Water Quality Articles | Water Filter Information & Articles – Tagged "California" – Hydroviv

Problems We Found In San Jose, California Drinking Water

Ernesto Esquivel | Water Nerd   

For Hydroviv’s assessment of San Jose's Drinking Water Problems, we collected water quality test data from San Jose Water and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. We cross referenced San Jose’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 San Jose’s drinking water.

Where Does San Jose Source Its Drinking Water? 

San Jose sources its drinking water from the Santa Clara Groundwater Sub-basin, surface water from the Santa Cruz mountains, and imported surface water provided by the Santa Clara Valley Water District.

Chromium 6 In San Jose's Drinking Water 

Lets begin with a contaminant we found called chromium 6. Chromium 6 is a highly toxic metal that is currently unregulated by the EPA. In recent years, San Jose's tap water has had a problem with this dangerous contaminant. Chromium 6 pollution is associated with metal processing, tannery facilities, chromate production, stainless steel welding, and pigment production. This years water quality report for San Jose found levels of Chromium 6 in their ground water averaged 2.5 parts per billion and reach levels as high as 5.1 parts per billion. Mountain surface water averaged 0.24 parts per billion and reached levels as high as 2 parts per billion in mountain surface water. These levels are nearly 100 times higher than the concentration determined to have a negligible impact on cancer risk, which is 0.02 parts per billion. The state of California set their own health advisory level 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 disease, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, hematological, hepatic, renal, and neurological distress which may result in death. 

Lead In San Jose's Drinking Water 

In recent years, San Jose has had a huge problem with lead in drinking water. 10% of sites that were tested for lead had concentrations over 5 parts per billion. Though currently in compliance with the federal Action Level of 15 parts per billion, Environmental Protection Agency and Center for Disease Control EPA both recognize that there is no safe level of lead, especially 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 San Jose's tap water through old lead service pipes and lead-containing plumbing. Houses built before 1986 were most likely built with lead plumbing and lead fixtures. Lead exposure can cause developmental issues, lowered IQ, and damages to the kidneys and brain.

Disinfection Byproducts In San Jose's Drinking Water

San Jose municipal tap water was in also in exceedance of loose EPA standards for Disinfection Byproducts or DBPs. DBPs are split into two categories: Total Trihalomethanes (TTHMs) and Haloacetic Acids-5 (HAA5). Concentrations of haloacetic acids were detected as high as 31.2 parts per billion. EPA’s Maximum Contaminant Level is 60 parts per billion for Haloacetic Acids. Concentrations of trihalomethanes were detected as high as 58 parts per billion. EPA’s Maximum Contaminant Level is 80 parts per billion for trihalomethanes. 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 or chloramine-based disinfectants are routinely added to the water supply to kill bacteria. 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.

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 San Jose's tap and drinking water quality problems, 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.

Other Articles We Think You Might Enjoy:
5 Things To Know About Chromium 6 In Drinking Water
Lead In Drinking Water
Disinfection Byproduct: What You Need To Know

Problems We Found In Mountain View, California's Drinking Water

Analies Dyjak | Policy Nerd   

For Hydroviv’s assessment of Mountain View, California’s drinking water, we collected water quality test data from the city’s website and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. We cross referenced Mountain View’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 Mountain View’s drinking water.

Where Does Mountain View Source Its Drinking Water?

Mountain View supplies 8 million gallons of water to 80,000 residents on a daily basis. The city purchases 88% of its drinking water from the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC). A majority of this water is drawn from the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir in Yosemite National Park. 10% of Mountain View’s water is purchased from Santa Clara Valley Water District (SCVWD). Half of the SCVWD water is drawn from the San Joaquin Delta and the other half comes from local surface water and groundwater reservoirs. The remaining water comes from groundwater wells around the city.  

Lead In Mountain View Drinking Water

In recent years, Mountain View has had a huge problem with lead in drinking water. 10% of sites that were tested for lead had concentrations over 7.7 parts per billion. Though Mountain View's water quality is currently in compliance with the federal Action Level of 15 parts per billion, Environmental Protection Agency and Center for Disease Control EPA both recognize that there is no safe level of lead, especially 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. Houses built before 1986 were most likely built with lead plumbing and lead fixtures. Lead exposure can cause developmental issues, lowered IQ, and damages to the kidneys and brain.

Chromium 6 In Mountain View Drinking Water

Chromium 6 is a highly toxic metal that is currently unregulated by the EPA. In recent years, Mountain View's water quality 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 report found an average concentration of 1 parts per billion of Chromium 6 in Mountain View drinking water. These levels are as high as 50 times higher than the concentration 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.

Chloramine In Mountain View Drinking Water

While most municipalities use chlorine as the primary drinking water disinfectant, Mountain View’s drinking and tap water is disinfected with chloramine. Chloramine is primarily responsible for what many customers report as the “bad taste” or “pool smell” of tap water. Unlike chlorine, chloramine does not dissipate if a container of water is left in the refrigerator overnight. Most one-size-fits-all water filters use filtration media that doesn’t do a great job removing chloramine, but the filters that we design and build at Hydroviv for Norman use a special filtration media that is purposefully designed to remove chloramine.

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 Mountain View 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.

Other Articles We Think You Might Enjoy:
5 Things To Know About Chromium 6 In Drinking Water
Lead In Drinking Water
Chloramine In Drinking Water

Problems We Found In San Diego's Drinking Water

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

For Hydroviv’s assessment of San Diego drinking water, we collected water quality test data from the San Diego Public Utilities and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Our Water Nerds then cross reference 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 San Diego’s drinking water.

Where Does San Diego Source Its Drinking Water?

San Diego purchases water from the San Diego Water Authority. This water is sourced by the Colorado River Aqueduct and the State Water Project. The water is then treated at one of three treatment facilities throughout the city; Alvarado, Miramar, or Otay.

Extremely High Levels of Chromium 6 in San Diego

Chromium 6 is a highly toxic metal that is currently unregulated by the EPA. San Diego has had a major problem with this dangerous contaminant. In recent years, levels of chromium 6 in San Diego drinking water ranged from 50 to 170 parts per billion. These samples were collected between the years of 2013 and 2014, so it’s unknown if the Chromium 6 situation has improved or gotten worse. Chromium 6 pollution is associated with metal processing, tannery facilities, chromate production, stainless steel welding, and pigment production. 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.

Perfluorinated Compounds In San Diego's Drinking Water 

Two out of five reported California drinking water systems affected by PFOA and PFOS contamination were located within the San Diego region. Camp Pendleton and the city of San Juan Capistrano both had concentrations ranging from 0.021 to 0.062 parts per billion. The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry recently recommended setting a Minimum Risk Level of 0.02 parts per trillion for drinking water for both of these substances, which would put both locations in exceedance. These data are preliminary and the effects to human health are still unknown. This category of chemicals are “emerging contaminants” which means they are thought to pose a potential threat to human health and the environment, but have yet to be regulated. Perfluorinated Compounds contribute to environmental contamination largely due to the fact that they are highly resistant to degradation processes, and thus persist for many years in water, air and can enter the food chain via bioaccumulation in certain animal species.

Disinfection Byproducts In San Diego's Drinking Water 

San Diego has a serious problem with Total Trihalomethanes (TTHMs) which is a type Disinfection Byproduct or DBP. EPA regulates two categories of DBPs: Total Trihalomethanes (TTHMs) and Haloacetic Acids-5 (HAA5). San Diego’s average concentration of Haloacetic Acids-5 was 17 parts per billion which is in compliance with the loose EPA Maximum Contaminant Level of 60 parts per billion. The average concentration for Trihalomethanes was 60 parts per billion, but concentrations were detected as high as 126 parts per billion which indefinitely exceeds EPA’s Maximum Contaminant Level of 80 parts per billion. 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. 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.

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 San Diego’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.

Other Articles We Think You Might Enjoy:
5 Things To Know About Chromium 6 In Drinking Water
Industrial Solvents In California's Drinking Water
PFOA and PFOS Contamination: What You Need To Know
1,2,3 Trichloropropane Contamination In California Drinking Water

1,2,3 Trichloropropane Contamination In California Drinking Water

Michelle Scire | Scientific Contributor

What Is 1,2,3 Trichloropropane And Where Does It Come From?

1,2,3 Trichloropropane (TCP) is a synthetic chemical that is commonly used as an industrial solvent, cleaning and degreasing agent, and paint and varnish remover.  In California’s Central Valley, widespread TCP contamination was caused by a now-banned fumigant DBCP, which was used to kill nematodes (small worms that live in the soil).  When applied to the soil, TCP leaches from the deeper soil to groundwater. When DBCP was banned in 1977 by the EPA, it was commonly used on over 40 crops in California.  Unfortunately, TCP is persistent in the environment, and as of November 2017, 395 of the 5863 wells used by public water supplies had levels of TCP that exceeded the California regulatory limit. When looking at a map of contaminated wells (above), you will see a strip right up the center of California from south of Bakersfield to Sacramento with some prominent outliers in Los Angeles, San Diego, Salinas, San Jose, San Francisco, and Chico counties. 

Why Do We Care About TCP?

TCP is some nasty stuff. In the short-term, high levels of inhalation exposure to TCP can cause irritation of eyes, respiratory tract and skin, and has the ability to depress the central nervous system. Moreover, studies in rodents have confirmed it may affect memory, focus and muscle coordination. Long term exposure studies have found exposure in rodents can lead to liver and kidney damage as well as reduced body weight and tumor growth.  To get an idea of how toxic TCP is, the 5 part per trillion MCL (legal limit) is equivalent to a single drop of water being diluted into about 5.5 olympic sized swimming pools!.

Timeline of Public Knowledge Related To TCP Toxicity

Year

Action

1930’s

Age of chemical agriculture and the beginning of Expts. With DBCP as a fumigant.

1974

Dow memo refering to select DBCP components as, “garbage.”

1977

Ban of DBCP which contains 1,2,3 TCP except Hawaii.

1992

1,2,3-TCP was added to the list of chemicals known to the state to cause cancer, pursuant to California's Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act

1995

International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) tested TCP for carcinogenicity by oral administration in one experiment in mice and in one experiment in rats. It produced tumours of the oral mucosa and of the uterus in female mice and increased the incidences of tumours of the forestomach, liver and Harderian gland in mice of each sex. ln rats, increased incidences of tumours were observed in the preputial gland, kidney and pancreas of males, in the clitoral gland and mammary gland of females and in the oral cavity and for stomach of both males and females.

1995

Maximum contaminant levels (MCLs) have been established or are proposed at the state level in Hawaii, California, and New Jersey (ATSDR 1995).

1999

California State Water Resources Control Board established a 0.005-micrograms per liter (μg/L) drinking water notification level for 1,2,3-trichloropropane (1,2,3-TCP). This value is based on cancer risks derived from laboratory animals studies (US EPA , 1997).

2001

California State Water Resources Control Board began monitoring TCP vie the UCMR analytical method but no regulations of corrective actions put in place

2004

California State Water Resources Control Board requested a public health goal (PHG) from the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA). A PHG is not a enforceable parameter for TCP but merely a goal.

2007

OEHHA released a draft PHG (0.0007 µg/L) and technical support document

2009

OEHHA established a 0.0007-ug/L PHG for TCP.

2009

EPA Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) lists chronic oral reference dose (RfD) of 4 x 10-3 milligrams per kilogram per day (mg/kg/day) and a chronic inhalation reference concentration (RfC) of 3 x 10-4 milligrams per cubic meter (mg/m3) (EPA IRIS 2009). The cancer risk assessment for TCP is based on an oral slope factor of 30 mg/kg/day (EPA IRIS 2009).

2013

No federal Maximum Contaminant level (MCL) set for TCP in drinking water.

2017

State Water Resources Control Board voted to approve a standard for the chemical in drinking water. They set the limit at 5 parts per trillion, a level supported by clean water and pesticide reform advocates. The state will now start water systems to test all of their wells every month starting in January 2018.

Data from:  HERE

What Took Regulation Of TCP So Long?

While it’d be great if regulatory bodies were able to act quickly, the reality is that regulations take time, often decades to execute.  In the case of TCP specifically, Cindy Forbes, the deputy director for Californiawater board’s drinking water program, insists that TCP regulation was a “top priority,” but explained that they had limited resources preventing them from reaching“the finish line.” In California, the process to establish a maximum contaminant level (ie regulatory limit) includes: conducting their own peer-reviewed research, evaluating cost of detection and cleanup, as well as allowing public comment (which undoubtedly includes comments from companies responsible for contamination). Forbes claims, “It’s my priority, it’s the board’s priority,” but one has to wonder what the word priority means when there is scientific research going back 25 years explicitly showing the repercussions of this contaminant. There is only one carcinogen with a lower state public health goal for drinking water, and that is dioxin.

What Can Be Done To Treat Water That Has Been Contaminated With TCP?

Large Scale TCP Remediation Techniques

Because of the contamination primarily leaching into the ground water in California's Central Valley, ground water remediation methods have been established. TCP can be removed with traditional methods such as, “pump and treat granular activated carbon filters (GAC), in-situ oxidation, permeable reactive barriers (zero-valent zinc), dechlorination by hydrogen-releasing compounds, and emerging biodegradation techniques.” A new method was developed recently using, “in-line, pressurized advanced oxidation process (HiPOx) that has the ability to remove TCP from groundwater to below 0.005 μg/L.” The treatment techniquewill depend on the level of contamination in groundwater or soil being treated.  While these methods are indeed effective, they are expensive and require long planning/execution periods.

Small Scale (Residential) TCP Removal of TCP

If your home’s water is contaminated with TCP, and large-scale treatment isn’t happening in an acceptable time frame, some residential water filters do remove TCP.  Our advice is to find a water filter that is advertised to remove volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and ask the manufacturer for a data sheet that shows effective removal of TCP specifically.   

If you have any more questions about 1,2,3 Trichloropropane contamination, we encourage you to reach out to our “Help No Matter What” technical support through live chat or email (hello@hydroviv.com). Our Water Nerds are happy to answer any questions you may have!

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