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Contamination In Bethesda, Maryland Drinking Water

Eric Roy @ Saturday, November 4, 2017 at 1:31 pm -0400

Eric Roy, Ph.D.  |  Scientific Founder 
Updated August 2, 2019 to include current data

We've updated our report of Bethesda drinking water to include the most current data. We use data from the Washington Suburban Sanitation Commission - the city’s water provider, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as well as from samples that we have collected and analyzed. We cross reference these data with toxicity studies in the scientific and medical literature, and look at upcoming regulatory changes. The custom water filters that we sell in Bethesda are optimized with these issues considered to be "points of emphasis."

Source Of Bethesda Drinking Water

Bethesda tap water is pulled directly from the Potomac and Patuxent Rivers. When the Maryland Department of the Environment did a Source Water Assessments for the Potomac River in 2002 and 2004, they determined that the most likely sources of contaminants in the Potomac watershed include runoff from urban and agricultural land uses, and potential spills from highways and petroleum pipelines. The following problems could also extend to Bethesda's neighboring communities of Rockville, Chevy Chase, Kensington, Garrett Park, and Silver Spring.

Chromium 6 In Bethesda Drinking Water

Chromium 6 is a toxic heavy metal that was brought into the public eye for the first time by the Erin Brockovich movie. Unfortunately, despite a few public events, it remains unregulated by the EPA on its own. Both the Potomac and Patuxent Rivers are susceptible to contamination from industry associated with chromium 6. While there's no federal standard for chromium 6 in drinking water, but the State of California has determined at levels about 20 parts per trillion may cause a negligible impact on cancer risk.

Synthetic Organic Pollutants Detected In Bethesda's Drinking Water

The State of Maryland assessed the Potomac River Watershed a little over a decade ago, and found to identify potential sources of contamination. WSSC detected dalapon (an herbicide), Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (a plasticzer, endocrine disruptor), testosterone (pharmaceutical horomonel), and 1,4 dioxane (an industrial chemical) in finished water that came from the Potomac supply.

Lead In Bethesda Drinking Water

Unlike chromium 6 and synthetic organic pollutants, which come from source water contamination, lead is introduced into tap water when water comes into contact with older lead service pipes and lead-containing plumbing. When corrosion control measures fail, such as the country witnessed most recently in Flint (but also happened in Washington, DC in the early 2000's), lead leaches into the drinking water and reaches toxic levels. Recent sampling for lead in Bethesda found that the 90th percentile concentration for lead was roughly 1.1 parts per billion. While these concentrations do not trigger a violation of EPA's Lead and Copper Rule, the EPACDC and American Academy of Pediatrics all acknowledge that here is no safe level of lead for children.

Disinfection Byproducts (DBPs) In Bethesda Drinking Water

DBPs are a category of emerging contaminants that form when chlorine-based disinfectants react with naturally-occurring organic matter. These chemicals are not well regulated by EPA, although they have been associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer, as well as kidney, liver, and central nervous system problems, and the EPA acknowledges this. The levels of disinfection byproducts in Bethesda drinking water are near (and sometimes over the upper threshold) of allowable limits.

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

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Problems We Found In Plano's Drinking Water

Emma Schultz @ Wednesday, October 4, 2017 at 11:03 am -0400

Emma Schultz, M.S.  |  Scientific Contributor

For our assessment of Plano tap water, we aggregated water quality test data from the North Texas Municipal Water District, the water provider for Plano, 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 to people in Plano, TX are optimized with these issues in mind.

Sources Of Plano, TX Water

Plano’s tap water is purchased from surface water from the North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD). The primary water source is Lavon Lake, which is treated at the Wylie Water Treatment Plant. Additional water comes from Lake Texoma, the East Fork Water Reuse Project, Jim Chapman Lake, and Lake Tawakoni. NTMWD owns and operated six water treatment plants and nine pump stations, and services 1.6 million people in north Texas.

Chromium 6 Levels In Plano Tap Water

Chromium 6 is a very toxic metal that is not well regulated by the EPA. Plano’s tap water has recently averaged 120 parts per trillion for chromium 6. These levels nearly 6 times higher than the concentration determined to have a negligible impact on cancer risk. Contrary to some myths circulating around the web, boiling your water does NOT remove chromium 6.

Lead Levels In Plano Tap Water

Unlike things like chromium 6 and arsenic, contaminants that come from the water supply itself, lead enters tap water through older lead service pipes and lead-containing plumbing. When corrosion control measures fail (such as the recent Flint, Michigan crisis), lead leaches into drinking water at toxic levels. Recent analysis of data from EPA's SDWIS database, Plano's 90th percentile concentration for lead was 3 parts per billion. While Plano is in compliance with loose federal standards, the 3 parts per billion level is higher than the 1 ppb level that the American Academy of Pediatrics is lobbying for.

Disinfection Byproducts (DBPs) In Plano Drinking Water

DBPs are emerging contaminants that form when chlorine-based disinfectants are added to the water supply, and then combine with naturally-occurring organic matter (such as leaves). These chemicals are not well-regulated, but the EPA has stated that they are linked to an increased risk of bladder cancer, and kidney, liver, and central nervous system problems. The Plano water quality report from 2016 found a moderate maximum of 62.1 parts per billion for the two regulated classes of DBPs (TTHMs + HAAs)

Atrazine In Plano's Tap Water

Atrazine (a common herbicide) has been detected one of the providers of Plano's tap water. In addition to being an herbicide, atrazine acts as an endocrine disruptor. The presence of an herbicide in Plano's tap water shouldn't come as a huge surprise becasue Plano draws tap water from surface water sources, which are susceptible to agricultural runoff. While the most recent data indicate that the levels in Plano are below the EPA regulatory level, it's important to point out that these levels can fluctuate throughout the year.

Plano's Water Is Disinfected With Chloramine

Although most cities use chlorine as their primary disinfectant, Plano’s water is disinfected with chloramine, which is formed 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. As Plano’s chloramine levels in 2016 were quite high, at an average of 3.05 parts per million, it is likely that many customers are dissatisfied with the taste of their water. Most one-size-fits-all water filters use filtration media that doesn’t successfully removing chloramine, but the filters that Hydroviv builds for Plano use special filtration media that are specifically built to remove chloramine as well.

Still Have Questions About Plano 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 design and build the best water filter for Plano 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 Plano's 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 Article On Social Media With Anyone You Think Would Benefit From The Information!

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