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Problems We Found In Irvine, California Drinking Water

Emma Schultz @ Tuesday, November 28, 2017 at 3:25 pm -0500

Emma Schultz, M.S.  |  Scientific Contributor
**Updated July 19, 2019 to include current data

Our Water Nerds have updated our assessment of Irvine drinking water to include the most recent available data. We used information from the Irvine Ranch Water District, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as well as from samples that we collect and analyze. Our team then cross references these water data with toxicity studies in the scientific and medical literature, and look at upcoming regulatory changes. The water filters that we sell in Irvine are optimized with these issues in mind.

Source Of Irvine Drinking Water

Irvine's drinking and tap water is a mix of groundwater - and imported surface water-based. 65% of the water supply is groundwater that comes from the Orange County Groundwater Basin. Additional groundwater is also obtained from the Cleveland National Forest from the Harding Canyon Dam watershed, the State Water Project and the Colorado River. 

Arsenic In Irvine Drinking Water

Arsenic is a toxic heavy metal that can cause cancer and other health problems. Arsenic originates naturally in source water. Although Irvine's water quality is in compliance with EPA water quality standards, consumers should know that the U.S. EPA's standard balances toxicity against the costs of removing arsenic from drinking water. Irvine’s most recent tap water quality report listed a highest level detected of 3.6 parts per billion, with a local treated groundwater average of less than 2 ppb. We strongly suggest that tap water with more than 1 part per billion be treated to remove arsenic, especially in homes with children.

Lead In Irvine 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 hazardous levels. Recent analysis for lead in Irvine's tap water found a 90th percentile concentration of less than 5 parts per billion. While the Action Level is 15 parts per billion, the EPACDC and 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 Irvine Drinking Water

Chromium 6 is a highly toxic metal that, while monitored, is not regulated by the EPA. Irvine’s tap water recently averaged 240 parts per trillion for chromium 6, with samples ranging up to 720 ppt. Average levels are 12 times higher (with the upper range 36 times higher) than the concentration determined to have a negligible impact on cancer risk.

Disinfection Byproducts (DBPs) In Irvine Drinking Water

DBPs are a category of emerging contaminants that are created when chlorine-based disinfectants added to the water supply combine with naturally-occurring organic matter. Although these chemicals are not fully regulated, the EPA has explicitly stated that they are linked to an increased risk of bladder cancer, as well as kidney, liver, and central nervous system problems. Irvine’s tap water had a 2016 average tested across twelve locations of 57 parts per billion, ranging as high as 58 ppb. This is well within the Maximum Contaminant Levels for Total Trihalomethanes and Haloacetic Acids.

Use Of Chloramine In Irvine Tap Water

While many cities use chlorine as the primary disinfectant, Irvine’s water is disinfected with chloramine, made by combining chlorine and ammonia. Chloramine is the frequent problem when customers report a “bad taste” in their tap water, and unlike chlorine will not fade away if left in the fridge overnight. The recent chloramine residual for Irvine was 1.9 parts per million, with samples ranging as high as 11 ppm; while not a violation, this amount exceeds the maximum residual disinfectant level of 4.0 ppm. Most one-size-fits-all water filters use filtration media that don’t adequately remove chloramine, but the filters that Hydroviv builds for Irvine use special filtration media that are purpose-built to remove chloramine as well.

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

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Problems We Found In Colorado Springs Drinking Water

Analies Dyjak @ Thursday, November 30, 2017 at 10:12 pm -0500

**Updated June 15, 2020 to include information from the most recent Colorado Springs Consumer Confidence Report

Analies Dyjak, M.A. | Hydroviv Research Analyst

Our Water Nerds have updated our assessment of Colorado Springs drinking water to include the most recent available data. We aggregated data from the Colorado Springs Utilities, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as well as from samples that we collect and analyze. Our team of Water Nerds then cross-references these data with toxicity studies in scientific literature. The water filters that we sell in Colorado Springs are optimized with this data in mind.

Source Of Colorado Springs Drinking Water

Colorado Springs imports mountain stream-water from Aspen, Leadville, and Brekenridge. Almost 75% of Colorado Springs' water originates from mountain streams. Water from these streams is collected and stored in the Homestake, Fryingpan-Arkansas, Twin Lakes, and Blue River systems. Supplementary surface and groundwater are diverted to Colorado Spring Utility for treatment.

Per and Polyfluoralkyl Substances (PFAS) In Colorado Springs Drinking Water

PFAS are a class of chemicals found various non-stick, stain resistant products, as well as fire fighting foam. PFAS are considered to be "emerging contaminants" because they are not currently regulated by EPA, but are known to be toxic and persistent in the environment. In some wells around Colorado Springs, PFAS levels are more than 20x higher than advisory levels. Hydroviv undersink filters remove PFAS. It's important to note that not all water filters are designed to remove PFAS from drinking water. If you'd like find water filters that remove PFAS from tap water, check out this Duke/NC State PFAS study. 

Lead In Colorado Springs Drinking Water

Lead enters Colorado Springs consumer's tap 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. According to data from two sampling periods, the 90th percentile for lead in Colorado Springs was 4.4 parts per billion from January to June, and 3.6 parts per billion from July to December. While Colorado Springs is within the 15 part per billion Action Level, EPACDC and American Academy of Pediatrics all recognize that there is no such thing as a safe level of lead for children. In addition, Colorado Springs only sampled just over 100 individual taps to obtain these data. Hydroviv Undersink filters are NSF/ANSI 53 certified to remove lead from drinking water.

High Levels of Chromium 6 Levels In Colorado Springs Drinking Water

What is Chromium 6? Chromium 6 (also known as the Erin Brockavich chemical is a highly toxic metal that, while monitored, is not regulated by the EPA. In recent year, Colorado Springs has had very high concentrations of chromium 6 in drinking water. Public heath officials agree that chromium 6 levels above 20 parts per trillion, may have a negligible impact on cancer risk.

Disinfection Byproducts (DBPs) In Colorado Springs 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 Colorado Spring’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 Colorado Springs tap water, but all of our home water filtration systems provide broad protection against other contaminants commonly found in drinking water.

Please Share This Colorado Springs 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

Analies Dyjak @ Thursday, July 26, 2018 at 1:16 pm -0400

**Updated June 10, 2020 to include Houston's most recent Consumer Confidence Report.
Analies Dyjak  |  Policy Nerd

For Hydroviv’s report of Houston, we aggregated water quality test data from the City of Houston Public Works 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

A majority of Houston drinking water comes from the San Jacinto River, which has a long history of pollution. Remaining source water comes from the Evangeline and Chicot Aquifers. The aftermath of Hurricane Harvey caused a Superfund site (with high levels of Dioxin) to spill into the San Jacinto River. Raw water is then purified at three surface water treatment plants and 40 groundwater treatment plants. 16 supplementary groundwater plants provide water for the remaining 5 Houston systems.

Per and Polyfluoralkyl Substances (PFAS) In Houston Drinking Water

PFAS are a category of chemicals found in various non-stick/stain resistant products, as well as fire fighting foam. PFAS are considered to be "emerging contaminants" because they are not currently regulated by EPA, but are known to be toxic and persistent in the environment. Most municipalities are not required to test for, or remove, PFAS from drinking water. Elevated levels of PFAS have been identified in areas around the San Jacinto River, so it's likely in Houston tap water. Not all filters are designed to remove PFAS from drinking water. If you'd like find water filters that remove PFAS from tap water, check out this Duke/NC State study. 

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. The highest detected concentration of arsenic in Houston's main system was 8 parts per billion. While the average of 2.3 parts per billion is within EPA's regulated threshold, 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 be addressed. Hydroviv Undersink filters are NSF/ANSI 53 certified to remove lead from drinking water.

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 747 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. 

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. The levels of both categories of regulated DBPs (TTHMs and HAA5) were elevated in Houston tap water. 

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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Problems We Found With St. Petersburg, Florida Drinking Water

Emma Schultz @ Monday, November 27, 2017 at 1:24 pm -0500

Emma Schultz, M.S.  |  Scientific Contributor
**Updated August 1, 2019 to include current data

Our Water Nerds have updated our assessment of St. Petersburg drinking water to include the most current data. To do this, we aggregated water quality test data Water Resources Department, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as well as from samples that we collect and analyze. Our team is then able to cross reference these data with toxicity studies in scientific literature. The water filters that we sell in St. Petersburg are optimized with this information in mind. 

Source Of St. Petersburg Drinking Water

The City of St. Petersburg gets drinking water from a mix of groundwater and surface water sources. St. Petersburg is part of Tampa Bay Water, along with six other regional members. Groundwater originates from eleven well fields from the Floridan aquifer. Surface-based water comes from the Alafia River, the Hillsborough River, the C. W. Bill Young Regional Reservoir, and the Tampa Bypass Canal. 

Lead In St. Petersburg Drinking Water

Lead enters into St. Petersburg consumer's tap water through old lead service pipes and lead-containing plumbing. When corrosion control measures fail (as recently witnessed in Flint, Michigan), lead leaches into the drinking water, reaching toxic levels. Recent analysis for lead in St. Petersburg found an average of 1.9 parts per billion. EPACDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics all recognize that there is no safe level of lead for children. Federal regulations cannot possibly take into account levels measured at an individual tap.

Chromium 6 In St. Petersburg Drinking Water

Chromium 6 is a highly toxic metal that is not regulated by the EPA. St. Petersburg’s tap water recently averaged 82 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 Chloramine In St. Petersburg Tap Water

While most cities use chlorine as the primary disinfectant, St. Petersburg’s water is disinfected with chloramine, which is made by combining chlorine and ammonia. Chloramine is the frequent issue when customers report a “bad taste” in their tap water, and unlike chlorine will not fade away if left in the fridge overnight. The recent chloramine running annual average for St. Petersburg was 3.81 parts per million, with samples ranging as high as 6.6 ppm; the maximum residual disinfectant level, in comparison, is only 4.0 ppm. Most one-size-fits-all water filters use filtration media that don’t adequately remove chloramine, but the filters that Hydroviv builds for St. Petersburg use special filtration media that are purpose-built to remove chloramine as well.

Still Have Questions About St. Petersburg’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 St. Petersburg 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. Petersburg 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 St. Petersburg water Quality Article On Social Media With Anyone You Think Would Benefit From The Information!

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Information On Memphis Tap Water

Analies Dyjak @ Friday, November 10, 2017 at 11:56 am -0500

Kezia Snipe | Hydroviv Research Analyst

For Hydroviv’s assessment of Memphis' water quality, we aggregated water quality test data from Memphis Light, Gas & Water, the city’s water provider and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). 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 figures in mind.

Source Of Memphis Drinking Water

Memphis tap water comes from the Memphis Aquifer, which is a natural underground reservoir located from 350 to 1,100 feet below ground surface. It is a part of a larger system of aquifers extending to a depth of 2,600 feet. The aquifers are composed of layers of clay, sand and gravel that act as a natural filter to remove many impurities from the water, which is contained within the sands. The wells connected into this system are commonly known as “artesian wells” because they draw the naturally purified water to the surface by releasing the built-up pressure which forces the water up the well like liquid through a straw.

Lead in Memphis Tap Water

Lead levels in Memphis, Tennessee tap water are higher than what health officials claim to be safe. The current lead levels in Memphis water are 8.72 parts per billion. Although the EPA Action Level is 15 parts per billion, EPA's Maximum Contaminant Level Goal is 0 parts per billion. Lead enters tap water from older lead service pipes and plumbing. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, there is no safe level of lead - and any amount can cause developmental issues, lowered IQ, and other impacts to the brain. 

Use of Chlorine in Memphis Tap Water

Like most cities in the United States, Memphis adds chlorine to its water supply to keep consumers safe from waterborne illness. While chlorine is not necessarily harmful, it can make tap water taste and smell very unpleasant. When you choose to filter chlorine from 

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

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