Problems We Found With Las Vegas Drinking Water
Analies Dyjak | Policy Nerd
For Hydroviv’s assessment of Las Vegas drinking water, we collected water quality test data from city’s Consumer Confidence Report and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. We cross referenced their 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 Las Vegas drinking water.
Where Does Las Vegas Source Its Drinking Water?
Las Vegas sources its drinking water from both surface and groundwater sources. 90% comes from Lake Mead, which receives water from the Rocky Mountains and Colorado River. The rest of the water is sourced from a groundwater aquifer which is located below the Las Vegas Valley.
Chromium 6 In Las Vegas Drinking Water
Chromium 6 is a highly toxic metal that is currently unregulated by the EPA. In recent years, Las Vegas 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 most recent data detected an average concentration of 0.20 parts per billion, but found that levels reached as high as 0.85 parts per billion. This concentration is 42 times higher than the level determined to have a negligible impact on cancer risk. 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 disease, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, hematological, hepatic, renal, and neurological distress which may result in death.
Lead In Las Vegas Drinking Water
In recent years, Las Vegas has had a problem with lead in drinking water. 10% of sites that were tested for lead had concentrations over 2.6 parts per billion and the highest detected concentration was 7.5 parts per billion. Though currently in compliance with the federal Action Level of 15 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, these measurements may not be a true indication of your tap water if your home has lead plumbing or lead fixtures. Treated water leaving the plant may be in compliance with loose EPA standards, but could become contaminated once it enters older infrastructure. Lead enters tap water through old lead service pipes and lead-containing plumbing. Lead exposure can cause developmental issues, lowered IQ, and damages to the kidneys and brain.
Disinfection Byproducts In Las Vegas Drinking Water
According to this years report, Las Vegas also has elevated levels of Disinfection Byproducts or DBPs. Concentrations were detected as high as 33 parts per billion for Haloacetic Acids-5 and 70 parts per billion for Total Trihalomethanes in Las Vegas drinking water. Disinfection Byproducts 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) which has a Maximum Contaminant Level of 80 parts per billion and Haloacetic Acids-5 (HAA5) which has a Maximum Contaminant Level of 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. 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.
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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 Las Vegas 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 email@example.com.
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- Analies Dyjak