What Contaminants are in my Tap Water?


HISTORY OF WATER DISINFECTION

In the early 1900's the addition of chlorine to public drinking water supplies greatly reduced the number of cases of waterborne diseases like typhoid, cholera, and dysentery.   These were causing the early demise of thousands of lives in major cities.  So the addition of chlorine and the disinfection process handled the "acute" issues caused by high levels of bacteria in water.  However, there still is a downside to adding these chemicals to drinking water.

Organic material in the water supply mixes with the difinfectant and creates "disinfection byproducts" or "by-products", also abbreviated as DBPs.  The amount of DBPs can be determined by how much material is in the supply lines and even the distance water has to travel from the treatment facility.  So reported numbers at the source of supply may not accurately depict what is reaching homes.

THE ABCs of DBPs

Trying to read or pronounce these byproducts can be a tongue twister.  Common DBPs include:
  • Trihalomethanes (THM),
  • Haloacetic acids (HAA),
  • What Contaminants are in my Tap Water? What Contaminants are in my Tap Water? December 30, 2016by Eric Kneller Water Quality No Comments HISTORY OF WATER DISINFECTION In the early 1900's the addition of chlorine to public drinking water supplies greatly reduced the number of cases of waterborne diseases like typhoid, cholera, and dysentery. These were causing the early demise of thousands of lives in major cities. So the addition of chlorine and the disinfection process handled the "acute" issues caused by high levels of bacteria in water. However, there still is a downside to adding these chemicals to drinking water. Organic material in the water supply mixes with the difinfectant and creates "disinfection byproducts" or "by-products", also abbreviated as DBPs. The amount of DBPs can be determined by how much material is in the supply lines and even the distance water has to travel from the treatment facility. So reported numbers at the source of supply may not accurately depict what is reaching homes. THE ABCs of DBPs Trying to read or pronounce these byproducts can be a tongue twister. Common DBPs include: Trihalomethanes (THM), Haloacetic acids (HAA), Chlorite, and Bromate. These will be callled out on your annual water quality reports from your local municipality. Typically they are noted simply as, "a byproduct of disinfection." That tells you where they came from, but not what they can do. The table that follows is from the EPA.gov site and provides some more insights: disinfection-byproducts-effects-table.png Source: Epa.gov To be fair, the calculations and projections abut health effects are based on long-term exposure at higher than "legally" allowed levels. This is true, but DBPs are unavoidable in public water systems. So chances are a person living in the USA will have long-term exposure. What we have done is trade the "acute" for the "chronic." It is also very difficult to set a maximum level that is safe for all people to take in. For example, a 10 lb infant versus a 220 lb male adult. The infant may certainly drink less by volume, but is also likely bathing more in the water source and some estimates show that one shower or bath can allow more absorption of DBPs than a week's worth of drinking the same water. CONCLUSION: WHAT CAN YOU DO? We all know the expression, “you are what you eat.” However, the biggest part of you and your family by far is the water that is in your food, beverages, and that you bathe with. Roughly 70% of the human body is made up of water and the brain and blood can be up to 90%. You already shop smart and read labels, buy organic, and give your family the best. There's no clear label on the water that comes from your tap. With all of the toxins in our environment, it is vital that you protect your loved ones. Shouldn’t you make the BIGGEST part of your family the BEST that it can be? The first step is to understand what is in your local water today. We want to help you determine how safe your water is today. Click HERE to download our free resource, "Three Quick Ways to Check Your Water Quality." As always...we want to hear from you. If there is a topic you would like us to cover, leave a comment and we will get on it! Notes from Table 1Definitions: Maximum Contaminant Level Goal (MCLG) - The level of a contaminant in drinking water below which there is no known or expected risk to health. MCLGs allow for a margin of safety and are non-enforceable public health goals. Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) - The highest level of a contaminant that is allowed in drinking water. MCLs are set as close to MCLGs as feasible using the best available treatment technology and taking cost into consideration. MCLs are enforceable standards. Maximum Residual Disinfectant Level Goal (MRDLG) - The level of a drinking water disinfectant below which there is no known or expected risk to health. MRDLGs do not reflect the benefits of the use of disinfectants to control microbial contaminants. Treatment Technique (TT) - A required process intended to reduce the level of a contaminant in drinking water. Maximum Residual Disinfectant Level (MRDL) - The highest level of a disinfectant allowed in drinking water. There is convincing evidence that addition of a disinfectant is necessary for control of microbial contaminants. 2 Units are in milligrams per liter (mg/L) unless otherwise noted. Milligrams per liter are equivalent to parts per million (PPM). 6 Although there is no collective MCLG for this contaminant group, there are individual MCLGs for some of the individual contaminants: Trihalomethanes: bromodichloromethane (zero); bromoform (zero); dibromochloromethane (0.06 mg/L): chloroform (0.07 mg/L. Haloacetic acids: dichloroacetic acid (zero); trichloroacetic acid (0.02 mg/L); monochloroacetic acid (0.07mg/L). Bromoacetic acid and dibromoacetic acid are regulated with this group but have no MCLGs.
  • Chlorite, and
  • Bromate.

These will be callled out on your annual water quality reports from your local municipality.  Typically they are noted simply as, "a byproduct of disinfection."  That tells you where they came from, but not what they can do.  The table that follows is from the EPA.gov site and provides some more insights:

Why Tankless Water Heaters Fail So Quickly

Source: Epa.gov

To be fair, the calculations and projections abut health effects are based on long-term exposure at higher than "legally" allowed levels.  This is true, but DBPs are unavoidable in public water systems.  So chances are a person living in the USA will have long-term exposure.  What we have done is trade the "acute" for the "chronic."  It is also very difficult to set a maximum level that is safe for all people to take in.  For example, a 10 lb infant versus a 220 lb male adult.  The infant may certainly drink less by volume, but is also likely bathing more in the water source and some estimates show that one shower or bath can allow more absorption of DBPs than a week's worth of drinking the same water.

CONCLUSION: WHAT CAN YOU DO?

We all know the expression, “you are what you eat.” However, the biggest part of you and your family by far is the water that is in your food, beverages, and that you bathe with. Roughly 70% of the human body is made up of water and the brain and blood can be up to 90%.  You already shop smart and read labels, buy organic, and give your family the best.  There's no clear label on the water that comes from your tap.

With all of the toxins in our environment, it is vital that you protect your loved ones. Shouldn’t you make the BIGGEST part of your family the BEST that it can be?  The first step is to understand what is in your local water today.

 We want to help you determine how safe your water is today.  Click HERE to download our free resource, "Three Quick Ways to Check Your Water Quality."

As always...we want to hear from you.  If there is a topic you would like us to cover, leave a comment and we will get on it!

Notes from Table

1Definitions:

  • Maximum Contaminant Level Goal (MCLG) - The level of a contaminant in drinking water below which there is no known or expected risk to health. MCLGs allow for a margin of safety and are non-enforceable public health goals.
  • Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) - The highest level of a contaminant that is allowed in drinking water. MCLs are set as close to MCLGs as feasible using the best available treatment technology and taking cost into consideration. MCLs are enforceable standards.
  • Maximum Residual Disinfectant Level Goal (MRDLG) - The level of a drinking water disinfectant below which there is no known or expected risk to health. MRDLGs do not reflect the benefits of the use of disinfectants to control microbial contaminants.
  • Treatment Technique (TT) - A required process intended to reduce the level of a contaminant in drinking water.
  • Maximum Residual Disinfectant Level (MRDL) - The highest level of a disinfectant allowed in drinking water. There is convincing evidence that addition of a disinfectant is necessary for control of microbial contaminants.
     

Units are in milligrams per liter (mg/L) unless otherwise noted. Milligrams per liter are equivalent to parts per million (PPM).

6 Although there is no collective MCLG for this contaminant group, there are individual  MCLGs for some of the individual contaminants:

  • Trihalomethanes: bromodichloromethane (zero); bromoform (zero); dibromochloromethane (0.06 mg/L): chloroform (0.07 mg/L.
  • Haloacetic acids: dichloroacetic acid (zero); trichloroacetic acid (0.02 mg/L); monochloroacetic acid (0.07mg/L). Bromoacetic acid and dibromoacetic acid are regulated with this group but have no MCLGs.

What Contaminants are in my Tap Water?


HISTORY OF WATER DISINFECTION

In the early 1900's the addition of chlorine to public drinking water supplies greatly reduced the number of cases of waterborne diseases like typhoid, cholera, and dysentery.   These were causing the early demise of thousands of lives in major cities.  So the addition of chlorine and the disinfection process handled the "acute" issues caused by high levels of bacteria in water.  However, there still is a downside to adding these chemicals to drinking water.

Organic material in the water supply mixes with the difinfectant and creates "disinfection byproducts" or "by-products", also abbreviated as DBPs.  The amount of DBPs can be determined by how much material is in the supply lines and even the distance water has to travel from the treatment facility.  So reported numbers at the source of supply may not accurately depict what is reaching homes.

THE ABCs of DBPs

Trying to read or pronounce these byproducts can be a tongue twister.  Common DBPs include:
  • Trihalomethanes (THM),
  • Haloacetic acids (HAA),
  • Chlorite, and
  • Bromate.

These will be callled out on your annual water quality reports from your local municipality.  Typically they are noted simply as, "a byproduct of disinfection."  That tells you where they came from, but not what they can do.  The table that follows is from the EPA.gov site and provides some more insights:

disinfection-byproducts-effects-table.png

Source: Epa.gov

To be fair, the calculations and projections abut health effects are based on long-term exposure at higher than "legally" allowed levels.  This is true, but DBPs are unavoidable in public water systems.  So chances are a person living in the USA will have long-term exposure.  What we have done is trade the "acute" for the "chronic."  It is also very difficult to set a maximum level that is safe for all people to take in.  For example, a 10 lb infant versus a 220 lb male adult.  The infant may certainly drink less by volume, but is also likely bathing more in the water source and some estimates show that one shower or bath can allow more absorption of DBPs than a week's worth of drinking the same water.

CONCLUSION: WHAT CAN YOU DO?

We all know the expression, “you are what you eat.” However, the biggest part of you and your family by far is the water that is in your food, beverages, and that you bathe with. Roughly 70% of the human body is made up of water and the brain and blood can be up to 90%.  You already shop smart and read labels, buy organic, and give your family the best.  There's no clear label on the water that comes from your tap.

With all of the toxins in our environment, it is vital that you protect your loved ones. Shouldn’t you make the BIGGEST part of your family the BEST that it can be?  The first step is to understand what is in your local water today.

 We want to help you determine how safe your water is today.  Click HERE to download our free resource, "Three Quick Ways to Check Your Water Quality."

As always...we want to hear from you.  If there is a topic you would like us to cover, leave a comment and we will get on it!

Notes from Table

1Definitions:

  • Maximum Contaminant Level Goal (MCLG) - The level of a contaminant in drinking water below which there is no known or expected risk to health. MCLGs allow for a margin of safety and are non-enforceable public health goals.
  • Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) - The highest level of a contaminant that is allowed in drinking water. MCLs are set as close to MCLGs as feasible using the best available treatment technology and taking cost into consideration. MCLs are enforceable standards.
  • Maximum Residual Disinfectant Level Goal (MRDLG) - The level of a drinking water disinfectant below which there is no known or expected risk to health. MRDLGs do not reflect the benefits of the use of disinfectants to control microbial contaminants.
  • Treatment Technique (TT) - A required process intended to reduce the level of a contaminant in drinking water.
  • Maximum Residual Disinfectant Level (MRDL) - The highest level of a disinfectant allowed in drinking water. There is convincing evidence that addition of a disinfectant is necessary for control of microbial contaminants.
     

Units are in milligrams per liter (mg/L) unless otherwise noted. Milligrams per liter are equivalent to parts per million (PPM).

6 Although there is no collective MCLG for this contaminant group, there are individual  MCLGs for some of the individual contaminants:

  • Trihalomethanes: bromodichloromethane (zero); bromoform (zero); dibromochloromethane (0.06 mg/L): chloroform (0.07 mg/L.
  • Haloacetic acids: dichloroacetic acid (zero); trichloroacetic acid (0.02 mg/L); monochloroacetic acid (0.07mg/L). Bromoacetic acid and dibromoacetic acid are regulated with this group but have no MCLGs.

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