Water Quality Reports


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.

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