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

Why Does Washington, DC Water Taste Bad Right Now?

Analies Ross-Dyjak | Water Nerd   

Our Water Nerds have received a ton of questions about a noticeable change in the taste and smell of Washington DC's tap water. While we've heard lots of interesting hypotheses, what's really happening is that the Washington Aqueduct (where DC Water purchases water from) has recently switched over its disinfectants from chloramine to chlorine, for an annual "Spring Cleaning" of the distribution lines. DC residents can expect funky-tasting water from March 25-May 6, 2019.

How Are Chloramine and Chlorine Different?

We answer this question in much more detail in a different post, but here's the skinny on chlorine in drinking water: Like a growing number of US cities, Washington, DC uses chloramine as the primary disinfectant for a couple of reasons:
  1. Chloramine persists longer in the distribution system, so it does a better job killing bacteria in areas of the water distribution system that are near the end of the pipes, or don't have as high of flow as other areas.

  2.  It forms fewer disinfection byproducts in the presence of organic matter.

  3.  Chloramine-treated water doesn't have as strong of a taste as chlorine-treated water.

While these are all great reasons to use chloramine, most cities that use chloramine undergo a more aggressive disinfection cycle for a few weeks each year (aka Spring Cleaning).  

What Are The Impacts of Switching to Chlorine?

People often find that the water tastes and smells like pool water during the disinfectant switch, in addition to your bathroom smelling like swimming pool's locker room after showering. If you want to fix this problem... you have a couple of options that don't involve bottled water (horrible for the environment and less regulated than tap water!).
  1.  Get a water filter that's designed to handle it (and lead, chromium 6, VOCs...)!

  2.  If you let chlorinated tap water sit in a pitcher overnight, a good amount of the chlorine taste and smell will go away.  However, many people find that the water tastes "stale" when this happens (from the less volatile disinfection byproducts).

When Will Washington, DC's Water Switch Back Over to Chloramine?

The "Spring Cleaning" period is scheduled to take place from March 25 until May 6, 2019. After May 6, the water utility provider will switch the disinfectant back over to chloramine. Until then... non-Hydroviv users will just have to hold their noses!

Other Great Articles We Think You'll Love:
Tap Water Chlorination:  The Good, The Bad, The Unknown
What Are Disinfection Byproducts and Why Should I Care?
Fluoride in Municipal Tap Water:  What You Need To Know

Problems We Found In Milwaukee's Drinking Water

Analies Dyjak | Policy Nerd   

For Hydroviv’s assessment of Milwaukee, Wisconsin’s drinking water, we collected water quality test data from the city 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 Milwaukee’s drinking water.

Where Does Milwaukee Source Its Drinking Water?

Milwaukee sources its drinking water from Lake Michigan. This surface water source has had a long history of pollution, including recent lawsuits involving Chromium 6 releases from an abutting steel facility.  

Chromium 6 In Milwaukee’s Drinking Water

Chromium 6 is a highly toxic metal that is currently unregulated by the EPA. In recent years, Milwaukee 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. This years water quality report for Milwaukee detected levels of Chromium 6 as high as 0.2 parts per billion. This concentration is 10 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.

Lead In Milwaukee's Drinking Water 

In recent years, Milwaukee has had a problem with lead in drinking water. Lead enters tap water through old lead service pipes and lead-containing plumbing. 10% of sites that were tested for lead had concentrations over 7.2 parts per billion. The highest concentration detected in 2017 was 130 parts per billion, which is a whopping 8.6 times higher that 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. These health and regulatory organizations are trying to reduce the allowable limit to 1 part per billion, so a concentration of 130 parts per billion is of serious concern. 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. 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.

Perfluorinated Compounds In Milwaukee's Drinking Water 

This years water quality report for Milwaukee included test data from six Perfluorinated Compounds (PFCs). Perfluorinated Compounds are associated with firefighting foam, non-stick cookware, Scotchguard and other solvents from manufacturing. The two PFCs that are the most well known and the most researched are Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) which was detected at 2.1 parts per trillion and Perfluorooctane-sulfonic acid (PFOS) which was detected at 2 parts per trillion. The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry recently recommended setting a Minimum Risk Level of 20 parts per trillion for both of these chemicals. 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 haven't yet been 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.

Chloramine In Norman’s Drinking Water

While most municipalities use chlorine as the primary drinking water disinfectant, Milwaukee’s drinking 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 Milwaukee 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 Milwaukee’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:
Lead Contamination In Drinking Water 
5 Things To Know About Chromium 6 In Drinking Water
Perfluorinated Compounds In Drinking Water

 

Problems We Found With Milwaukee's Drinking Water



Analies Dyjak | Policy Nerd   

For Hydroviv’s assessment of the city of Milwaukee, Wisconsin’s drinking water, we collected water quality test data from the city 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 Milwaukee’s drinking water.

Where Does Milwaukee Source Its Drinking Water?

Milwaukee sources its drinking water from Lake Michigan. Lake Michigan has had a long history of pollution, including a recent lawsuit involving Chromium 6 releases from an abutting steel facility.

Chromium 6 In Milwaukee’s Drinking Water

Chromium 6 is a highly toxic metal that is currently unregulated by the EPA. In recent years, the city of Milwaukee's water 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. This years water quality report for Milwaukee found levels of Chromium 6 as high as 0.25 parts per billion. These levels are 12.5 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.

Lead In Milwaukee's Drinking Water 

In recent years, the city of Milwaukee has also had a problem with lead in drinking water. Lead enters Milwaukee's tap water through old lead service pipes and lead-containing plumbing. 10% of sites that were tested for lead had concentrations over 7.2 parts per billion. The highest concentration detected in 2017 was 130 parts per billion, which is a whopping 8.6 times higher that 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. These health and regulatory organizations are trying to reduce the allowable limit, so a concentration of 130 parts per billion is of serious concern. Treated water leaving the plant may be in compliance with loose EPA standards, but could become contaminated once it enters older infrastructure. 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.

Perfluorinated Compounds In Milwaukee's Drinking Water

This years water quality report for Milwaukee included test data from six Perfluorinated Compounds (PFCs). Perfluorinated Compounds are associated with firefighting foam, non-stick cookware, Scotchguard and other solvents from manufacturing. The two PFCs that are the most well known and the most researched are Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) which was detected at 2.1 parts per trillion and Perfluorooctane-sulfonic acid (PFOS) which was detected at 2 parts per trillion. The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry recently recommended setting a Minimum Risk Level of 20 parts per trillion for both of these substances. 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 haven't yet been 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.

Chloramine In Milwaukee’s Drinking Water

While most municipalities use chlorine as the primary drinking water disinfectant, Milwaukee’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 Milwaukee 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 the city of Milwaukee’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:
Lead Contamination In Drinking Water 
5 Things To Know About Chromium 6 In Drinking Water
PFOA and PFOS: What You Need To Know

Problems We Found In Louisville, Kentucky Drinking Water

Ernesto Esquivel | Water Nerd   
Updated August 2, 2019 to include current data

For Hydroviv’s assessment of Louisville, Kentucky’s tap and drinking water problems, we collected water quality test data from Louisville and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. We cross referenced Louisville 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 Louisville’s drinking water.


Where Does Louisville Source Its Drinking Water?

Louisville sources its drinking water from the Ohio River. The utility provider, Louisville Water, treats and distributes drinking water to the metropolitan area as well as surrounding counties, including; Bullitt, Hardin, Nelson, Oldham, Shelby, and Spencer.

Lead In Louisville’s Drinking Water

Lead enters tap water through old lead service pipes and lead-containing plumbing. 10% of sites that were tested for lead had concentrations over 4.7 parts per billion, and the highest level collected was 10.2 parts per billion. The City of Louisville only received data from 50 residential taps, so the small data set may not be representative of the actual scope of the lead problem. 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, once water hits lead plumbing and lead fixtures, these measurements will increase significantly. Houses built before 1986 were most likely built with these types of fixtures. Lead exposure can cause developmental issues, lowered IQ, and damages to the kidneys and brain.

Disinfection Byproducts In Louisville’s Drinking Water

DBPs are formed when chlorine or chloramine-based disinfectants are routinely added to the water supply to kill bacteria. EPA regulates two categories or DBPs: Total Trihalomethanes (TTHMs) and Haloacetic Acids-5 (HAA5). Concentrations of HAA5 averaged 27.3 parts per billion and reached levels as high as 46.1 parts per billion. The EPA Maximum Contaminant Level for this compound is 60 parts per billion. Concentrations of TTHMs averaged 27.8 parts per billion, but reached levels as high as 39.8 parts per billion. EPA’s Maximum Contaminant Level is 80 parts per billion for TTHMs. 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. Health and regulatory agencies have very little knowledge about the adverse health effects of DBPs, and their toxicity potential. EPA has stated that they have been linked to an increased risk of various types of cancers and problems with the central nervous system.

Chloramine In Louisville’s Drinking Water

Louisville disinfects its drinking water with chloramine, which is a disinfectant similar to chlorine. Chloramine is primarily responsible for what many Louisville customers report as the “bad taste” or “pool smell” of tap water. 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 Louisville 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 Louisville’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:
Lead Contamination In Drinking Water 
What Is The Difference Between Chlorine and Chloramine In Drinking Water?
Disinfection Byproducts In Drinking Water: What You Need To Know

Problems We Found In Norman, Oklahoma's Drinking Water

Analies Dyjak | Policy Nerd   
Updated July 26, 2019

For Hydroviv’s assessment of Norman, Oklahoma's drinking water problems, we aggregated water quality test data provided by the city's Consumer Confidence Report, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and supplemental health information. We cross referenced the city’s water quality test 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 Norman's drinking water.

Chromium 6 In Norman's Drinking Water

Chromium 6 is a highly toxic metal that is currently unregulated by the EPA. Chromium 6 pollution is associated with metal processing, tannery facilities, chromate production, stainless steel welding, and pigment production. Norman, Oklahoma has some of the highest levels of Chromium 6 in the country. According to the most recent water Norman water quality report, the average concentration of Chromium 6 detected in Norman's drinking water was 41,000 parts per trillion and the highest concentration detected was 97,000 parts per trillion. For a bit of perspective, these levels are as high as 4850 times higher than the concentration determined to have 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. Acute respiratory disease, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, hematological, hepatic, renal, and neurological distress are health effects associated with high levels of chromium 6 exposure.

Chloramine In Norman’s Drinking Water

While most municipalities use chlorine as the primary drinking water disinfectant, Norman’s drinking water is disinfected with chloramine. Chloramine is primarily responsible for what many customers report as the “bad taste” or “pool smell” of tap water. Concentrations were detected as high as 3.9 parts per million in treated water, which is just under the EPA Maximum Contaminant Level of 4 parts per million. 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.

Strontium In Norman’s Drinking Water

Strontium is an unregulated contaminant that was also detected in this years water quality report. Strontium naturally occurs in certain vegetables, grain, and livestock but is also a byproduct of coal and oil combustion. Concentrations of Strontium in Norman's drinking water were detected as high as 442 parts per billion. For a bit of perspective, this is twice as high as concentrations found in Oklahoma City. According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, children are the most susceptible age group to the negative health effects associated with Strontium exposure. Bone growth can be effected if children ingest high enough concentrations through drinking water.

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 Norman'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
Chlorine vs. Chloramine: What You Need To Know 
2018 Oklahoma City Water Quality Report

Problems We Found In Boynton Beach, Florida Drinking Water Quality

Analies Dyjak | Policy Nerd   

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

Disinfection Byproducts In Boynton Beach Drinking Water

Let’s start with Disinfection Byproducts or DBPs. DBPs are formed when chlorine-based disinfectants that are routinely added to the water supply to kill bacteria, react with organic matter. Boynton Beach water quality has some pretty high levels of disinfection byproducts. According to the most recent report, concentrations of haloacetic acids averaged 26 parts per billion but reached levels as high as 33.7 parts per billion and concentrations of trihalomethanes averaged 74.8 parts per billion but reached levels as high as 149 parts per billion. For a bit of perspective, EPA’s maximum contaminant level for haloacetic acids is 60 parts per billion and 80 parts per billion for trihalomethanes. Health and 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.

Chloramine In Boynton Beach Drinking Water

While most cities use chlorine, Boynton Beach uses chlorine and chloramine in the disinfection process. Chloramine is primarily responsible for what many customers report as the “bad taste” or “pool smell” of tap water. Concentrations of chloramine averaged 3.01 parts per billion but reached concentrations as high as 4.8 parts per billion. Again for a bit of perspective, the maximum contaminant level for chloramine is 4 parts per billion.

Other Articles We Think You Might Enjoy:
Disinfection Byproducts: What You Need To Know
What's The Difference Between Chlorine and Chloramine?
Problems We Found In Miami's Drinking Water