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Problems We Found In Tucson's Drinking Water

Kezia Snipe | Hydroviv Research Analyst

For Hydroviv’s assessment of tap water quality in Tucson, AZ, we aggregated water quality test data from Tucson Water, 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 look at upcoming regulatory changes.  The water filters that we offer in Tucson are optimized with this research in mind.

Source Of Tucson Drinking Water

Tucson's tap water supply comes from approximately 200 groundwater wells located in and around the Tucson metropolitan area.

High Levels Of Arsenic In Tucson 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. Tucson is in compliance with the EPA’s water quality standards. However, it’s important to point out that EPA’s standard balances the toxicity against the costs of removing arsenic from drinking water, which means that regulations are very relaxed. The most recent tap water quality report reported arsenic concentrations up to 7.5 parts per billion for Tucson.  Because these levels were detected in Tucson water, the municipality had to make the following disclosure in the Consumer Confidence Report:

"Arsenic is a naturally occurring substance commonly found in groundwater in the southwestern United States. While your drinking water meets EPA’s standard for arsenic, it does contain low levels of arsenic. EPA’s standard balances the current understanding of arsenic’s possible health effects against the cost of removing arsenic from drinking water. EPA continues to research the health effect 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 highly recommends that anyone with more than 1 part per billion take steps to remove arsenic from their water, especially if they have children.  

Lead In Tucson Drinking Water

Lead enters Tucson's 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 samples analyzed for lead in Tucson's water are over 1 part per billion. Though currently in compliance with federal regulations, 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.  The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that any taps used to serve children have lead levels no higher than 1 part per billion. 

Herbicide Runoff Detected In Tucson Tap Water

Between the years 2011-2016, Tucson's tap water quality tested positive for low levels of the herbicides atrazine and simazine.  

Disinfection Byproducts (DBPs) In Tucson 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 Tucson 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 Tucson, 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 Tucson 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 Tucson Tap Water Quality Article On Social Media With Anyone You Think Would Benefit From The Information!

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Contamination In Bethesda, MD's Drinking Water

Contamination In Bethesda, MD's Drinking Water

Eric Roy, Ph.D. | Scientific Founder   

For our assessment of Bethesda's tap water quality, we aggregated water quality test data from the Washington Suburban Sanitation Commission - the city’s water provider - and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as well as from samples that we have collected and analyzed (As a DC company, Bethesda is right in our own backyard).  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

Like Washington, DC, Bethesda's tap water is pulled directly from the Potomac River.  When the Maryland DEP did 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.  In the most recent data, Bethesda's tap water recently averaged 190 parts per trillion for chromium 6.  While there's no federal standard for chromium 6 in drinking water, this concentration is  about 9 times higher than the concentration determined by the State of California to have 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 1.4 parts per billion. While these concentrations do not trigger a violation of EPA's Lead and Copper Rule, the EPA and CDC have made it clear that there is no such thing as a safe level of lead. For perspective, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children do not drink from taps with detectable lead levels, and they urge that policy be changed so taps with lead levels over 1 part per billion are remediated immediately.  

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.  Bethesda's disinfection byproduct levels are near (and sometimes cross 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 Houston's Drinking Water

Kezia Snipe | Hydroviv Research Analyst   
For Hydroviv’s Houston water quality report, we aggregated water quality test data from the City of Houston Public Works, the water provider for America’s fourth largest 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 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 ground water plants. 16 additional groundwater plants provide for the remaining 5 Houston Water 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. While Houston is in compliance with very loose EPA water quality standards, Houston's most recent tap water quality report listed an average arsenic concentration of 2 parts per billion. 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 to be remediated immediately.  

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 700 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.  This isn't a huge surprise because of the types of activities 

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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