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Problems We Found With St. Paul Drinking Water

Emma Schultz @ Thursday, October 5, 2017 at 1:30 pm -0400
Emma Schultz M.S.  |  Scientific Contributor 

For our assessment of the City of St. Paul's tap and drinking water, we aggregated water quality test data from the Saint Paul Regional Water Services, the water provider for St. Paul, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as well as from samples that we collect and analyze. We cross reference our Saint Paul water data with toxicity studies in the scientific and medical literature, and look at upcoming regulatory changes. The water filters that we sell in St. Paul are optimized with these issues in mind.

Source Of St. Paul's Drinking Water

The city of St. Paul's water comes from both surface and groundwater sources. Much of the water comes from the Mississippi River, but prior to treatment is run through a chain of lakes in the suburbs north of downtown St. Paul. Additional water as needed comes from 10 wells that pump from the deep Prairie du Chien-Jordan aquifer.

Lead In St. Paul Drinking Water

Lead enters the city of St. Paul's water through aged lead service pipes and through lead plumbing. When corrosion control measures fail, such as recently seen in Flint, Michigan, lead leaches into the drinking water, and reaches toxic levels. Recent analysis for lead in St. Paul found 90% of sampled concentrations below 9.8 parts per billion. In addition, 3 of the 50 sites sampled exceeded the set Action Level of 15 ppb. The city of St. Paul's water quality is technically in compliance with federal regulations with no further actions required (since no more than 10% of samples exceeded the Action Level). However, both the EPA and CDC have recognized that there is no such thing as safe levels of lead. In addition, federal regulations can of course not account for levels measured at an individual’s tap.

Chromium 6 In St. Paul Drinking Water

Chromium 6 is a toxic metal that is not regulated by the EPA. St. Paul’s tap water has recently averaged 170 parts per trillion for chromium 6. Despite the lack of regulation, these levels are over 8 times higher than the concentration determined to have a negligible impact on cancer risk.

Disinfection Byproducts (DBPs) In St. Paul Drinking Water

DBPs are emerging contaminants that form when chlorine-based disinfectants, added to the water supply to keep it ‘safe,’ then combine with naturally-occurring organic matter. These chemicals, while not regulated thoroughly, have been linked by the EPA to an increased risk of bladder cancer, as well as kidney, liver, and central nervous system problems. St. Paul’s tap water has recently had moderate levels of DBPs, with a 2016 average of 89 parts per billion (more of which comes from trihalomethanes than from haloacetic acids).

Use Of Chlorine In St. Paul Tap Water

Like many cities across the United States, the city of St. Paul adds chlorine to its drinking water to protect consumers against waterborne illness. While chlorine is not considered detrimental to health, people often find that removing it from their drinking water greatly improves the overall taste and odor. When you filter your tap water, we believe that you will notice an immediate improvement in taste.

Still Have Questions About St. Paul 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 St. Paul's 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 St. Paul's 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 St. Paul Water Quality Article On Social Media With Anyone You Think Would Benefit From The Information!

 

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Problems We Found In Plano's Drinking Water

Emma Schultz @ Wednesday, October 4, 2017 at 11:03 am -0400

Emma Schultz, M.S.  |  Scientific Contributor

For our assessment of Plano tap water, we aggregated water quality test data from the North Texas Municipal Water District, the water provider for Plano, 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 to people in Plano, TX are optimized with these issues in mind.

Sources Of Plano, TX Water

Plano’s tap water is purchased from surface water from the North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD). The primary water source is Lavon Lake, which is treated at the Wylie Water Treatment Plant. Additional water comes from Lake Texoma, the East Fork Water Reuse Project, Jim Chapman Lake, and Lake Tawakoni. NTMWD owns and operated six water treatment plants and nine pump stations, and services 1.6 million people in north Texas.

Chromium 6 Levels In Plano Tap Water

Chromium 6 is a very toxic metal that is not well regulated by the EPA. Plano’s tap water has recently averaged 120 parts per trillion for chromium 6. These levels nearly 6 times higher than the concentration determined to have a negligible impact on cancer risk. Contrary to some myths circulating around the web, boiling your water does NOT remove chromium 6.

Lead Levels In Plano Tap Water

Unlike things like chromium 6 and arsenic, contaminants that come from 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 of data from EPA's SDWIS database, Plano's 90th percentile concentration for lead was 3 parts per billion. While Plano is in compliance with loose federal standards, the 3 parts per billion level is higher than the 1 ppb level that the American Academy of Pediatrics is lobbying for.

Disinfection Byproducts (DBPs) In Plano Drinking Water

DBPs are emerging contaminants that form when chlorine-based disinfectants are added to the water supply, and then combine with naturally-occurring organic matter (such as leaves). These chemicals are not well-regulated, but the EPA has stated that they are linked to an increased risk of bladder cancer, and kidney, liver, and central nervous system problems. The Plano water quality report from 2016 found a moderate maximum of 62.1 parts per billion for the two regulated classes of DBPs (TTHMs + HAAs)

Atrazine In Plano's Tap Water

Atrazine (a common herbicide) has been detected one of the providers of Plano's tap water. In addition to being an herbicide, atrazine acts as an endocrine disruptor. The presence of an herbicide in Plano's tap water shouldn't come as a huge surprise becasue Plano draws tap water from surface water sources, which are susceptible to agricultural runoff. While the most recent data indicate that the levels in Plano are below the EPA regulatory level, it's important to point out that these levels can fluctuate throughout the year.

Plano's Water Is Disinfected With Chloramine

Although most cities use chlorine as their primary disinfectant, Plano’s water is disinfected with chloramine, which is formed by mixing chlorine and ammonia. Chloramine is the primary culprit for what customers often report as the “bad taste” of tap water, and unlike chlorine will not dissipate if left in the fridge overnight. As Plano’s chloramine levels in 2016 were quite high, at an average of 3.05 parts per million, it is likely that many customers are dissatisfied with the taste of their water. Most one-size-fits-all water filters use filtration media that doesn’t successfully removing chloramine, but the filters that Hydroviv builds for Plano use special filtration media that are specifically built to remove chloramine as well.

Still Have Questions About Plano 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 Plano tap water, but all of our water filters 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 Plano's 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 Article On Social Media With Anyone You Think Would Benefit From The Information!

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What You Need To Know About Cincinnati Drinking Water

Emma Schultz @ Saturday, September 23, 2017 at 12:17 pm -0400


Emma Schultz M.S. | Scientific Contributor 
Updated July 24, 2019 to include current water quality data

For our assessment of Cincinnati's water quality, our team of Water Nerds collected data from the Greater Cincinnati Water WorksU.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as well as from samples that we collect and analyze. We then 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 Cincinnati are optimized with these issues in mind.

Source Of Cincinnati Drinking Water

Cincinnati’s tap water comes from both surface and groundwater sources. Surface water from the Ohio River is treated at the Miller Treatment Plant, located in eastern Hamilton County. This water accounts for the majority of the city’s tap water. Groundwater comes from one of 13 wells drawing from the Great Miami Buried Valley Aquifer, and is treated at the Bolton Treatment Plant in southern Bolton County. Cincinnati water coming from the aquifer has been designated as highly susceptible to contamination because there is no over-topping layer (typically clay) to protect the resource.

Lead In Cincinnati Drinking Water

Lead enters into tap water through old lead service pipes and lead plumbing. When corrosion control measures fail (such as the recent catastrophe in Flint, Michigan), lead leaches into drinking water, and can reach toxic levels. Recent analysis for lead in Cincinnati water found 90th percentile concentrations of lead to be 7.28 parts per billion (ppb). The maximum sampled concentration of lead was a disquieting 44.7 ppb. Of the 158 sites sampled, 7 sites exceeded the Action Level of 15 ppb. While Cincinnati's water quality is in compliance with all federal regulations and no further actions are required (because no more than 10% of samples exceed the Action Level), the EPACDC and American Academy of Pediatrics have acknowledged that there is no such thing as safe levels of lead. In addition, federal regulations can of course not account for levels measured at an individual tap.

Chromium 6 In Cincinnati Drinking Water

Chromium 6 is a very toxic metal that is not regulated by the EPA. Cincinnati’s tap water quality has recently averaged 117 parts per trillion for chromium 6. These levels are nearly 6 times higher than the minimum concentration determined to have a negligible impact on cancer risk.

Disinfection Byproducts (DBPs) In Cincinnati Drinking Water

DBPs are emerging contaminants that form when chlorine-based disinfectants are added to the water supply, and then combine with naturally-occurring organic matter. These chemicals are not regulated thoroughly, although the EPA has stated that they are linked to an increased risk of bladder cancer, as well as kidney, liver, and central nervous system problems. EPA regulates two categories of DBPs: haloacetic acids 5 and total trihalomethanes. According to this years report, the concentration of total trihalomethanes in Cincinnati tap water was as high as 65.9 parts per billion, which is just below the EPA Maximum Contaminant Level of 80 parts per billion.

Use Of Chlorine In Cincinnati Tap Water

As with many cities in the United States, Cincinnati adds chlorine to its drinking water to protect consumers against waterborne illness. While chlorine is not considered noxious, people often find that removing it from their drinking water greatly improves the overall taste and odor. When you choose to filter your tap water, we believe that you will notice an immediate improvement in taste.

Still Have Questions About Cincinnati 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 Cincinnati 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).

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Problems We Found With Philadelphia Drinking Water

Kezia Snipe @ Saturday, September 9, 2017 at 4:40 am -0400

 

Kezia Snipe | Research Analyst 

***Updated to include 2019 water quality data***

Our Water Nerds have updated our assessment of Philadelphia drinking water to include the most recent available data. We used data from the Philadelphia Water Department 2018 water quality report,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 Hydroviv builds for Philadelphia residents are optimized with these numbers in mind.

Source Of Philadelphia Drinking Water

Philadelphia’s drinking water comes from the Schuylkill and Delaware rivers. Each river contributes one-half of the City’s overall supply and approximately 250 million gallons of drinking water on a daily basis. Rivers are surface water supplies. Philadelphia does not use groundwater.

Lead In Philadelphia Drinking Water

Philadelphia has over 50,000 homes with lead service pipes, but EPA only requires the city to test 50 of them. Unlike contaminants like chromium 6 or arsenic, lead leaches into drinking water through older lead service pipes and lead-containing plumbing. Because Philadelphia is an old city with lots of lead service pipes and internal plumbing, Philadelphia homes are even more susceptible to lead contamination. Currently, 10% of Philadelphia's water quality samples collected for lead analysis are 2 parts per billion or higher, but the city has been criticized because they oversample homes with low risk of lead contamination, skewing the data. For this reason, we recommend that all older homes in Philadelphia filter their water using a filter that is rated for lead.

Chromium 6 Contamination In Philadelphia Drinking Water

Chromium 6 is an extremely toxic metal that is not currently regulated by the EPA. In recent years, Philadelphia tap water has averaged 388 parts per trillion for Chromium 6. For the sake of perspective, these levels are 20 times higher than the concentration determined to have negligible impact on cancer risk.

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

Chlorine

Like most other cities in the U.S., Philadelphia injects its water with chlorine to protect against waterborne illness. While not typically considered to be harmful on its own, many people find that removing chlorine from drinking water greatly improves taste and odor.

Still Have Questions?

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 Philadelphia 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 Philadelphia 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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