level of lead for children. And of course, federal regulations cannot take into account levels measured in an individual home’s tap.

Per and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) In Hampton Drinking Water

PFAS are a class of chemicals found in various non-stick and 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 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. Most municipalities don't test for PFAS, including Winston-Salem. 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.

Chromium 6 In Winston-Salem Drinking Water

Chromium 6 is a highly toxic metal that, while monitored, is not regulated by the EPA. Winston-Salem’s tap water quality recently averaged 52 parts per trillion for chromium 6. These average levels are 2.6 times higher than the concentration determined to have a negligible impact on cancer risk.

Disinfection Byproducts (DBPs) In Winston-Salem 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. EPA regulates two types of DBPs: Total Trihalomethanes (TTHMs) and Halo Acetic Acids 5 (HAA5). TTHMs in Winston-Salem’s tap water had a 2020 Local Running Annual average of 53.4 parts per billion. Consumers may be interested to know that levels of TTHMs ranged as high as 98.8 parts per billion, while the EPA’s Maximum Residual Disinfectant Level (MRDL) is only 80 parts per billion. Although these upper range values are well above the MRDL, this is not an EPA violation, since local running annual averages are used for comparison.

Use Of Chlorine In Winston-Salem Tap Water

Like most cities in the United States, Winston-Salem adds chlorine to its water supply to keep consumers safe from waterborne pathogens. While not considered harmful at low levels, many people find that removing the chlorine from their water supply results in a taste and odor improvement. When you choose to filter your tap water, we believe you will notice an immediate taste enhancement.

Still Have Questions About Winston-Salem’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 Winston-Salem’s 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 Winston-Salem 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.

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Problems We Found in Madison, WI Drinking Water

Emma Schultz @ Thursday, November 30, 2017 at 4:44 pm -0500

Emma Schultz, M.S.  |  Scientific Contributor   

For our assessment of Madison tap & drinking water, we aggregated water quality test data from Madison Water Utility, 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 Madison are optimized with these issues in mind.

Source Of Madison Drinking Water

Madison tap water is groundwater-sourced, and comes from a sandstone aquifer underneath the city. Madison Water Utility utilizes 22 wells (reaching as far underground as 1179 feet) and 30 reservoirs, including 5 elevated water towers.

PFAS in Madison Drinking Water 

Madison Water Utility confirmed that various PFAS chemicals were present in all city wells, as of August, 2020. The concentrations ranged from 2.5 to 47 parts per billion for total PFAS. This category of harmful chemicals is not yet regulated by EPA, and therefore there are no enforceable limits in drinking water. 

Per and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) are a category of emerging contaminants and are both mobile and persistent in the environment. PFAS are found in a variety of products including Scotchguard, Teflon, firefighting foam, metal plating, heat and water repellent products, and stain resistant fabrics. Health effects associated with PFAS contaminated drinking water are becoming more widely accepted throughout regulatory bodies. According to the Agency for Toxic Substance and Disease Registry, PFAS are associated with a long list of health effects including an increased risk of cancer, lowered fertility rates, increased cholesterol, and developmental issues in young children and infants.

Lead In Madison Drinking Water

Lead enters into Madison's tap & drinking water through old lead service pipes and lead-containing plumbing. When corrosion control measures fail (such as what happened in Flint, Michigan), lead leaches into the drinking water and can reach hazardous levels. Recent analysis for lead in Madison found a 90th percentile concentration of 3.2 ppb, with an upper range of 26 ppb. While the Action Level is 15 ppb, both the EPA and CDC recognize that there is no such thing as a safe level of lead. Of course, federal regulations cannot take into account levels measured at an individual tap.

High Levels Of Chromium 6 In Madison Drinking Water

Chromium 6 is a highly toxic metal that is not regulated by EPA. A recent city of Madison water quality report revealed an average of 500 parts per trillion (ppt) for chromium 6, with samples ranging up to 2000 ppt. Average levels are 55 times higher (and the upper range is 100 times higher) than the concentration determined to have a negligible impact on cancer risk.

Chlorine In Madison Tap Water

Like most cities in the United States, Madison adds chlorine to its water supply to keep consumers safe from waterborne pathogens. 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. When you choose to filter your tap water, we believe you will notice an immediate taste enhancement.

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

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