Problems We Found In Rochester, New York Drinking Water


Analies Dyjak  |  Policy Nerd

For Hydroviv’s assessment of Rochester, New York drinking water, we collected water quality test data from Rochester's annual Consumer Confidence Report and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. We cross referenced Rochester drinking 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 Rochester drinking water.

Lead In Rochester Drinking Water

Rochester is an older city, so it's no surprise that lead contamination in drinking water is of huge concern. 10% of sites tested for lead had concentrations over 9.7 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. Additionally, the city of Rochester only sampled 58 household taps which is a very small percentage of homes in Rochester. This small representation isn’t a great indicator of the actual scope of the lead problem in Rochester. Lead exposure can cause developmental issues, lowered IQ, and damages to the kidneys and brain.

Industrial Runoff In Rochester Drinking Water

Several industrial heavy metals detected in Rochester’s 2017 drinking water report. Molybdenum, Strontium, and Vanadium were detected throughout most distribution systems, all of which are associated with metal or electronic processing. Chromium 6 was also detected at concentrations ranging from 0.07 to 0.09 parts per billion. For a bit of perspective, this is upwards of 4.5 times higher than level health experts say has a negligible impact on cancer risk.

Disinfection Byproducts In Rochester Drinking Water

The city of Rochester's water quality also has a problem with disinfection byproducts of DBPs. DBPs are formed when chlorine-based disinfectants that are routinely added to the water supply to kill bacteria, react with organic matter. In this years report, concentrations of trihalomethanes ranged from 12 to 81 parts per billion. For a bit of perspective, EPA’s maximum contaminant level for trihalomethanes is 80 parts per billion. So although the average is technically in compliance with EPA’s threshold, the levels of DBPs in Rochester are definitely high. 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.

Other Articles We Think You Might Enjoy:
Lead In Drinking Water: What You Need To Know
What Are Disinfection Byproducts?
Chromium 6: What You Need To Know 
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