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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 St. Petersburg, Florida Drinking Water

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

Emma Schultz, M.S.  |  Scientific Contributor
**Updated August 1, 2019 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 1.9 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 Tampa Bay Region’s Tap Water

While most cities use chlorine as the primary disinfectant, all of the municipalities within Tampa Bay Water 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 With Orlando Drinking Water

Emma Schultz @ Thursday, October 5, 2017 at 4:22 pm -0400

Emma Schultz, M.S. | Scientific Contributor
**Updated May 4th, 2021 to include most recent data

To assess Orlando drinking water quality, we aggregated water quality test data from the Orlando Utilities Commission, Orange County Utilities Department, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the US Geological Survey. We cross referenced these data with toxicity studies in scientific and medical literature, as well as upcoming regulatory changes. The water filters that our Orlando-area customers use are optimized with these drinking water quality issues in mind.

Source Of Orlando Drinking Water

Orlando drinking water comes from an underground freshwater reservoir known as the Floridan Aquifer. It is primarily fed through rainwater filtered through hundreds of feet of sand and rock in a natural filtering process. The Orlando Utilities Commission operates seven water treatment plants, which draws up the water from the aquifer and treats it before distributing to customers. The Orange County Utilities services customers from 3 regional water facilities and 8 remote facilities. The water is distributed through 1,931 miles of water mains throughout the 451 square mile service area.

What Are The Major Concerns in Orlando’s Drinking Water?

Contaminants of concern in Orlando’s drinking water include Arsenic, Disinfection Byproducts, Lead, and PFAS. 

Arsenic in Orlando Drinking Water

Arsenic is a hazardous heavy metal that can cause cancer and other health problems. Arsenic originates in source water naturally. In the Orange County Utilities Water System, varying amounts of arsenic were detected in the different distribution areas, ranging from 0.18 ppb to 10.6 ppb. While Orlando’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.

Disinfection Byproducts (DBPs) In Orlando 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. Haloacetic Acid levels in Orlando water ranged as high as 59.9 parts per billion, which is just shy of the EPA Maximum Contaminant Level of 60 parts per billion. Trihalomethane levels ranged as high as 93.1 parts per billion, which exceed the EPA Maximum Contaminant Level of 80 parts per billion.

Lead In Orlando Drinking Water

Lead enters into Orlando's tap and drinking water through older lead service pipes and lead-containing plumbing. 2017 analysis for lead in Orlando found a 90th percentile concentration of 3 parts per billion. The EPA , CDC, and American Academy of Pediatrics have all made clear 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. Hydroviv Drinking Water filters are NSF/ANSI Standard 53 certified to remove lead from drinking water.

PFAS in Orlando’s Tap 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. Most cities are not required to test for or remove PFAS from drinking water, including Orlando. 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.  

Still Have Questions About Orlando's Tap Water?

Hydroviv is a water filtration company that uses water quality data to optimize water filters for each location. The chemicals that we list above are what we consider to be “points of emphasis” so that we can build the best drinking water filter for Orlando tap water.

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