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Problems We Found With Chesapeake Drinking Water

Emma Schultz, M.S. | Scientific Contributor   

For our Chesapeake water quality report, we aggregated water quality test data from the City of Chesapeake Department of Public Utilities, 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 Chesapeake are optimized with these issues in mind.

Source Of Chesapeake Drinking Water

The city of Chesapeake’s drinking water is of mixed-source origin and comes from several locations. Chesapeake’s Northwest River Water Treatment Plant treats surface water from the Northwest River, as well as brackish groundwater from four wells. The Lake Gaston Water Treatment Plant treats raw water purchased from the city of Norfolk, and plans to treat surface water from Lake Gaston in the future. Treated water is purchased for some portions of Chesapeake from Norfolk and Portsmouth. Additional groundwater comes from the Western Branch wells, including Wells #1 and #3, and the Aquifer Storage and Recovery Well. Lastly, the private company Aqua Virginia, Inc. serves approximately 523 customers in the Norfolk Highlands neighborhood of Chesapeake.

Lead In Chesapeake Drinking Water

Lead enters into the city of Chesapeake's tap water through old lead service pipes and lead-containing plumbing. When corrosion control measures fail (such as seen in Flint, Michigan), lead leaches into drinking water and can reach hazardous levels. Recent analysis for lead in Chesapeake's water found 90th percentile concentrations of 2 parts per billion for water purchased from Portsmouth, with levels as high as 14.6 ppb detected. While water treated at Chesapeake’s treatment plants had 90th percentile concentrations at undetectable levels, levels ranged as high as 15.2 ppb. These are not violations, since the 90th percentile concentrations are the levels used to compare with the EPA standard (with an Action Level of 15 ppb), but both the EPA and CDC recognize that there is no such thing as a safe level of lead. In addition, federal regulations cannot take into account levels measured at an individual tap.

Chromium 6 In Chesapeake Drinking Water

Chromium 6 is a highly toxic metal that, while monitored, is not regulated by the EPA. Chesapeake tap water quality from the two water treatment plants recently topped out at 90 parts per trillion for chromium 6; values ranged as high as 60 ppt for South Norfolk, and 380 ppt for those in the Western Branch area. These levels are 4.5, 3, and 19 times higher, respectively, than the concentration determined to have a negligible impact on cancer risk.

Disinfection Byproducts (DBPs) In Chesapeake Drinking Water

DBPs are a category of emerging contaminants that form when chlorine-based disinfectants react with naturally-occurring organic matter.  While these chemicals are not well regulated, the EPA has stated they have an association with an increased risk of bladder cancer, as well as kidney, liver, and central nervous system problems. DBPs in Chesapeake’s tap water had highest locational running annual averages of 62 ppb for their treatment plants (with upper detected levels of 84 ppb), 108 ppb for Norfolk water (upper detected levels of 150 ppb), and 83 ppb for Portsmouth water (upper detected levels of 121 ppb). While not a violation, Norfolk water samples ranged as high as the Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) of 80 ppb for Total Trihalomethanes, and higher than the MCL of 60 ppb for Haloacetic Acids.

Use Of Chloramine In Chesapeake Tap Water

While most cities use chlorine as their primary disinfectant, the city of Chesapeake's water (from all sources) is disinfected with chloramine, produced by mixing chlorine and ammonia.  Chloramine is primarily responsible for what customers report as the “bad taste” of tap water, and unlike chlorine this taste will not fade if 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 Chesapeake use special filtration media that is purpose-built to remove chloramine as well.

In 2016, the running annual average for chloramines was 3.24 ppm for water from the two treatment plants, and the upper detected range was 4.26 ppm, which is over the Maximum Residual Disinfectant Level of 4.0 ppm. For Norfolk water, the running annual average was 2.79 ppm (upper range of 4.4 ppm), and for Portsmouth water, the running annual average was 2.08 ppm (upper range of 4.0 ppm). It is important to note that while these upper ranges are above the MRDL, this is not a violation, as it is the running annual average values that are compared to the MRDL.


Still Have Questions About Chesapeake’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 Chesapeake 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 Chesapeake 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 Chesapeake Water Quality Article On Social Media With Anyone You Think Would Benefit From The Information!

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Problems We Found With Norfolk's Drinking Water

Emma Schultz, M.S. | Scientific Contributor   

For our assessment of Norfolk's tap water quality, we aggregated water quality test data from the City of Norfolk Department of Utilities, 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 Norfolk are optimized with these issues in mind.

Source Of Norfolk Drinking Water

Norfolk’s drinking and tap water is a mixture of groundwater- and surface water-sourced. Water comes from eight reservoirs, with two in Norfolk proper, three in Virginia Beach, two in Suffolk, and one in Isle of Wight. Water also comes from the Blackwater and Nottoway Rivers, and four deep wells in Isle of Wight County. The City of Norfolk Department of Utilities operates two water treatment plants, the 37th Street Treatment Plant and the Moores Bridges Treatment Plant, where water is treated and filtered before being delivered to customers.

Lead In Norfolk Drinking Water

Lead enters Norfolk 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. Recent analysis for lead in Norfolk's water found a 90th percentile concentration of less than 2.5 ppb. While the Action Level is 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 Norfolk Drinking Water

Chromium 6 is a highly toxic metal that, while monitored, is not regulated by the EPA. Norfolk’s tap water recently averaged 46 parts per trillion for chromium 6. Average levels are 2 times higher than the concentration determined to have a negligible impact on cancer risk.

Disinfection Byproducts (DBPs) In Norfolk 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 concluded that they are associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer, as well as kidney, liver, and central nervous system problems. DBPs in Norfolk’s tap water had a 2016 average of 97 parts per billion, with a measured range for Haloacetic Acids as high as 61 ppb. While Norfolk's water quality is in compliance with EPA standards, it should be noted that this upper range limit is 1 ppb over the Maximum Contaminant Level for Haloacetic Acids.

Use Of Chloramine In Norfolk Tap Water

While most cities use chlorine as the primary disinfectant, Norfolk’s water is disinfected with chloramine, which is 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 will not dissipate if a container of water is left in the fridge overnight.  Most one-size-fits-all water filters use filtration media that doesn’t do a great job removing chloramine, but the filters that Hydroviv builds for Norfolk uses special filtration media that is purpose-built to remove chloramine as well.


Still Have Questions About Norfolk’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 Norfolk 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 Norfolk 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 Norfolk Tap Water Quality Article On Social Media With Anyone You Think Would Benefit From The Information!

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Things To Know About Hampton Virginia Drinking Water

Kezia Snipe | Hydroviv Research Analyst

For Hydroviv’s Hampton city water report, we aggregated water quality test data from Newport News Waterworks Department, 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 Hampton Drinking Water

Surface water provides the primary source of Hampton drinking water. It begins with the Chickahominy River. When water is available, it is pumped from the river, above Walkers Dam, and transferred through pipes to reservoirs for storage. Waterworks owns and operates five reservoirs that store and supply water to the treatment plants. Brackish  groundwater from deep wells in the Lee Hall area provide a second source of water. The two source waters are treated separately, then blended together before distribution to the service area.

Lead In Hampton 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 happened in Flint, Michigan), lead leaches into the drinking water, and can reach dangerous levels. Currently, 10% of samples analyzed for lead in Hampton is 1 part per billion or higher. Though the city of Hampton's water quality is well within in compliance with federal regulations, the EPA and CDC have both acknowledged 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.

Chromium 6 In Hampton Drinking Water

Chromium 6 is an extremely toxic metal that is not currently regulated by the EPA. In recent years, Hampton tap water averaged 95  parts per trillion. For the sake of perspective, these levels are nearly 5 times higher than the concentration determined to have negligible impact on cancer risk

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

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Problems We Found With Virginia Beach's Drinking Water

Kezia Snipe | Hydroviv Research Analyst

For our assessment of the city of Virginia Beach's water, we aggregated water quality test data from the City of Virginia Beach Public Utilities, 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 literature and look at upcoming regulatory changes. The water filters that we sell in Virginia Beach are optimized with this data in mind.

Source Of Virginia Beach Drinking Water

The Lake Gaston Water Supply Pipeline provides water to Virginia Beach citizens through a 76-mile-long pipeline leading from Lake Gaston in Brunswick County to Lake Prince, a reservoir located in Suffolk but owned and operated by Norfolk. Lake Gaston provides an average of 34 million gallons per day (MGD) of water to Virginia Beach citizens.

Lead In Virginia Beach Drinking Water

Lead enters the city of Virginia Beach's water through old lead service pipes and lead-containing plumbing. When corrosion control measures fail (such as what happened in Flint, Michigan), lead leaches into the drinking water and can reach toxic levels. Recent analysis for lead in the city of Virginia Beach's water found a 90th percentile concentration of 7 ppb. While the Action Level is 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 The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that any taps used to serve children have lead levels no higher than 1 part per billion.

Chromium 6 In Virginia Beach Drinking Water

Chromium 6 is a highly toxic metal that, while monitored, is not regulated by the EPA. Virginia Beach’s tap water quality recently averaged 71 parts per trillion for chromium 6. Average levels in VA Beach's water are 3.5 times higher than the concentration determined to have a negligible impact on cancer risk.

Disinfection Byproducts (DBPs) In Virginia Beach 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 concluded 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 Virginia Beach’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 Virginia Beach tap water, but all of our water filters provide broad protection against other contaminants commonly found in drinking water.

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

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