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Water Quality Reports — New York

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Problems We Found In Syracuse Drinking Water

Kezia Snipe | Hydroviv Research Analyst

For Hydroviv’s assessment of Syracuse tap water, we aggregated water quality test data from the City of Syracuse Department of Water, the water provider for the city 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 we offer at Hydroviv are optimized with these numbers in mind. 

Source Of Syracuse Drinking Water

For 123 years, the primary water supply for the City of Syracuse has been Skaneateles Lake, a Finger Lake located approximately 20 miles southwest of the City. Syracuse has utilized this lake for its water supply since 1894. Skaneateles Lake is approximately 15 miles long and one mile wide with a maximum depth of 300 feet. Skaneateles Lake has a relatively small watershed of 59 square miles and a water surface area of 13.6 square miles. In 2016, an average of 25.03 million gallons per day was released at the outlet of Skaneateles Lake to control lake level and maintain Skaneateles Creek flow at or above the minimum required flow.

Chromium 6 In Syracuse Drinking Water

Chromium 6 is an extremely toxic metal that is not currently regulated by the EPA. In recent years, Syracuse tap water averaged 57 parts per trillion. For the sake of perspective, these levels are nearly 3 times higher than the concentration determined to have negligible impact on cancer risk

Disinfection Byproducts (DBPs) In Syracuse 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 has admitted that they are associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer, as well as kidney, liver, and central nervous system problems.

Still Have Questions About Syracuse Drinking Water?

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 Syracuse, but all of our our filters provide broad protection against a wide range of contaminants (including lead).

If you’re interested in learning more about water filters that have been optimized for Syracuse 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 Article On Social Media With Anyone You Think Would Benefit From The Information!

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Problems We Found In New York City Drinking Water

Analies Dyjak | Policy Nerd 
Updated August 6, 2019 to include current data

For Hydroviv’s assessment of New York City’s drinking water quality issues, we collected water quality test data from the New York City Water Supply System and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. We cross referenced the city’s water quality data with toxicity studies in scientific and medical literature. The water filters that we sell at Hydroviv are optimized to filter out contaminants that are found in New York City’s drinking water.

Where Does New York City Source Its Drinking Water?

New York City drinking water comes from 19 reservoirs and three controlled lakes, located throughout the Hudson Valley and Catskill Mountain watershed. The New York City Water Supply System delivers 1 billion gallons of drinking water to over 10 million people on a daily basis. In 2017, New York City received 97% of its water from the Catskill/Delaware supply located in Delaware, Greene, Schoharie, Sullivan, and Ulser counties and 3% came from the Croton supply in Putnam, New York. New York City is known as the gold standard for drinking water treatment, and rightfully so because they are able to serve the largest metropolitan area in the United States. However, none of the pretreatment procedures matter once water hits aging infrastructure.

Lead In New York City’s Drinking Water

Lead enters tap water through old lead service pipes and lead-containing plumbing. Currently, 10% of the water quality samples analyzed by New York City Environmental Protection had lead concentrations over 11 parts per billion. The highest lead concentration detected from a residential tap was 277 parts per billion. Environmental Protection Agency, Center for Disease Control, and American Academy of Pediatrics all recognize that there is no safe level of lead for children. Regulatory agencies are trying to lower the current standard of 15 parts per billion to 1 part per billion, so a concentration of 190 parts per billion is very concerning. To make matters worse, in a city of 8 million people only 487 residential homes were sampled for lead. 26 of those samples exceeded the federal Action Level. The small number of sampling sites is not representative of the actual scope of the lead problem in NYC drinking water. Hydroviv strongly encourages New York City residents to take advantage of the free lead testing program. Under this program, residents can request a free kit to test for lead in their drinking water by calling 311 or visiting www.nyc.gov/apps/311.

Chromium 6 In New York City's Drinking Water 

Chromium 6 is a highly toxic metal that is currently unregulated by the EPA. In recent years, New York City has had a major problem with this dangerous contaminant. Chromium 6 pollution is associated with metal processing, tannery facilities, chromate production, stainless steel welding, and pigment production. The 2017 water quality report for New York City found levels of Chromium 6 as high as 60 parts per trillion, with an average concentration of 40 parts per trillion. The state of California set their own health advisory level of 20 parts per trillion because Chromium 6 is not regulated by the federal government. EPA has acknowledged that Chromium 6 is a known human carcinogen through inhalation, but is still determining its cancer potential through ingestion of drinking water. Lung, nasal and sinus cancers are associated with Chromium 6 exposure. Ingestion of extremely high doses of chromium 6 compounds can cause acute respiratory, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, hematological, hepatic, renal, and neurological distress which may result in death. 

Disinfection Byproducts In New York City's Drinking Water 

New York City Environmental Protection detected significant concentrations of Disinfection Byproducts or DBPs. DBPs are a category of emerging contaminants which means they have been detected in drinking water but the risk to human health is unknown. DBPs are formed when chlorine based disinfectants are routinely added to the water supply to kill bacteria. DBPs are split into two categories: Total Trihalomethanes (TTHMs) and Haloacetic Acids-5 (HAA5). Concentrations were detected as high as 77 parts per billion and averaged 49 parts per billion for HAA5. The loose EPA stand for this contaminant is 60 parts per billion. Regulatory agencies have very little knowledge about the adverse health effects of DBPs and their toxicity. EPA has stated that they have been linked to an increased risk of bladder cancer, as well as kidney, liver, and central nervous system problems. Some disinfection byproducts have almost no toxicity, but others have been associated with cancer, reproductive problems, and developmental issues in laboratory animals. 200 million people in the United States use chlorinated tap water as their primary drinking source, so we take understanding their full health effects very seriously, even if federal agencies fail to regulate all categories.

If you’re interested in learning more about water filters that have been optimized for NYC’s drinking water, feel free to visit www.hydroviv.com to talk to a Water Nerd on our live chat feature or send us an email at hello@hydroviv.com.

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Problems We Found With Buffalo Drinking Water

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

Our Water Nerds have updated our assessment of Buffalo's drinking water to include the most recent available data. We used information from Buffalo WaterU.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as well as from samples that we collect and analyze. We're then able to cross reference these data with toxicity studies in scientific and medical literature. The custom water filters that we sell in Buffalo are optimized to remove present contaminants. 

Source Of Buffalo Drinking Water

Buffalo’s gets its tap water from Lake Erie. Despite its size, Lake Erie is a very shallow lake, and has a water detention time of only 2.6 years. This quick turnaround time for water replenishment helps to explain the success of cleanup efforts following the heavy pollution of Lake Erie in the 1960s and 1970s. Buffalo’s city water intake is located upstream of the Niagara River in the Emerald Channel, and flows through a mile-long tunnel before reaching a pumping station. Water then proceeds to underground basins for treating and filtering, before being stored in a 28 million gallon clearwell.

Lead In Buffalo Drinking Water

Lead enters into a consumer’s 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 the drinking water and can reach toxic levels. According to the most recent report, the 90th percentile detected was 2.4 parts per billion. While the regulatory limit is 15 parts per billion, both the EPACDC, and the American Academy of Pediatrics all 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.

Chromium 6 In Buffalo Drinking Water

Chromium 6 is a highly toxic metal not regulated by the EPA. The city of Buffalo’s tap water recently averaged 100 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 Chlorine In Buffalo Tap Water

Like many cities in the United States, Buffalo adds chlorine to its drinking and tap water supply to keep consumers safe from waterborne illness. While not considered overtly harmful, 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 tap water, we believe you will notice an immediate taste enhancement.  

Still Have Questions About Buffalo’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 Buffalo 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 [including lead], pharmaceuticals, solvents, pesticides, mercury).

If you’re interested in learning more about water filters that have been optimized for Buffalo 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 Buffalo Water Quality Article On Social Media With Anyone You Think Would Benefit From The Information!

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