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What You Need To Know About Minneapolis Drinking Water

Emma Schultz, M.S. | Scientific Contributor      

For our assessment of Minneapolis' tap water quality, we aggregated water quality test data from City of Minneapolis Public Works (the municipality that provides drinking water for the City of Minneapolis), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as well as from samples that we collect and analyze. We cross reference Minneapolis' water quality data with toxicity studies in the scientific and medical literature, and look at upcoming regulatory changes. 

Minneapolis Source Water

Minneapolis tap water is drawn from the Mississippi River. In preparing the water for citywide distribution, Minneapolis treats the water by adding corrosion inhibitors, chloramine, fluoride.  The water also undergoes particulate removal, softening, and taste/odor control before entering the distribution system.

Chromium 6 In Minneapolis Drinking Water

Chromium 6 (also known as hexavalent chromium) is a highly toxic metal that not currently regulated by the EPA.  Minneapolis tap water concentrations in Minneapolis have recently averaged 310 parts per trillion for chromium 6 over a 3 year period.  Put in perspective, these levels are roughly 15 times higher than the levels considered to have a negligible impact on cancer risk.

Disinfection Byproducts (DBPs)

Disinfection byproducts (DBPs) are a category of halogenated emerging contaminants that form when chlorine-based disinfectants combine with naturally-occurring organic matter.  Although these chemicals are not yet tightly-regulated, the US EPA reports that high levels are associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer, as well as kidney, liver, and central nervous system problems. While Minneapolis’ tap water quality is in compliance with EPA regulations, Haloacetic Acid (HAA5) concentrations are on the high end (up to 55.4 ppb in the most recent report), and trihalomethanes (THMs) were as high as 33.3 ppb.

Chloramine

While most cities use chlorine as the primary disinfectant, Minneapolis tap water is disinfected with chloramine, which is produced by mixing chlorine and ammonia. Chloramine is typically responsible for what customers often report as the “bad taste” of tap water, and unlike chlorine, does 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 adequately remove chloramine, but the filters that Hydroviv builds for Minneapolis' water quality uses special filtration media that are purpose-built to remove chloramine as well.

Lead

Lead is a toxic heavy metal that can a major negative impact on the development of infants and children.  While the city is currently in compliance with federal regulations, EPA and CDC both acknowledge that there is no safe level of lead.  In comparison to the rest of the US, citywide lead concentrations in Minneapolis are relatively low, but roughly 10% of the sampled taps are over 1.6 parts ppb.  However, the concentrations measured at an individual tap can be much higher, particularly if your home has plumbing that contains lead pipes, fixtures, or valves.

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 Minneapolis 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 our water filters that have been optimized for Minneapolis' 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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Problems We Found With St. Louis Tap Water

Emma Schultz, M.S. | Scientific Contributor   

For our assessment of St. Louis' tap water quality, we aggregated water quality test data from the City of St. Louis Water Division, the water provider for St. Louis, 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 in St. Louis are optimized with these water problems in mind.

Mississippi River: Source Of St. Louis Tap Water

St. Louis tap water is surface water-sourced. The Howard Bend water treatment facility draws water from the Mississippi River, and the Chain of Rocks treatment plant draws primarily from the Missouri River, though its location south of the confluence of Missouri and Mississippi Rivers means it sources Mississippi River water as well.

Alarming Levels Of Chromium 6 In St. Louis Tap Water

Chromium 6 is a highly toxic metal that, despite its toxicity, is not currently regulated by the EPA. St. Louis tap water has recently averaged a startling 1300 parts per trillion for chromium 6. To better understand why this should be of concern to St. Louis residents, these levels are 63 times higher than the concentration determined to have a negligible impact on cancer risk, and are the 2nd highest level in major U.S. cities (behind only Phoenix).  Because chromium 6 comes from the water supply (not the pipes), we HIGHLY recommend that all St. Louis residents take steps to filter chromium 6 from their water.  Boiling or freezing water does not remove chromium 6.  

Lead In St. Louis Tap Water

Lead enters into tap water through aged lead service pipes and lead-containing plumbing. When corrosion control measures fail (as recently happened in Flint, Michigan), lead leaches into the drinking water, and can reach toxic levels.  Recent analysis for lead in St. Louis found the 90th percentile of sampled concentrations at 1.55 parts per billion.  While the city is in compliance with federal regulations, EPA and CDC also acknowledge that there is no such thing as a safe level of lead. Of course, federal regulations also cannot take into account levels measured at an individual tap, so we encourage St. Louis residents that live in older homes to get their water tested by an accredited laboratory.  This article gives homeowners guidance on how to test for lead in the home.  

Disinfection Byproducts (DBPs) In St. Louis Tap Water

Disinfection byproducts (DBPs) are a type of emerging contaminants that occur when chlorine-based disinfectants, added to the water supply, combine with naturally-occurring organic matter found in the water.  While these chemicals are not well-regulated, the EPA has stated that they have been linked to increased risks of bladder cancer, and kidney, liver, and central nervous system problems. St. Louis tap water has recently had moderately high levels of the two regulated classes of DBPs, with a recent average of 60.9 ppb.

Chloramine Is Used In St. Louis Tap Water Instead of Chlorine

While most cities use chlorine as their primary disinfectant, St. Louis water is disinfected with chloramine (a product of chlorine and ammonia). Chloramine is primarily responsible for what customers often report as the “bad taste”of tap water, and unfortunately does 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 adequately remove chloramine, but the water filters that Hydroviv builds for St. Louis use special filtration media that are purpose-built to remove chloramine as well.

Still Have Questions About St. Louis 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 St. Louis 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 St. Louis tap water problems, 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. Louis Water Quality Article On Social Media With Anyone You Think Would Benefit From The Information!

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Problems We Found In Jacksonville's Drinking Water

Kezia Snipe | Research Analyst

For our assessment of Jacksonville's tap and drinking water quality, we aggregated water quality test data from the Jacksonville Electric Authority, the water provider for the Florida 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 for our Jacksonville customers with these numbers in mind.

Source Of Jacksonville Drinking Water

Jacksonville’s drinking water comes from the Floridan aquifer, one of the major sources of groundwater in the United States. Floridan wells are protected from surface chemical contamination by the Hawthorne formation, which is a thick layer of clay that prevents pollutants from seeping below it. Water comes from over 115 Floridan wells throughout Duval, St. Johns and Nassau Counties and is pumped from the aquifer into large reservoirs at one of 37 water treatment plants.

Arsenic Detected In Jacksonville 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 Jacksonville is in compliance with EPA water quality standards, it’s important to point out that EPA’s drinking water standards balance the toxicity of the contaminant against the costs of it at the municipal scale. The most recent tap water quality report for Jacksonville reported an average arsenic concentration of 2.75 parts per billion. 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 Found In Jacksonville 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 recently happened in Flint, Michigan), lead leaches into the drinking water, and can reach dangerous levels. Currently, 10% of samples analyzed for lead in Jacksonville are 2.26 parts per billion. Though Jacksonville's drinking water quality is in compliance with loose 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.  

Disinfection Byproducts (DBPs) In Jacksonville Drinking Water

Disinfection Byproducts (DBPs) are a category of emerging contaminants that form when chlorine-based disinfectants react with naturally-occurring organic matter.  Although these chemicals are only loosely regulated at this time, the EPA  website discloses that that high levels of DBPs are associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer, as well as kidney, liver, and central nervous system problems.

Chlorine In Jacksonville Drinking Water

Like most other municipalities in the U.S., Jacksonville 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 enhances its taste and odor.

Still Have Questions About Jacksonville Tap Water?

Hydroviv is a water filtration company that uses water quality data to optimize water filters for each city’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 Jacksonville's tap water, but all of the water filters that we build 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 Jacksonville's 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 Jacksonville Drinking Water Quality Article On Social Media With Anyone You Think Would Benefit From The Information!

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Problems We Found In Phoenix, Arizona's Drinking Water

Ernesto Esquivel | Water Nerd   

For Hydroviv’s assessment of Phoenix drinking water quality issues, we aggregated water quality test data provided by the City of Phoenix, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and supplemental health information. We cross referenced the city’s water quality test 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 Phoenix drinking water.

Source Water and Water Treatment in Phoenix, Arizona

Phoenix sources its drinking water from the Salt, Verde, Colorado, and Agua Fria rivers, as well as 20 groundwater wells. The city of Phoenix treats and distributes drinking water to over 1.5 million residents on a daily basis. When the city treats water for distribution, 4 major processes take place: The first process involves pumping water through a screen in order to remove large debris, such as leaves and dirt, from incoming water. Next, a coagulate called ferric chloride is added to the filtered water which binds particles together and sinks them to the bottom of the tank, leaving the cleaner water on the upper layer. The clumps of particles are removed and water from the upper layer is filtered again. Water is then disinfected with chlorine to kill off any bacteria and prevent microbial growth.

Lead In Phoenix Drinking Water

Lead enters tap water through lead service pipes and lead containing plumbing. Currently, 10% of the samples analyzed by the City of Phoenix had lead concentrations over 5 parts per billion. While Phoenix's water problems are technically in compliance with loose federal regulations, these levels are still of concern. If you were to ask toxicologists, pediatricians, or the Center for Disease Control, they would all tell you that there is no safe minimum level of lead. Lead is a neurotoxin that can have serious developmental effects on children, especially between the ages of 0-5.

Arsenic In Phoenix Drinking Water

Arsenic is a toxic metal that is known to cause cancer and a long list of health problems in humans. For example, arsenic can cause a number of different cancers (e.g. skin, bladder, lung, liver, prostate), as well as create non-cancerous problems with cardiovascular (heart/blood vessels), pulmonary (lungs), immune, neurological (brain), and endocrine (e.g. diabetes) systems. The concentration of Arsenic detected in Phoenix water was 8 parts per billion which is barely in compliance with the loose EPA standard of 10 parts per billion. Hydroviv recommends taking necessary steps to remove Arsenic from your water if levels exceed 1 part per billion. Additionally, private well users are more at risk of Arsenic exposure because this heavy metal naturally leaches from bedrock.

Chromium 6 In Phoenix Drinking Water

Another contaminant found in Phoenix drinking water is Chromium 6. Chromium 6 concentrations are not required to be included in water quality reports, but municipalities are required to notify the EPA if it's detected. In a 2015 Phoenix tap water quality report, the city detected concentrations of Chromium 6 as high as 0.35 parts per billion in the city’s surface water, which supplies 98% of drinking water for Phoenix. For a bit of perspective, the concentration determined to have a negligible impact on cancer risk is 0.02 parts per billion, as reported by the California Health Advisory.

Disinfection Byproducts In Phoenix Drinking Water

Chlorine based chemicals used to disinfect drinking water can often create unintended contaminants. These contaminants are called disinfection byproducts, or DBPs. They are formed when surface water enters the treatment plant, carrying non-organic matter such as leaves and twigs. This water is then treated with either chlorine or chloramine, and DBPs are formed in the process. There are two main classifications of DBPs: trihalomethanes and haloacetic acids. Currently, the maximum contaminant level, or MCL, for trihalomethanes is 80 parts per billion and 60 parts per billion for haloacetic acids. The Phoenix report found concentrations of trihalomethanes ranging from 18-87 parts per billion and concentrations ranging from 6 to 32 parts per billion for haloacetic acids.

It’s important to note that only a handful of contaminants are required to be included in annual Consumer Confidence Reports, and that there are hundreds of potentially harmful unregulated contaminants that aren’t accounted for. If you’re interested in learning more about water filters that have been optimized for Phoenix tap water quality, 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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  • Analies Dyjak

Problems We Found In New York City's Drinking Water

Analies Dyjak | Policy Nerd 

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 gets its drinking water 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 190 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 between the ages of 0-5. 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 New York City. 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 0.06 parts per billion, with an average concentration of 0.04 parts per billion. The state of California set their own health advisory level of 0.02 parts per billion 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 62 parts per billion and averaged 47 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 New York City’s tap water quality, 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 In Pasadena's Drinking Water

Kezia Snipe | Hydroviv Research Analyst


For Hydroviv’s assessment of Pasadena's city water quality, we aggregated water quality test data from Pasadena Water and Power, 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 delve into upcoming regulatory changes.  The water filters that we offer at Hydroviv are optimized with these numbers in mind.

Sources Of Pasadena Drinking Water

In 2016, PWP produced 26,890 acre-feet or 8.8 billion gallons of water, to serve approximately 166,000 consumers in Pasadena, portions of the unincorporated areas of Altadena, East Pasadena, and San Gabriel. During the year, nearly 40 percent of the water supply was pumped from local groundwater, whereas 60 percent came from imported surface water purchased from the Metropolitan Water District (MWD). Less than 1 percent was purchased from neighboring water agencies that combine surface water and groundwater.

Lead In Pasadena Drinking Water

Lead enters Pasadena's city 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 Pasadena are 1.7 parts per billion. Though 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.

Very High Chromium 6 Levels In Pasadena Drinking Water

Pasadena's water quality was reported with very high levels of Chromium 6. Chromium 6 is a highly toxic metal that is not currently regulated by the EPA.  In recent years, the city’s tap water has averaged a concerning 1900 parts per trillion for Chromium 6.  For a bit of perspective, these levels are 95 times HIGHER than the concentration determined to have negligible impact on cancer risk.

Disinfection Byproducts (DBPs) In Pasadena 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 Pasadena 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 Pasadena, 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 Pasadena 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 Please Share This Pasadena Water Quality Article On Social Media With Anyone You Think Would Benefit From The Information!

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