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Water Quality Reports — hexavalent chromium

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Problems We Found In Houston's Drinking Water

Analies Dyjak | Policy Nerd 
Updated July 17, 2019 to include current data

For Hydroviv’s report of Houston, we aggregated water quality test data from the City of Houston Public Works 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 scientific and medical literature, and look at upcoming regulatory changes. The water filters that our scientists build for our users in Houston are optimized with the following drinking water quality issues in the forefront of our mind.

Source Of Houston Drinking Water

Houston receives its drinking water from three water purification plants and 40 groundwater plants. 16 additional groundwater plants provide water for the remaining 5 Houston systems.

Arsenic Concentrations In Houston Drinking Water

Arsenic is a toxic heavy metal that is known to cause cancer and other health issues. Unlike lead, which distributes into water from plumbing, arsenic comes from the source water itself. The highest detected concentration of arsenic in Houston's main system was 11 parts per billion. While the average of 2 parts per billion is within EPA's regulated threshold, these levels triggered the municipality to make the following disclosure in the Consumer Confidence Report:

"Houston’s drinking water contains low levels of arsenic, but is below the state and federal action levels. EPA’s standard balances arsenic’s possible health effects against the costs of removing it from drinking water. EPA continues to research the health effects of low levels of arsenic, which is a mineral known to cause cancer in humans at high concentrations and is linked to other health effects such as skin damage and circulatory problems."

Hydroviv strongly recommends that anyone that lives in an area with more than 1 part per billion take steps to remove arsenic from their water, especially families with children.  

Lead Levels In Houston Drinking Water

Lead enters tap water through older lead service pipes and lead-containing plumbing. When lead pipes, fittings, and valves are present in a home, lead can leach into the drinking water, and can reach dangerous levels. In the most recent data provided by the City of Houston, 10% of samples analyzed for lead in Houston are 4 parts per billion. Though the city is currently in compliance with extremely loose federal regulations, the EPA and CDC have both acknowledged that there is no safe level of lead for children. Additionally, the American Academy Of Pediatrics strongly urges any tap that produces water over 1 part per billion be addressed. 

Very High Chromium 6 Levels In Houston Drinking Water

Chromium 6 is an extremely toxic metal that is not currently regulated by the EPA. In recent years, Houston tap water has averaged 747 parts per trillion for Chromium 6. For the sake of perspective, these levels are 35 times higher than the concentration determined to have negligible impact on cancer risk. Earlier this year, Dr. Eric Roy (Hydroviv's Founder) wrote a highly-cited article specifically on the high levels of chromium 6 in Houston's tap water, the original source can be viewed here.  

Pesticides And Petroleum Hydrocarbons Detected In Houston's Most Recent Round Of Testing 

Low levels of the herbicides atrazine and simazine (both endocrine disruptors), as well as xylenes (a petroleum based VOC) were reported in Houston's main system. 

Disinfection Byproducts (DBPs) In Houston 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 currently regulated very well, the EPA's website discloses that exposure to high levels of these chemicals is associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer, as well as kidney, liver, and central nervous system problems.

Chlorine Levels In Houston Tap Water

Like most other cities in the U.S., Houston disinfects its water with chlorine to protect against waterborne illness. While not considered to be harmful on its own at levels found in tap water, people tend to find that filtering it from their water greatly enhances its taste and odor.  

Still Have Questions About Houston Tap Water Or Water Quality In General?

Hydroviv is a water filtration company that uses tap 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 Houston, but our filters provide broad protection against a wide range of contaminants found in Houston's tap water.

If you’re interested in learning more about water filters that have been optimized for Houston's water, or have questions about our Houston water quality report, 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 tap water quality, and your questions will be answered by scientists, not salespeople (we don't have any salespeople on staff).

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

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Problems We Found With Newark Tap Water

Emma Schultz, M.S. | Scientific Contributor

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

Source Of Newark Drinking Water

Newark’s tap and drinking water originates from four surface water reservoirs in the Pequannock and Wanaque watersheds in Morris, Passaic, and Sussex Counties. The Charlotteburg Reservoir is the last in the chain of reservoirs. Water is then treated at the Pequannock Treatment Plant in West Milford before distribution to customers in Newark.

Until 2013, the Newark Watershed Conservation Development Corporation was the provider of water to the city of Newark. This changed following multiple investigations and public resentment when the agency was quickly dissolved and management reverted to the City of Newark.

High Lead Concentrations In Newark Tap Water

Unlike things like chromium 6 and arsenic, which contaminate 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 (conducted in 2015) for lead in Newark found a 90th percentile concentration of 10 parts per billion, with 4 sites exceeding the EPA Action Level of 15 ppb.  Newer data collected in 2017 indicate that levels are rising and that the city is likely in exceedance of Federal action levels.  While Newark claims to be in compliance with loose federal standards, these concentrations are very high, and suggests that a large number of people in Newark have lead concentration over the 1 ppb level that the American Academy of Pediatrics is pushing for.  We strongly recommend that Newark residents, particularly those that live in older buildings and have young children, take steps to remove lead from their drinking water.

The lead problem in Newark doesn't end with homes.  In early 2016, 30 of Newark’s 66 public schools, after being tested for lead in the drinking water, were found to have lead concentrations exceeding the Action Level of 15 ppb, with concentrations at several elementary schools reaching as high as 134 and 194 ppb. 194 ppb is nearly 13 times higher than the Action Level. Drinking water was promptly shut off in many schools, with repeat testing and remediation, where possible, following shortly thereafter. Nine of the 30 schools were cleared to turn their water on in April 2017, with the remaining schools hoping to be cleared by autumn 2017.

EPA and CDC acknowledge that there is no safe level of lead. In addition, federal regulations cannot take into account levels measured at an individual tap. See Hydroviv’s 2017 article for more information on lead contamination in Newark’s schools.

Chromium 6 Levels In Newark Tap Water

Chromium 6 is a very toxic metal that is not regulated by the EPA. Newark’s tap and drinking water has recently averaged a substantial 42 parts per trillion for chromium 6. These levels are 2 times higher than the concentration determined to have a negligible impact on cancer risk.

Disinfection Byproducts (DBPs)

DBPs are a type of emerging contaminants that form when chlorine-based disinfectants are added to the water supply, and subsequently combine with naturally-occurring organic matter such as leaves. While these chemicals are not well-regulated, EPA has stated that they are linked to an increased risk of bladder cancer, and kidney, liver, and central nervous system problems. Newark’s tap and drinking water has recently had somewhat high levels of DBPs, with a 2016 average of 94.75 parts per billion (the majority of which come from trihalomethanes). There were higher amounts recorded in 2015, with 2 out of 12 sites at or exceeding the Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) for trihalomethanes. In 2016, 1 out of 12 sites exceeded the MCL for haloacetic acids.

Chlorine Is Used To Disinfect Newark Drinking Water

As with many cities in the United States, Newark adds chlorine to the water supply to protect consumers against waterborne illness. While not considered unduly harmful, many people find that removing chlorine from their drinking water swiftly improves the water’s overall taste and odor. When you filter your tap water, we believe that you will notice an immediate taste enhancement.  

Still Have Questions About Newark 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 what we consider to be “points of emphasis” so we can design and build the best water filter for Newark tap water, but all of our home water filtration systems 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 Newark 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 Newark Water Quality Article On Social Media With Anyone You Think Would Benefit From The Information!

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Problems We Found In Scottsdale's Drinking Water

Kezia Snipe | Hydroviv Research Analyst

For Hydroviv’s assessment of Scottsdale’s tap water quality, we aggregated water quality test data from Scottsdale Water, the water utility provider for Scottsdale, 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 Hydroviv builds for people in Scottsdale are optimized with this research in mind.

Source Of Scottsdale Drinking Water

Scottsdale’s main surface water supply is from the Colorado River. This water is transported through the Central Arizona Project canal to the Scottsdale CAP Water Treatment Plant. We also receive surface water from the Salt River Project, which comes from the Verde and Salt rivers. Water is transported by SRP to the Chaparral Water Treatment Plant. In addition to these two main surface water sources, Scottsdale drinking water may also come from aquifers deep below ground. The water is pumped from the ground through one of the city’s 23 active wells and then disinfected prior to entering Scottsdale's Tap water distribution system.

Arsenic In Scottsdale Drinking Water

Arsenic is a toxic metal that is known to cause cancer and other health issues.  Unlike lead, which distributes into water from plumbing, arsenic comes from the source water itself.  Scottsdale's water quality is in compliance with EPA water quality standards but it’s important to mention that EPA’s standard balances the toxicity against the costs of removing arsenic from drinking water. The city’s most recent tap water quality report reported arsenic levels up to 6.7 parts per billion.  Unfortunately the last time that arsenic testing was done in Scottsdale was 2014-2015 (Arsenic is very loosely regulated).  We recommend that anyone with more than 1 part per billion take steps to remove arsenic from their water, especially if there are children in the home.  

Lead In Scottsdale 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. Currently, 10% of Scottsdale's water quality samples analyzed for lead in Scottsdale tested 1.6 per billion and are currently in compliance with very lenient federal regulations but even the EPA and CDC both acknowledge that there is no safe level of lead, and federal regulations do not take into account levels measured at an individual tap.  

Extremely High Chromium 6 Levels In Scottsdale Drinking Water

Chromium 6 is a highly toxic metal that is not regulated by the EPA.  In recent years, Scottsdale's water quality has averaged 3500 parts per trillion for Chromium 6.  For perspective, these levels are an incredibly 175 times higher than the concentration determined to have negligible impact on cancer risk.  These levels are among the highest chromium 6 concentrations we see in major US cities, and we highly recommend that all Scottsdale residents take steps to remove the toxic metal from their drinking water.  

Disinfection Byproducts (DBPs) In Scottsdale 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 currently regulated very well, the EPA's website discloses that exposure to high levels of disinfection byproducts are associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer, as well as kidney, liver, and central nervous system problems. 

Still Have Questions About Scottsdale Tap Water?

Hydroviv is a water filtration company based in DC 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 are then used to build water filters that are built specifically for Scottsdale, but 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 Scottsdale 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 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 Scottsdale Water Quality Article On Social Media With Anyone You Think Would Benefit From The Information!

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Problems We Found With Santa Ana, California Drinking Water

Emma Schultz, M.S. | Scientific Contributor 
Updated August 16, 2019 to include current data 

Our Water Nerds have updated our report of Santa Ana drinking water to include the most recent available data. We aggregated data from the City of Santa Ana Water Resources Division, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as well as our own internal data. Our team then 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 Santa Ana are optimized with these issues in mind.

Source of Santa Ana Drinking Water

Santa Ana tap water is a blend of 70% groundwater and 30% imported water. Water is imported via the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California from the Colorado River via Lake Havasu and snowpack runoff from Northern California’s Sierra Nevadas. All imported water is treated in Yorba Linda or La Verne before delivery to Santa Ana. Local groundwater is pumped to the surface from 20 city-owned wells. 

High Levels Of Chromium 6 In Santa Ana Drinking Water

Chromium 6 is a highly toxic metal not currently regulated by the EPA. Santa Ana tap water has recently averaged 1,010 parts per trillion for chromium 6. These levels are over 50 times higher than the concentration determined to have a negligible impact on cancer risk. For this reason, we recommend that Santa Ana residents take steps to remove chromium 6 from drinking water.  

Disinfection Byproduct (DBP) Levels In Santa Ana Drinking Water

DBPs are emerging contaminants that form when chlorine-based disinfectants are added to water and then combine with naturally-occurring organic matter found in the water supply.  While these chemicals are not yet well-regulated, the EPA has cautioned that ingesting high levels of disinfection byproducts have been linked to an increased risk of bladder cancer, as well as kidney, liver, and central nervous system problems. Santa Ana’s tap water has recently had moderate levels of trihalomethanes, with an average of 37 ppb (and a maximum of 51.2 ppb), and has measured low levels of haloacetic acids as well.

Chlorine Levels In Santa Ana Drinking Water

Like most municipalities in the United States, Santa Ana adds chlorine to the water supply to protect against waterborne illness. While not considered harmful to public health, many consumers find that removing chlorine from their drinking water greatly improves the overall taste and odor.  When your tap water is filtered, we expect that you will notice an immediate taste improvement.  


Still Have Questions About Santa Ana Tap Water?

Hydroviv is a water filtration company that uses water quality data to optimize water filters for each city’s water.  The contaminants that we list above are what we consider to be “points of emphasis” to address in our filter design, so we can design and build the best water filter for Santa Ana 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 Santa Ana 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 Santa Ana Water Quality Report On Social Media With Anyone You Think Would Benefit From The Information!

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Problems We Found With Dallas, Texas Tap Water

Kezia Snipe | Hydroviv Research Analyst
Updated July 17, 2019 to include current data

We've updated our assessment of Dallas drinking water to include the most recent data 2019 from the Dallas Water Utilities. We also used information from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as well as from samples that we collect and analyze. We then cross reference these regulatory data with toxicity studies in scientific and medical literature. Hydroviv builds and sells water filters that are optimized to remove contaminants in Dallas, Texas.   

Dallas Source Water

The city of Dallas uses source water entirely from surface water sources. The seven different sources include: the Elm Fork of the Trinity River and lakes Ray Roberts, Lewisville, Grapevine, Ray Hubbard, Tawakoni and Fork. As is the case with any surface water source, these lakes and rivers can become contaminated by any polluter within the watershed (e.g. gas stations, industrial sites). For those proficient with GIS, you can view the potential sources of contamination identified by the municipality and state as part of the source water assessment program.

Chromium 6 Contamination In Dallas Drinking Water

Chromium 6 is an extremely toxic metal that is not currently regulated by the EPA. In recent years, Dallas tap water has averaged 275 parts per trillion for Chromium 6. For the sake of perspective, the average level reported is roughly 13 times higher than the concentration determined to have negligible impact on cancer risk

Lead In Dallas Drinking Water

Lead can enter tap water quality 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. According to this years report, the 90th percentile value was 0 parts per billion. We encourage Dallas residents (particularly those who live in older buildings (pre-1986) to take steps to remove lead from drinking water because EPACDC, and the American Academy of Pediatrics all acknowledged that there is no safe level of lead. 

Disinfection Byproducts (DBPs) In Dallas Tap Water

DBPs are a category of emerging contaminants that form when chlorine-based disinfectants react with naturally-occurring organic matter. Because Dallas disinfects its water with chlorine to protect against waterborne illness, it's no surprise that disinfection byproducts are present in the water. Although regulation for these chemicals is loose, and the toxicology is not yet well-understood, EPA has acknowledged that some disinfection byproducts are associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer, as well as kidney, liver, and central nervous system problems.   

Chlorine In Dallas Tap Water

Like most other large municipalities in the U.S., Dallas' water is injected with chlorine to protect against waterborne illness. While not typically considered to be harmful on its own, Hydroviv's Dallas users rave about how much better their water tastes when they use a properly designed water filter.

Still Have Questions About Dallas 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 Dallas 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).

If you’re interested in learning more about water filters that have been optimized for Dallas tap water quality, 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 San Francisco, California Drinking Water

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 plumbingWhen 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?

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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