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Problems We Found In Houston's Drinking Water

Analies Dyjak | Policy Nerd 
Updated July 17, 2019 to include current data

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

Houston receives its drinking water from three water purification plants and 40 groundwater plants. 16 additional groundwater plants provide water for the remaining 5 Houston 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. The highest detected concentration of arsenic in Houston's main system was 11 parts per billion. While the average of 2 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. 

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.

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, 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

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

The tap water Memphis uses for drinking, cooking, recreation and industry comes from the Memphis Aquifer, it 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.

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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Problems We Found in Bellevue's Drinking Water

Kezia Snipe | Hydroviv Research Analyst

For Hydroviv’s Bellevue water quality report, we aggregated water quality test data from City of Bellevue Utilities, 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 scientific and medical literature, and look at upcoming regulatory changes.  The water filters that we build for people who live in Bellevue are optimized with these figures in mind.

Source Of Bellevue Drinking Water

The City of Bellevue’s water comes from the Cedar River and the south fork of the Tolt River. The water is purchased through Cascade Water Alliance (Cascade), which purchases its water from Seattle Public Utilities. Cascade also owns Lake Tapps, which can serve as a future source of water if needed.

Lead Levels In Bellevue 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 what happened in Flint, Michigan), lead leaches into the drinking water and can reach toxic levels. Recent analysis for lead in city of Bellevue's water quality revealed an average of 4.4 parts per billion. While the regulatory limit is 15 ppb, both the EPA and CDC 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 Levels In Bellevue Drinking Water

Chromium 6 is a highly toxic metal that is not regulated by the EPA.  In recent years, Bellevue’s tap water has averaged 110 parts per trillion for Chromium 6.  While the city of Bellevue's water quality is in compliance with nonexistent federal and very loose state regulations, these levels more than 5 times higher than the concentration determined to have negligible impact on cancer risk

Disinfection Byproducts (DBPs) In Bellevue 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 website discloses that high levels of disinfection byproducts in drinking water are are associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer, as well as kidney, liver, and central nervous system problems. 

Still Have Questions About Bellevue Tap Water Or Water Quality In General?

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 Bellevue, but our filters provide broad protection against a wide range of additional contaminants found in Bellevue's tap water.

If you’re interested in learning more about water filters that have been optimized for Bellevue, 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 on staff).

Please Share This Bellevue Water Quality Report Article On Social Media With Anyone You Think Would Benefit From The Information!

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Problems We Found With Winston-Salem, North Carolina Drinking Water

Emma Schultz, M.S. | Scientific Contributor   
Updated August 16, 2019 to include current data

For our assessment of Winston-Salem’s tap water quality, we aggregated water quality test data from the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Utility Commission, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as well as from samples that we collect and analyze. Our Water Nerds cross reference these data with toxicity studies in scientific and medical literature, and look at upcoming regulatory changes.The water filters that we sell in Winston-Salem are optimized to remove the contaminants that were detected. 

Source Of Winston-Salem Drinking Water

Winston-Salem’s drinking water is surface water-based, with water coming from both the Yadkin River and from Salem Lake. Water is treated at one of the three water treatment facilities operated by the City/County Utility Commission.

Lead In Winston-Salem Drinking Water

Lead enters consumer 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 drinking water and can reach toxic levels. According to the most recent Winston-Salem water quality analysis the 90th percentile concentration of 51 sampled sites of less than 2 parts per billion for lead in drinking water. While the Action Level is 15 parts per billion, the EPACDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics all recognize that there is no safe level of lead for children. And of course, federal regulations cannot take into account levels measured in an individual home’s tap.

Per and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) In Hampton Drinking Water

PFAS are a class of chemicals found in various non-stick and 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. PFAS have historically been an ingredient in fire fighting foam, which is why they're often found on or near military bases. Most municipalities don't test for PFAS, including Winston-Salem. Hydroviv undersink filters remove PFAS. If you'd like to check out third-party data on our removal rates, send us an email at hello@hydroviv.com

Chromium 6 In Winston-Salem Drinking Water

Chromium 6 is a highly toxic metal that, while monitored, is not regulated by the EPA. Winston-Salem’s tap water quality recently averaged 52 parts per trillion for chromium 6. These average levels are 2.6 times higher than the concentration determined to have a negligible impact on cancer risk.

Disinfection Byproducts (DBPs) In Winston-Salem 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 stated that they are associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer, as well as kidney, liver, and central nervous system problems. EPA regulates two types of DBPs: Total Trihalomethanes (TTHMs) and Halo Acetic Acids 5 (HAA5). TTHMs in Winston-Salem’s tap water had a 2018 Local Running Annual average of 48.4 parts per billion. Consumers may be interested to know that levels of TTHMs ranged as high as 96.6 parts per billion, while the EPA’s Maximum Residual Disinfectant Level (MRDL) is only 80 parts per billion. Although these upper range values are well above the MRDL, this is not an EPA violation, since local running annual averages are used for comparison.

Use Of Chlorine In Winston-Salem Tap Water

Like most cities in the United States, Winston-Salem adds chlorine to its water supply to keep consumers safe from waterborne pathogens. While not considered harmful at low levels, many people find that removing the chlorine from their water supply results in a taste and odor improvement. When you choose to filter your tap water, we believe you will notice an immediate taste enhancement.


Still Have Questions About Winston-Salem’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 Winston-Salem’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 Winston-Salem 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.

Other Articles We Think You Might Enjoy: 

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Problems We Found With Madison's Drinking Water

Emma Schultz, M.S. | Scientific Contributor   

For our assessment of Madison tap & drinking water, we aggregated water quality test data from Madison Water Utility, 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 Madison are optimized with these issues in mind.

Source Of Madison Drinking Water

Madison’s tap & drinking water is groundwater-sourced, and comes from a sandstone aquifer underneath the city. Madison Water Utility utilizes 22 wells (reaching as far underground as 1179 feet) and 30 reservoirs, including 5 elevated water towers.

Lead In Madison Drinking Water

Lead enters into Madison's tap & drinking 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 Madison found a 90th percentile concentration of 3.5 ppb, with an upper range of 10 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. Of course, federal regulations cannot take into account levels measured at an individual tap.

High Levels Of Chromium 6 In Madison Drinking Water

Chromium 6 is a highly toxic metal that, while monitored, is not regulated by the EPA. A recent city of Madison water quality report revealed an average of 1100 parts per trillion for chromium 6, with samples ranging up to 2000 ppt. It should be noted that of Madison’s 22 wells, only six appear to have been tested for chromium 6 for the 2016 consumer confidence report. Average levels are 55 times higher (and the upper range is 100 times higher) than the concentration determined to have a negligible impact on cancer risk.

Use Of Chlorine In Madison Tap Water

Like most cities in the United States, Madison adds chlorine to its water supply to keep consumers safe from waterborne pathogens. While not considered harmful in low concentrations, many people find that removing the chlorine from their water supply results in a taste and odor improvement. When you choose to filter your tap water, we believe you will notice an immediate taste enhancement.


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

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