Water Quality Association Executive Lists Life-Sustaining Businesses Essential for Covid-19 Pandemic

Paul Undesser, WAQ Executive Director, announced Shelter-in-Place Directives for the COVID-19 pandemic on March 20, 2020. Undesser announced that certain water treatment businesses are deemed “essential” for sustaining life per the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). 

The types of companies listed are; water treatment professionals, manufacturers, deliveries, and service providers point-of-use and point-of-entry (POU/POE) water treatment products and services. Due to the critical products and services these companies provide within the water drinking and purification industries, they provide crucial roles in life-sustaining activities.

The DHS issued advisory guidance to state, local, and tribal officials on March 19 regarding the assigning of essential workers who are critical to maintaining important operations and public works. The DHS labeled those within the plumbing, electrical, extermination, and other service providers “essential” who provide services that are necessary to maintaining safety, sanitation, and essential operations of residences. More on this announcement can be found here.

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The Use of Water Softeners Continue to Rise Worldwide

According to this article, a global survey was conducted showing an increase in the use of water softeners to create safe drinking water worldwide. Additionally, there has been a rise in awareness for utilizing water softeners for balancing the proper amounts of magnesium and calcium safe for drinking levels.

If a person drinks soft water with higher levels of magnesium or calcium, it can lead to increased health problems. Experts are also advising people to stay clear of water softener systems that use sodium instead of magnesium and calcium. 

Water softener systems that use magnesium and calcium can not only offer health advantages but also save you money when compared to other softener systems.

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Protecting Against Lead in Water

Lead is a naturally occurring element found in the Earth’s crust in small amounts. It can be beneficial in specific uses, but it is a harmful metal to a person’s health and there is no safe level for lead exposure to humans. People are exposed to lead products that range from lead-based paint, air, soil, dust inside homes, food, pottery, and even drinking water. Consuming high levels of this metal can cause health issues once it enters the blood, especially for younger children.

Effects of Lead

The EPA is required by the Safe Drinking Water Act to determine the level of contaminants in drinking water that is considered safe with minimum health effects. The standard allowed for lead is set to zero, and even at low levels, lead can be very harmful and can accumulate in the body over time. Lead is a neurotoxin that can cause brain disorders and severe kidney damage. The effects of lead do not equally impact individuals. The risks will vary depending on the person, the chemical properties of the water, and the amount of lead consumed. Specific issues found in people:

  • Pregnant Women – As discussed above, lead can accumulate in the body over time and can be found in a person’s bones along with calcium. Lead is released from the mother’s bones when maternal calcium transfers to the fetus to help develop bones for the baby. The lead can also cross the placental barrier that can expose the fetus, possibly causing reduced growth and premature birth.
  • Infants and Children – Infants who consume water with lead content may be at a higher risk of exposure since the large volume of water they consume is relative to the proportion of their smaller body size. Children are often vulnerable to lead poisoning due to the fact they drink more water and have developing bodies. High levels of lead exposure can cause convulsions, significant neurological damage, organ failure, coma, and even death. Lower exposure of lead can cause hearing loss, reduced growth, and an increased chance of learning and behavior disabilities.
  • Adults – Adults who are exposed to lead can suffer from health issues such as cardiovascular effects with increased blood pressure and hypertension. In addition, older persons can develop kidney damage and complications with reproductive organs.

How Does Lead Get in Tap Water?

Lead is in all areas of our environment and can be found in the air, soil, and water. Lead can even be found within our homes in certain places. Most lead contaminates come from human activities such as the use of fossil fuels and gasoline, factories, or lead-based paints. When lead is released into the air, it can travel long distances before it settles in soil or water supplies. Lead can merge into drinking water, causing corrosion to take place, and eating away at the piping within homes. In older houses, before 1930, lead was used for soldering pipes. It wasn’t until the early 1980s when we saw a decrease of lead being used for pipes in homes.

Lead Removal

If you suspect that lead may be in your water, we advise that you get your water analyzed by a certified laboratory, or at minimum, purchase a DIY self-test kit to determine for sure. The good news is, lead can be removed from your drinking water. The simplest way to solve this issue is by using the correct water filter after the contamination source is identified. The three basic water filtration methods to remove lead are:

  • Reverse Osmosis – The most popular and inexpensive option, and it can eliminate 95% of lead in water.
  • Activated Carbon Filtration – This option allows the activated carbon in filters to absorb minerals such as lead and magnesium from the water, decreasing the amount of lead supply significantly. However, the disadvantage is that the filter cartridges may fill up quickly and need replacement often. The lead removing capabilities also decrease after a certain amount of water has been passed through the system.  
  • Distillation – This method produces the purest water, but it comes with an expensive price tag and requires a lot of electricity and processing time as well.

The experts at Reynolds Water Conditioning have a solution to your home’s unique water quality needs, including arsenic, bacteria, chlorine, rotten egg smell, fluoride, hard water, iron, lead, acid, tannins, radon, and more. More information on water treatment solutions, including water softeners and conditionerswater filtration and purificationreverse osmosis drinking water, and iron & odor removal, can be found online at https://reynoldswater.com.



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Coronavirus Sparks Concern on Bottled Water Shortage

The U.S Environmental Protection Agency is in the process of reassuring residents that water from their tap is safe to consume. However, hundreds of people are crowding local grocery stores throughout the country to stock up on bottled water supplies due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Government officials have stated that conventional water treatment and disinfection removes any viruses, including the COVID-19, and no extra measures like boiling water will be necessary. In this article, the Salt Lake City Department of Public Utilities offers information on their website to advise customers and answer questions that the public may have regarding this matter. It is always a best practice to have a four-day supply of water for emergency precautions; however, the department has downplayed the need to stockpile water for the coronavirus outbreak.

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EPA Announces Regulation for PFAS

Last month, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that they would begin to regulate a category of chemicals known as PFAS. PFAS’s are linked to cancer and other health issues that can be found in the environment and the human body.  

Environmentalists have voiced their concerns that Trump’s EPA administration have procrastinated with environmental regulations rather than steadfast on issues. Currently, the EPA recommends water should contain 70 parts per trillion (ppt) of PFAS or less; however, this amount is not mandatory. Many health officials argue this number is still too high. 

The next step will be a lengthy process entailing two long years with agency debates to determine a consensus on new contamination level standards. Once a consensus has been reached, the agency will have another 18 months to finalize the drinking water requirements. The EPA will create two drinking water standards during this process. The first standard will be heavily based on health considerations, and the second will focus on financial investment obligations. For more information about this EPA update, read this article.

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4 Steps on How to Remove Rust from Drinking Water

Rust is commonly regarded as one element but is actually composed of several compounds that consist of iron and oxygen. Rust forms when free iron is exposed to oxygen and water. The water color in your home could be yellow, orange, or brown depending on the concentration of the rust. Typically, rusty water pipes on a well water system will have a higher concentration of iron leading to rusty water issues. Thankfully you can remove rust in your home with water softeners, oxidizing filters and sequestration.

Step 1: Connect an ion exchange water softener to your water supply. This device will contain sodium that will combine with the iron and remove the rust from your water.

Step 2: Install an oxidizing filter before the water softener line. This device will contain manganese oxides that will convert soluble compounds into insoluble compounds, which then will filter out of the water. Oxidizing filters are most appropriate for treat water with a moderate level of concentrated iron and where the pH is at least 6.8

Step 3: Use a solution feeder to add polyphosphates to your water supply. Polyphosphates contain phosphorus, which disperse in the water so the iron doesn’t form rust. However, a polyphosphate chemical feeder can be more expensive than other options. It is only recommended to use a polyphosphate feeder if the rust issues are severe enough warrant this option.

Step 4: Add about half gallon of bleach to your water supply. After adding the bleach, allow to water to sit for about 12 hours and run the water until no more bleach is present in the system. This system is most effective when the rust in your water is being produced by bacteria.

Read More on How to Effectively Remove Rust from Your Water Supply

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The Importance of High-Quality Drinking Water

Hydration is key to all living things, and without it, we would only live for about five days. Our bodies are more than 50% water and it helps maintain our normal body temperature, lubricates joints, and enables the body to rid waste through urination, sweat, and bowel movements. Doctors advise us to drink at least eight 8 oz. glasses of water every day and studies have shown that women, on average, will consume approximately 91 oz. of water and men will drink about 125 oz. of water every day. Part of this consumption of water is from foods such as fruits and vegetables. It seems quite simple why water is so important to our health, but understanding the different risks from contaminations and how to protect your drinking water can be more in-depth.

Is Tap Water Safe?

In general, tap water is considered to be safe to consume if it comes from a public water system that is run and maintained by a municipality. When drinking water exits a treatment facility and travels to your home, the quality standards must reach strict safety requirements. Unfortunately, even with these safety policies, it does not mean that the water is free of any contaminants, but that the levels of the pollutants are low enough not to cause any health risks. Accidents do happen and if the water supply does become contaminated with something that can create illness, the supplier must inform consumers within 24 hours and offer alternative suggestions for safe drinking water.

Types of Contaminations

There are a few ways that water can become contaminated. Water can contain microorganisms like parasites and bacteria that are added to the water from human or animal feces. It can also become contaminated from industrial waste such as spraying crops that contain chemicals or nitrates used in fertilizers that run off the land. Sometimes the natural deposits from underground can have various minerals like lead or mercury that can enter the water supply. Lead can also transfer to a water source through old lead pipes as well. Even pipes that claim to be “lead-free” can contain as much as 8% lead. To avoid lead consumption when using tap water, use water from the cold tap and to let the water run for a minute before using it.

A Solution to the Problem

Often, when a contamination notice is sent to homes about a water crisis, it is advised to boil your water for 24 to 48 hours, so many consumers are under the impression that contaminates can be removed by heating the water to cleanse it. Boiling water will indeed kill germs; however, contaminants such as lead, nitrates, and pesticides will not affectedly be removed using this method.  It may have an opposite consequence since boiling will reduce the amount of water when it evaporates, making the concentration of the contaminate even higher. There are four main types of water filters that are more beneficial for contaminant removal:

  • Activated Carbon Filters – These can remove organic contaminants that change the taste and smell. Certain systems are designed to remove chemicals such as chlorination by-products, pesticides, and some metals like copper or lead.
  • Reverse Osmosis – This filtration system can remove nitrates, sodium, pesticides, and petrochemicals.
  • Ion Exchange – This type of filter can remove minerals like calcium and magnesium, and they are used in combination with other systems such as carbon absorption or reverse osmosis.
  • Distillation – This method creates distilled water by collecting condensation of steam from boiling water.

The experts at Reynolds Water Conditioning have a solution to your home’s unique water quality needs, including arsenic, bacteria, chlorine, rotten egg smell, fluoride, hard water, iron, lead, acid, tannins, radon, and more. To learn more information on our water treatment solutions, including water softeners and conditionerswater filtration and purificationreverse osmosis drinking water, and iron and odor removal, visit https://reynoldswater.com.



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New Study Shows Danger of Chlorine in Drinking Water

During a new study, researchers at John Hopkins University have found unintended and toxic byproducts during the cleaning process of water with the use of chlorine. The chemical, chlorine, has been used for over one hundred years to disinfect water supplies, and no doubt it has had positive benefits that have saved millions of lives from diseases like typhoid and cholera. According to this study, when chlorine is mixed with phenols, which is a naturally occurring compound in the environment, a large amount of byproduct is made. Further research is needed to find these actual byproducts inside our drinking water and determine if a new method should be sought to disinfect our water. To read more about this study, click here

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Water Filter System Must Haves

Tap water in the U.S. is the most tested and regulated water source. Unfortunately, our tap water can still contain chemicals, such as fluoride, chloramines, and other pollutants that are not ideal to consume, cook with, or bathe in. A water filtration system is the best solution to give your home safe access to quality drinking water. According to this article, there are three items to take into consideration when choosing a water filter. The first being the filtration rate. It is important to know how much your daily water consumption is and choose a filter that will meet your daily usage needs. The second item to consider is water quality. There are many options to choose from, but a reverse osmosis system will give you the purest form of filtration, sometimes even removing helpful minerals from the water. Lastly, take into consideration your budget. Water systems with an extensive filtration are generally more costly and keep in mind the expense of replacing water cartridges.  

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Possible Uranium Spill Occurs in the Detroit River

A partial collapse of a seawall on the property that was holding aggregate dirt piles that potentially is contaminated with uranium has spilled into the Detroit River during the Thanksgiving weekend. The site has been marked as contaminated with uranium by the U.S. Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency. Detroit Bulk Storage currently leases the site which was formerly owned by Revere Copper and Brass factory in the 1940s and 50s for use of World War II-era research and development, in an effort to build an atomic bomb. Regulatory agencies were not informed of the spill until days afterward and, of course, they are concerned about the impact it may have on the environment and the public water quality. To read more on this recent spill, click here

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