Archive for June, 2020

What is the Best Ph Level for Drinking Water?

Posted by Rayne Water

 

*Reviewed by Ken Christopher, Senior Vice President at Rayne Dealership Corporation

Drinking water is a critical component of our ongoing health which makes it important to seek out the best sources for your drinking water. In recent years there has been a resurgence of interest in figuring out what is the pH of water that we drink. Many health claims have been linked to drinking highly alkaline water, though to date a lack of conclusive research has cast doubt on many of those claims. A reverse osmosis water system can be helpful in maintaining the cleanliness and purity of your water. Let’s take a look at whether the pH balance of water is important, and what steps you can take to have the cleanest water possible. We will also explore the existing ph range of tap water in most city water supply systems. 

What is pH Balance?

We use pH balance to describe how acidity or alkaline level a substance is. The concentration of hydrogen ion concentration present in a solution determines the acidity or how basic a substance is. Acidic substances have a high hydrogen ion concentration and a low pH, while alkaline substances have low concentrations of hydrogen ions and a higher pH level. 

The pH scale runs from 0 – 14, with 0 being strongly acid. For example, the acids in your stomach have a pH of 1, indicating they are strongly acidic. At the other end of the scale are basic or alkaline substances. Examples of alkaline substances are bleach, which has a pH of 13 and is strongly alkaline, and baking soda which has a pH of 9 and is weakly alkaline. A pH-balanced substance will have a pH reading of 7 and is considered neither acidic nor alkaline. 

The pH level of the water supply can also determine water hardness. Hard water and soft water is related to the pH scale. When the pH level is above 8.5, the water sample is considered hard. When the pH level is below 6.5, the water sample is considered soft. Anything betw

What is the pH level of water?

The pH of pure water is 7, meaning water is neutral. The ph of tap water may vary depending on the mineral content of the water, but it will generally be slightly alkaline rather than neutral. The average pH of san diego tap water is around 8. Community water suppliers must alter the pH of water in their systems to reduce corrosion of their distribution network, so the best ph for drinking water may not always be reflected in the water coming out of your tap.

 

What is Alkaline Water?

Alkaline water is simply water that has a higher than normal pH. Typically alkaline water has a pH of 8-9, giving it alkalinity similar to baking soda. Alkaline water can be either naturally occurring or manufactured in a variety of ways. Naturally occurring alkaline water has a higher mineral content, and those minerals are what alter the pH of the water. The most common way to manufacture alkaline water is through a process known as electrolysis, which ionizes the hydrogen ions in the water allowing you to remove some and create alkaline water. Often ionized alkaline water is supplemented with additional minerals to ensure it has a palatable taste while also further influencing its alkalinity.

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Is Alkaline Water Good for You?

There are many positive health benefits ascribed to alkaline water, but to date, many of these claims are backed up solely by anecdotal evidence. So is alkaline water good for you? Alkaline water is touted as offering better hydration and better-looking skin, that it can help with gastrointestinal issues such as acid reflux or support better bone health, and even that it can help minimize the risk of certain cancers. Unfortunately, these claims have not been supported by scientific research. The most important step for homeowners is to eliminate disinfectant byproducts and heavy metals present in their water source. Whether you have regular tap water from a city water supply or well water from a personal well, removing contaminants such as chlorine and fluoride is important for optimal health. 

The health claims for alkaline water centers on the belief that consuming alkaline water will alter the pH of your blood. However, our bodies are very good at internally regulating our pH through our lungs and kidneys. The pH of our blood has a very stable pH of around 7.4. When we consume acidic or alkaline foods or beverages, our bodies seek to balance the pH of those substances before they are digested. Because of this process, consuming alkaline water does not actually result in a significantly altered internal pH.

What is the Best pH Level for Drinking Water?

The best pH level for drinking water is a neutral 7. However, keep in mind that focusing on the ph balance water is less productive than addressing other issues that might exist with your drinking water such as the presence of contaminants. Though your tap water has been treated with multiple purification processes, including the addition of disinfectants like chlorine to protect against microbes, there are a variety of contaminants that you may not want in your body. Even the chlorine in water can produce potentially carcinogenic disinfection byproducts.

One of the best ways to prioritize your health is by ensuring you and your family are drinking clean, filtered drinking water every day. Installing a water filtration system in your home is one of the most effective ways to do this. In-home filtration offers ongoing protection against the contaminants currently in your water, as well as protection should any unexpected rise in contaminants occur. When a water filter is installed in your home, you can choose to select a pH range as well and the alkalinity level of your water. 

Closing Thoughts

The pH scale is used to communicate how acidic or alkaline a substance is. While pure water is pH neutral with a pH of 7, most of the water flowing from your tap is slightly alkaline to help avoid corrosion of distribution systems. Some people believe that highly alkaline water offers additional health benefits. Unfortunately, many of those health benefits have not been conclusively proven through rigorous scientific research.

Rather than paying a premium for highly alkaline water, it is more productive to focus on creating an affordable and clean source of drinking water for your household. This can be done through the installation of a water filtration system, which can remove contaminants, disinfectants and their byproducts from the water you are drinking or bathing with. 

Finding the right water treatment system for you may seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be! Reach out to our experts at Rayne Water for guidance. Our water quality experts will help assess what your water treatment needs are and help guide you towards the best treatment system for your household. Are you looking for water softener in Santa Barbara all the way down to Los Angeles and surrounding areas in California? We can provide water softener in San Diego, Sacramento, Bay Area, and more. We also provide services in parts of Arizona and Nevada! Give us a call today!

Sources:

  1. https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/wellness/is-alkaline-water-really-better-for-you/2019/08/27/8c646d26-c462-11e9-b72f-b31dfaa77212_story.html
  2. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/27/well/eat/alkaline-water-health-benefits.html
  3. https://www.forbes.com/sites/ninashapiro/2019/08/25/seven-reasons-why-alkaline-water-is-basically-a-waste-of-money/#596a0d6d54b2
  4. https://www.cnn.com/2019/01/29/health/alkaline-water-benefits-explainer/index.html
  5. https://www.fda.gov/food/food-labeling-nutrition/health-claims-letter-denial-alkaline-and-earth-alkaline-citrates-minimizing-risk-osteoporosis

Expert Reviewer – Ken Christopher

Is San Diego Tap Water Safe to Drink?

Posted by Rayne Water

 

*Reviewed by Ken Christopher, Senior Vice President at Rayne Dealership Corporation

If you live in San Diego, understanding the full scope of your local water quality is important for making an informed decision about how to protect your health and the health of your family. Though all water in the area undergoes a series of treatments before it reaches the tap at your sink, those treatments may not capture the full range of contaminants in your water supply. These contaminants are one of the main reasons a reverse osmosis water system is so important. San Diego tap water has several disinfection byproducts that do not fall within an optimal health guideline. While overall water quality may be high, the water supply has chlorine, chloramine, and fluoride depending on your San Diego region. 

Drinking Water Quality in San Diego

On the whole, San Diego’s drinking water quality meets regulatory requirements set forth by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This means that San Diego tap water is generally considered safe drinking water. However, the fact that drinking water in San Diego doesn’t exceed regulatory thresholds set for certain contaminants doesn’t mean that you don’t risk being exposed to those contaminants and others that aren’t covered by federal regulations. If you are wondering, “is my tap water safe?”, it is helpful to spend some time understanding what contaminants are in your water.

One way to assess this is by examining how San Diego’s municipal water suppliers are meeting Public Health Goals (PHG). Created by the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA), PHGs are more rigorous thresholds for contaminants than those published by the EPA that municipal water suppliers are required to meet. Unlike federal regulatory standards, PHGs are non-binding and are not enforceable. PHGs can best be thought of as an aspirational target that community water suppliers should move towards, even though many fail to meet these goals.

The criteria for PHG thresholds follow the logic that the threshold should reflect a level of contaminants that is safe to drink without negative health effects if you consumed it every day for 70 years. Put another way, if you drank water containing levels of contaminants that were below PHG thresholds you could reasonably expect to have no adverse health effects from those chemicals during your lifetime. 

You can read San Diego’s 2019 Public Health Goals Report here. Another great resource for understanding water quality in the City of San Diego is the annual water quality report which can be found here. The water quality report provides greater detail about water quality in San Diego. You can also find useful information like the ph of tap water in San Diego, which is slightly alkaline. If you’re wondering, “is alkaline water good for you?”, check out our latest article on the subject. 

Between 2016 and 2018, the following contaminants exceeded PHG levels in San Diego:

One other contaminant not covered in the PHG report that is worth mentioning are per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). PFAS are a group of man-made substances that have been detected in water, soil, and air. These substances are used in firefighting foams, coatings for non-stick pans, moisture protection for paper packaging, carpets, and many other uses. 

PFAS can enter the environment through a variety of means, including from industrial sites, landfills, and areas where firefighting foam has been used. Once in the environment, PFAS can spread far from the point of origin and persist for long periods of time. 

Alarmingly, PFAS are toxic at low concentrations and can build up in the human body over time. Negative health impacts of PFAS include:

PFAS are widespread throughout the United States. A national study found PFAS in the blood of nearly every person tested, and those concentrations have increased over the past two decades. A recent report released by the Environmental Working Group found PFAS were in the water of nearly 7.5 million California residents. 

The location with the highest levels of PFAS in California was the Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, located in northern San Diego County. 

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Is My Tap Water Safe?

The most effective method for ensuring your drinking water is free from most contaminants is to treat it yourself. Though the water flowing from your tap has already been treated, those treatments don’t capture the full spectrum of contaminants that may be in your water. Additionally, the use of disinfectants like chlorine in water and ozone leads to the formation of disinfection byproducts that may pose a health risk themselves.

The 2019 Public Health Goals Report referenced above recommends reverse osmosis (RO) as the best available treatment (BAT) for reducing levels of those contaminants below PHGs. While RO systems are cost prohibitive for use by community water suppliers, they are very cost-efficient for residential and business use when compared to alternatives like bottled water. RO systems can easily be installed at a specific tap in your home, and be used to provide tens of gallons of clean, filtered drinking water for yourself and your family. The best part about RO systems is that they protect against any unexpected rise in contaminants, so you never have to worry about the quality of tap water in San Diego again. These RO systems will transform your water source and provide clean water for your home. Beat public water systems by installing a high-quality filtration system that can reduce your cancer risk and remove harmful contaminants. 

Closing Thoughts

Though tap water in San Diego County is generally safe for consumption, certain thresholds of contaminants exceed Public Health Goals set by California health authorities. Among these are total coliforms, which are used to represent the presence of fecal coliforms like E. coli, radionuclides, and the disinfection byproducts bromate and chlorite. Also problematic are the presence of PFAS, a group of man-made chemicals that are used in firefighting foams and non-stick coatings. Water from Camp Pendleton registered the highest levels of PFAS in California.

The most effective way to ensure your family stays protected against contaminants in your water is to begin using a home water filtration system. Reverse osmosis systems offer the best protection against the contaminants found in San Diego’s drinking water, but there are a variety of water treatment methods available depending on your needs. 

To find the perfect water treatment system or water softener in San Diego, contact Rayne Water today. One of our water quality experts can help you explore our different residential and business water treatment systems, and help you find the drinking water system that meets your needs. To learn more, contact Rayne Water today.

Sources:

  1. https://www.sandiego.gov/sites/default/files/public_utilities_department_2019_phg_report_final.pdf
  2. https://www.sandiego.gov/sites/default/files/annual-water-quality-report-2019.pdf
  3. https://www.cnn.com/2019/09/27/us/pfas-california-contamination-trnd/index.html
  4. https://www.ewg.org/research/toxic-forever-chemicals-detected-drinking-water-supplies-across-california#table

Expert Reviewer – Ken Christopher

Is Alkaline Water Good for You?

Posted by Rayne Water

There are many types of water marketed today. Some are promoted for the beneficial minerals they provide, while some for the added health benefits

In recent years, you might have heard of the terms alkaline water and reverse osmosis. But is reverse osmosis water alkaline? The short answer would be no. These two aren’t the same thing. 

Alkaline water is known to help with acid reflux, the appearance of your skin, detoxification, hydration, and much more. On the other hand, reverse osmosis water system is a filtration method that treats and removes harmful contaminants from water. 

Read on as we dive deeper into the differences between alkaline water and reverse osmosis .

What is Alkaline Water?

Alkaline water is water that has a higher pH level than normal drinking water. The pH scale is used to assess how acidic or basic a substance is. pH values go from 0 to 14 and is a measurement of a substance’s hydrogen ion concentration.

Substances with a pH value of 0 are very acidic, while substances with a pH of 14 are very alkaline or basic. Alkaline substances are the opposite of their more acidic counterparts on the pH scale. Lemon juice is fairly acidic with a pH of 2, while ammonia is a moderately basic substance with a pH of around 11. Pure water is considered neutral and has a pH of 7 which is exactly in the center of the pH scale. The ph of tap water will be close to 7 but may be slightly higher depending on the presence of minerals. Many water suppliers also adjust the pH of the water to avoid corrosion in their distribution system.

The alkaline water you find on the shelves in your local health food store will typically have a pH of around 8-9. But did you know that some types of water are naturally alkaline. Natural alkalinity occurs due to high levels of alkaline minerals in the water. Minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and salts are more basic and affect the water’s pH levels.

Alkaline water can also be manufactured through a process known as electrolysis. In electrolysis, an electrical current is put through the water in order to produce ions that are positively and negatively charged. Positively charged ions are more acidic, so they are removed from the water to produce water with a higher pH. Additional essential minerals and salts can be added to the acidic water to further increase the alkalinity of the water, as well as add some taste.

Some people also choose to make alkaline ionized water in their own homes. This is done by adding baking soda or mineral salts to the water. Performance athletes may also do this to prevent dehydration while doing activities that require a large amount of effort, similar to how sports drinks works. Drinking alkaline water is said to have greater benefits compared to drinking regular water.

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What are the Health Benefits You can Get with Alkaline Water?

Alkaline water has been a preferred hydration choice of many individual’s for years.  It’s benefits have been well-know for a very long time. This article from February 19th, 1884 in the San Diego Union and Daily Bee recounts research suggests that alkaline water helps with a “torpid liver” or congested liver. But for this to be an effective treatment for gallstones, the Practical Health Tip from the Chico Record in 1916 states that you will need to drink three glasses of alkaline water each day and in between meals.

Modern marketing for alkaline water remains focused on the perceived health benefits that it provides. Alkaline water is now marketed as offering superior hydration, more energy, reduced acid reflux, better long-term bone health, weight loss, and even protection against certain types of cancer

Alkaline water has been known for offering superior hydration, beneficial minerals, more energy, reduced acid reflux, better long-term bone health, weight loss, and even protection against certain types of cancer. This is because cancer grows faster in an acidic environment and the alkalinity in the water you are consuming will counteract any acidity in your blood. However, a meta-analysis of research studies on the anti-cancer effects of a diet high in alkaline failed to find any research to support this assertion.

Another benefit alkaline water is that it might help reduce acid because the alkalinity in water will counteract the acidity in foods, thereby easing the digestion tract and reducing acid reflux. One research study found that when alkaline water with a pH of 8.8 was added to the digestive enzyme pepsin it deactivated it. However, there’s not enough evidence that it will have the same effect on our bodies. Further research would need to be done on human subjects to determine the extent to which, if any, alkaline water actually reduced acid reflux.

Alkaline water has been known to help regulate our pH levels. But, did you know that our bodies can also regulate our internal pH levels primarily through our lungs and kidneys? In fact, healthy individuals with functioning lungs and kidneys maintain a blood pH of 7.35 to 7.45. When we eat foods or beverages that are more acidic or alkaline than our bodies, the acids in our stomach or the secretions of alkaline from our pancreas work to create a balanced pH. Put another way, our bodies automatically neutralize acidic or alkaline foods and beverages when they are consumed.

Is Alkaline Water Bad for You?

While alkaline water may not deliver on all the promised health benefits immediately, it isn’t necessarily bad for you. The alkalinity in the water you consume will be neutralized when it is consumed. Natural alkaline water also contains beneficial minerals and salts, that might help with any nutrient deficiency in your body. However, it is also important to remember that not all alkaline water contains minerals. Ionized alkaline water may not contain any minerals at all depending on how it has been processed. 

One potential risk with alkaline water is that it isn’t necessarily filtered. This can pose a very real risk by exposing you to unwanted contaminants. So, before you purchase a bottle of alkaline water, be sure to check the mineral content and the manufacturer first. To avoid consuming potentially harmful contaminants, consider seeking out drinking water sources that have undergone filtration such as reverse osmosis (RO) filtered water. 

A great number of people wonder, is reverse osmosis water alkaline? It isn’t. To be safe, it’s important to consume water from a water filtration system

What to Drink Instead of Alkaline Water

If you’re concerned about the health impact of the water you drink there are other great options available. The best option is to filter your own water with a reverse osmosis filtration system

Reverse osmosis is the process of forcing water through a semipermeable barrier that contains very small pores. These pores allow water molecules to pass through, but keep out any larger contaminants.RO water treatment systems produce some of the most consistently clean, filtered drinking water while still remaining accessible and affordable for use in a home or business. Here are a few of the core benefits of an RO system when compared to alkaline or other bottled water:

Closing Thoughts

Though alkaline water has been highly touted for its health effects for over a century now, further research will be needed to determine how much and how long you will need to drink alkaline water to enjoy the health benefits. There are some drawbacks you should also consider. Other than the significant cost of purchasing bottles of alkaline water, as well as the waste that accompanies drinking bottled water, you may be exposed to unwanted contaminants since alkaline water isn’t necessarily purified.

If you are concerned about the health impact of your regular drinking water and you want to make sure that what you are drinking is safe, seek out sources of water that have been filtered for contaminants. One of the most effective ways to save money on your drinking water while protecting yourself and your family from contaminants in your drinking water is to install a reverse osmosis filtration system in your home. Reverse osmosis systems are highly effective at producing tens of gallons of clean, filtered drinking water each day. Compared with bottled water, filtering your own water will reduce your ongoing expenses as well as your environmental impact.

If you’re interested in learning more about installing an RO system in your home, contact Rayne Water today.

Sources:

  1. https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/wellness/is-alkaline-water-really-better-for-you/2019/08/27/8c646d26-c462-11e9-b72f-b31dfaa77212_story.html
  2. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/27/well/eat/alkaline-water-health-benefits.html
  3. https://www.forbes.com/sites/ninashapiro/2019/08/25/seven-reasons-why-alkaline-water-is-basically-a-waste-of-money/#596a0d6d54b2
  4. https://www.cnn.com/2019/01/29/health/alkaline-water-benefits-explainer/index.html
  5. https://www.fda.gov/food/food-labeling-nutrition/health-claims-letter-denial-alkaline-and-earth-alkaline-citrates-minimizing-risk-osteoporosis

 

How Much Chlorine is in Tap Water?

Posted by Rayne Water

 

*Reviewed by Ken Christopher, Senior Vice President at Rayne Dealership Corporation

Though we need water every day of our life, most of us don’t think too deeply about the journey of our tap water before it pours from our faucet. In the past, access to clean drinking water could literally be a life and death struggle. Today, we simply have to create an account with the local community water supplier.

Not only is access to water significantly easier than it was in the past, but the water we drink is also better. A key reason for this is disinfection. Disinfection of our water supply is an incredibly important component of our national public health system, and the backbone of water disinfection is the use of the chemical additive chlorine or chloramine. But how much  is in tap water? How does it  affect your water? Is chlorinated water safe to drink? The answers to these questions and others that you may have about chlorine/chloramine in your tap water are crucial for making an informed decision about what types and levels of contaminants, disinfectants and other substances you are comfortable having in your drinking water supply.

Why is Chlorine Added to Drinking Water?

Chlorine is added to drinking water to protect against harmful microbes and waterborne diseases. Treating drinking water is not a new process, but the transition to chlorination of water sources represents an important shift that had immense public health consequences. Chlorinated tap water typically has a high chlorine level and can even taste similar to pool water. Without a carbon filter or ascorbic acid, the free chlorine level in most city treated water may be higher than it should be for healthy water consumption. 

While early treatment of drinking water dates back to at least 4000 B.C., it was primarily intended to address unpleasant tastes or smells in the water. It wasn’t until the understanding of germ theory emerged in the late 19th century that it became clear that microbes could spread disease through the water. Early efforts are reducing the number of microbes in water mapped closely to existing efforts to reduce turbidity in water, which is the cloudy appearance water can take on from suspended particles. Filtration was accomplished by passing water slowly through the sand, but it became clear that this filtration process didn’t remove all disease-causing microbes.

Some of the most destructive and lethal pathogens, including dysentery, cholera and typhoid were transmitted through water prior to the adoption of chlorination. The first city to add chlorine to drinking water was Jersey City in 1908, and the use of chlorine to treat drinking water subsequently spread throughout the United States as it became clear that it helped reduce the transmission of waterborne disease. 

How Effective is Chlorination?

Chlorination is thought to be the primary way that outbreaks of waterborne diseases were reduced in the United States. For example, prior to chlorine treatment of drinking water systems, typhoid fever was responsible for a comparable death rate to modern automobile accidents. Roughly 25 in 100,000 people were killed every year in the United States from typhoid fever. Following the widespread adoption of chlorination, deaths from typhoid fever were nearly eliminated. The same is true for a wide range of other waterborne contaminants, including diseases caused by waterborne viruses, bacteria and protozoa.

Despite its effectiveness, chlorine isn’t the only substance used in water treatment. Many treatment facilities may use the chemical chloramine as well. Chloramine is usually used as an alternative to chlorination. Specifically, monochloramine is used to disinfect water, and shouldn’t be confused with dichloramine or trichloramine which are often used in indoor swimming pools. Chloramine treatment has been around since 1929, and many millions of Americans drink water that has been treated with chloramine.

Both chlorine and chloramine have drawbacks. One of the main drawbacks of chlorine in tap water is that it doesn’t last for a long period of time. Since it is necessary to ensure a sufficient level of disinfectant remains in the water after it has been treated but before it arrives at your tap, some community water suppliers turn to chloramine which is longer-lasting to provide ongoing protection against microbes. 

Perhaps the most significant drawback of chlorine, chloramine, and other disinfection processes is that they produce disinfection byproducts in the water when they come into contact with organic material. These byproducts have potential health impacts that we’ll discuss in greater detail in a subsequent section.

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Safe Levels of Chlorine in Drinking Water

Though chlorination has proven to be a powerful tool for ensuring many people have safe access to drinking water in the United States, it isn’t without drawbacks or health risks. Like other contaminants in drinking water, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has determined threshold values, known as the Maximum Residual Disinfectant Level (MRDL), for how much chlorine can be in drinking water while still being considered safe for consumption. Currently, this level is less than 4 milligrams per liter (mg/L) or 4 parts per million (ppm).

It is important to recognize that the levels set by the EPA are broad guidelines that may not be ideal for everyone. Some individuals have sensitivities to certain chemicals, including chlorine, which may lead to health concerns. Chlorine in water is also problematic if it’s used during dialysis treatment, which requires large amounts of water to clean waste out of the dialysis patient’s blood.

The levels of chlorine or chloramine in drinking water vary depending on a variety of factors. An easy way to get a basic understanding of the levels of disinfectants in your drinking water is to check the most recent water quality report published by your community water supplier. Most community water suppliers publish these reports on an annual or semi-annual basis, and while they don’t tell you how much disinfectant is in your water at any given time they will give you a general understanding of how your water supplier is treating the water that is piped to your home and what the levels of residual disinfectant in the water are. For example, this 2018 water quality report published by the City of San Diego shows that residual levels of chloramine exist in san diego tap water at an average of 1.9 ppm and range from undetectable levels to 3.4 ppm. 

Disinfection Byproducts

Any discussion of chlorine levels in water must also include information about disinfection byproducts (DBPs) and their risks. Treatment using chlorine, chloramine, ozone, or nearly any other disinfection method used on a large scale will produce byproducts in the water. From a public health perspective, the risks that disinfectants and their by-products pose must be weighed against the obvious public health benefit that disinfection offers.

DBPs form when disinfectants like chlorine and chloramine are added to water and react with organic materials in the water. The most common DBPs are:

There are known health risks associated with the consumption of DBPs. For example, THMs are considered possibly carcinogenic. These compounds form when free chlorine comes into contact with organic material in water. Common THMs include chloroform, bromodichloromethane, bromoform and dibromochloromethane.

Reducing Levels of Disinfectants and Disinfection Byproducts

While disinfectants like chlorine and chloramine are a valuable component of our modern community water supplies, there are some very good reasons for removing these contaminants from your water once it arrives at your home. Though consumption of disinfectants and their byproducts are considered safer than potentially contracting a waterborne disease, they may pose a health risk when consumed over time. Additionally, disinfectants and their byproducts alter the taste and smell of the water you are consuming. Removing these substances from your water can ensure you limit exposure to contaminants while also enhancing the taste and smell of your water. If the water has arrived safely at your home, there is no need to maintain chlorine or chloramine treatment. The proper water filter system for your water source can remove the chlorine taste, ammonia, chlorine, and other disinfectants present in your drinking water supply. 

Curious about how to get chlorine out of water? The most effective form of filtration for removing disinfectants and their byproducts is by using an activated carbon filter. Activated carbon is a special type of carbon that has been treated with heat or oxygen to expand its surface area. Once water enters an activated carbon system, disinfectants like chlorine or its byproducts are trapped on the surface of the carbon through a process known as adhesion. 

Activated carbon filtration is also great for removing other contaminants that may alter the smell or taste of your water, such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Filtration systems utilizing activated carbon come in different forms, including systems that filter all of the water in your home or smaller systems that provide filtered water at a specific tap. To understand the best water filtration system for you, contact Rayne Water so that one of our water quality experts can assess your needs and find the right system for you.

Home water filtration systems are also an excellent way to save money on your drinking water. Many people consume bottled water because they prefer the taste, without realizing that they can achieve the same great tasting water with their own filtration system. Though some bottled water such as alkaline water is marketed for its perceived health benefits, it is often better for your long-term health to limit your exposure to contaminants. If you’re wondering, “is alkaline water good for you?”, check out our recent article on the subject to explore the topic in greater detail. You may be surprised to find that the pH of tap water has far less of an impact on health than ensuring your drinking water is free of contaminants.

Closing Thoughts

Chlorine is the most common chemical used by water suppliers for disinfection in the United States. While chlorine provides an enormous public health benefit, it isn’t without drawbacks. Chlorine alters the smell and taste of the water we drink and bathe with. When chlorine is added to water it reacts with organic material to form disinfection byproducts, which may increase the risk of certain cancers when consumed over long periods of time.

On a national scale, the health risks that disinfectants like chlorine and their byproducts pose to public health are small compared to the benefit that they provide. However, at an individual level it is up to us to determine if we are comfortable with the risk that being exposed to these chemicals and their byproducts carry. 

Thankfully there are effective filtration systems for removing disinfectants, their byproducts, and a wide range of other contaminants that may remain in the water coming out of your tap. To learn about the best water treatment systems for dealing with chlorine, chloramines, and other chemicals, contact Rayne today. One of our water quality experts will help you find the best water treatment system for you. Whether you’re looking for water treatment for your home or business, our expert staff at Rayne Water have got you covered!

Sources:

  1. https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/drinking/public/chlorine-disinfection.html
  2. https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/drinking/public/chloramine-disinfection.html
  3. https://www.epa.gov/ground-water-and-drinking-water/national-primary-drinking-water-regulations#Disinfectants
  4. https://nepis.epa.gov/Exe/ZyPURL.cgi?Dockey=P1002SMN.txt

Expert Reviewer – Ken Christopher

How to Save Money on Drinking Water During COVID-19

Posted by Rayne Water

In response to the growing economic toll stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, many households have begun to tighten their budgets. One area that may be overlooked when budgeting is how costly drinking water can be. If you rely on purchasing cases of bottled water or a bottled water delivery service and you’re looking for ways to cut costs around your home, it may be time to consider filtering your own drinking water. By making a simple shift towards filtration within your own home you can reduce ongoing expenses and increase your access to clean, filtered water on demand.

 

Have you thought About Your Water Costs Recently?

Water is a fundamental necessity, and how you get your water can have important implications for your health. But where you source your drinking water from, comes at a cost. Due to the fact that this is viewed as a necessity, many people don’t take a close look at how much they are spending on their water each month. 

The two primary ways people access drinking water in the United States is through their tap or from bottled water. Bottled water has only recently become the most popular beverage in the United States after it displaced carbonated soft drinks. Let’s take a look at the average costs of these water sources, so you can see how the cost of your drinking water can add up over time.

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The Cost of Tap Water

If you are drinking water from a tap, it can actually be fairly difficult to understand how much your drinking water costs. The portion of your water that you drink is rolled into your total water consumption from your municipal water supplier, which obscures the true cost of drinking straight from your tap.

Using tap water as your primary drinking water source is very, very inexpensive . The Environmental Protection Agency estimated that the average cost of 1,000 gallons of water from a municipal water supplier in the United States in 2016 was only $3.38. This means a gallon of tap water costs on average less than a penny.

If you consumed your total daily recommended water intake at home throughout the year your total drinking water costs would be less than a single dollar. This is assuming that the average male requires 100 ounces per day of drinking water, and the average female requires 73 ounces per day.

Even for large families, tap water is an incredibly cost-effective source for drinking water. While many people find the taste of tap water less palatable than bottled water, effective home water treatment can mitigate or eliminate unpleasant odors and tastes.

 

The Cost of Bottled Water

The cost of bottled water can vary substantially depending on where you are, where you buy it, what brand it is, and whether it is bought in bulk or not. Bottled water has become a normal part of many shopper’s grocery trips, where a case or two are thrown on the cart without ever really considering the cost. What you may not realize is that the bottled water in your cart is, on average, more expensive than gasoline or milk.

A breakdown of bottled water costs at The Balance uses an average cost of $0.70 per 16.9 ounce bottle of water. Using this average to estimate costs it was found that total annual water costs were approximately  $1262 on average.

Keep in mind that this total cost assumes an average cost-per-bottle that may not reflect the price you are paying for water. The brand of bottled water you purchase, where you purchase it, and how often you drink bottled water will all play a role in determining your water costs. However, what is very clear is how substantially more expensive bottled water is than municipal tap water. 

Bottled water can also come from bulk delivery services, where 5-gallon jugs of water are delivered to your home and business where they are mounted in a dispenser. Bottled water delivery services are often considered the more cost-effective means of getting bottled water. The International Bottled Water Association pegs the average price-per-gallon of bottled water from all sources including bottled water delivery at $1.11  While this estimated cost is very low compared to most others, it is a simple way to demonstrate that even an ounce of the cheapest bottled water costs three times more than the cost of a gallon of tap water. 

 

Driving Down Your Drinking Water Expenses

The fastest and most effective way to rapidly scale down your drinking water budget is to switch from bottled water to tap water. The problem is that many people who prefer to drink bottled water don’t want to do that. Two of the main reasons many people prefer far more costly bottled water is because of a perceived health benefit, and a preference for the taste of bottled water. These are both very important concerns when it comes to drinking water, so let’s take a look at each of them in a bit more detail.

 

Safety and Health Concerns

Many people perceive bottled water to be a safer alternative to tap water. This is encouraged through a variety of factors including savvy marketing that emphasizes the health aspects of clean water combined with the grim reality that water quality violations occur every year in the United States. But is bottled water actually different or safer from tap water?

The answer is more complicated than you might think. Many bottled water brands simply treat and repackage tap water. Once repackaged, the water falls under the regulatory authority of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), rather than the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) which regulates water delivered through community water supplies. While the FDA requires bottled water suppliers to adhere to certain requirements, including testing their products, the FDA doesn’t usually test the water on their own.

This leaves a large degree of room for bottled water suppliers to do as much or as little testing on their water as they’d like. Investigative efforts by Consumer Reports found that while contamination of bottled water still occurred, it was much more difficult for consumers to find out about water quality violations with a community water supplier who has mandated reporting requirements. Tests of bottled water have found many of the same contaminants that contribute to water quality violations in community water supplies, such as high levels of arsenic. Through their own testing, Consumer Reports found that 6 percent of bottled water brands had a product that contained levels of contaminants that exceeded either state or federal thresholds.

What the testing by Consumer Reports demonstrates is that bottled water can still contain contaminants, sometimes in levels that exceed regulatory requirements. Often, the water in the bottle came from a municipal tap before it underwent further treatment. While treatment can remove some impurities, the act of storing, packaging and transporting the water can also introduce its own risks.

 

Taste

The taste of water is very subjective, but it is an important factor in how we hydrate ourselves. Many people simply prefer the taste of bottled water, but why is that the case if many suppliers of bottled water use tap water in the first place?

Nearly all tap water in the United States is treated with disinfectants to neutralize microbes. The most common disinfectant used is chlorine, which imparts a distinct odor and taste to the water that is unappealing for many. In addition to chlorine, ammonia is sometimes added to drinking water to form chloramines. These chloramines are considered a secondary disinfection tool that provides long-term protection against the growth of microbes. Unfortunately, chloramines also alter the taste and smell of tap water.

The mineral content of your water will also alter the taste. Many bottled water suppliers remove a portion of the mineral content in the water they process, causing it to taste differently than the water in your tap.

 

How to Eliminate the Bottle and Get Great Tasting Water

If you don’t find the taste of tap water pleasant, or you are worried about unwanted contaminants in your tap water, the most cost-effective solution is to filter your own drinking water. Installing a drinking water filtration system allows you to reduce ongoing expenses while providing consistent protection against a wide range of contaminants.  

The best home drinking water systems use reverse osmosis to reduce contaminants. Reverse osmosis forces tap water through a specialized membrane with tiny pores that allow water molecules through but limit larger contaminants. Rayne Water reverse-osmosis systems also include an activated carbon post-filter, which captures disinfectants and their byproducts such as chlorine and chloramines, as well as other harmful contaminants like volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

 

Closing Thoughts

If you’re looking for effective ways to cut costs during the COVID-19 pandemic, consider cutting your bottled water consumption. With home water filtration you can have access to great-tasting water with fewer contaminants at far less cost than bottled water. With a Rayne Water treatment system, you’ll have access to as many gallons of drinking water as you need on demand. At the same time, you’ll significantly reduce the environmental impact of your drinking water by creating a bottleless, sustainable solution for clean drinking water for years to come.

To learn more about how a Rayne Water system can save you money, contact us today. One of our water quality specialists will help you find a water treatment solution that fits your needs and gives you access to clean, filtered drinking water at a fraction of the cost of bottled water.

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Sources:

  1. https://recipes.howstuffworks.com/why-americans-spend-billions-bottled-water.htm
  2. https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20200518005477/en/Infiniti%E2%80%99s-Article-Explains-COVID-19-Pandemic-Influencing-Customer
  3. https://www.consumerreports.org/bottled-water/should-we-break-our-bottled-water-habit/
  4. https://www.consumerreports.org/bottled-water/how-coke-and-pepsi-make-millions-from-bottling-tap-water-as-residents-face-shutoffs/

How Much Does Bottled Water Cost Your Household

Posted by Rayne Water

 

*Reviewed by Ken Christopher, Senior Vice President at Rayne Dealership Corporation

During the economic uncertainty surrounding the current pandemic, many people are looking for ways to cut their monthly expenses. One of the ways to do this is by looking at how much they are spending on their drinking water each month. If you’ve been asking yourself, “how much does bottled water cost?”, you may be surprised by the answer.

 

How Much Does a Gallon of Bottled Water Cost?

According to the International Bottled Water Association (IBWA), the average price per gallon of bottled water was $1.11 in 2016, the most recent year published. That’s about $405.15 a year. This number may sound lower than what you pay for a 16oz bottled water, even if you buy it in bulk at the grocery store. That’s because it includes bottled water from all sources, including a 5-gallon water delivery service, and it’s a nationwide average.

Other estimates for how much is a bottle of water, or how much is a case of water, vary greatly due to regional variations, as well as price variations between brands and retailers. A survey of popular brands sold on Amazon done by The Balance found that the average cost of a 16.9-ounce plastic water bottle was around $0.70, which is $1,022 a year if you drink 4 water bottles a day.

Reverse Osmosis Systems starting at only $25/mo. Try before you buy!

 

How Much is a Gallon of Tap Water?

The cost of bottled water may sound small, but let’s consider how inexpensive a gallon of tap water is. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found that in 2016 the average cost of 1,000 gallons of tap water from a municipal supplier was $3.38. 

The one issue is, tap water is not nearly as great as the pristine results of filtered water in a water bottle. What’s the easy fix for this? A reverse osmosis filtration system. An RO filter can produce 30 gallons a day of clean, purified water that’s freshly ready for you to drink at the ease of your sink. Giving you drinking water at the inexpensive cost of tap water but great quality like bottled water (if not better).

 

Average Annual Bottled Water Cost

Let’s take a moment to add up how much bottled water would cost throughout the year, since that tends to provide a clearer picture of the total costs of drinking water. Here we’re going to assume that the average male requires 100 ounces of drinking water per day, and the average female requires 73 ounces per day. We’ll also assume that they are getting all of that water from bottled water.

If bottled water is about $0.04 per ounce, the average person would spend about $3.50 each day and $1,460 annually. 

There’s a large gap between these two estimates, and most people’s bottled water costs probably fall somewhere between them. What is important to note is how quickly the cost of bottled water adds up, even if it may seem like a value relative to other brands of bottled water.

 

Determining Your Own Water Costs

The most accurate way to determine how much your household is spending on bottled water. First add the total cost of your bottled water for a week, then multiply it by 52. That will give you the best idea of how much bottled water is costing your household.

 

Cutting Your Drinking Water Costs

The most effective way to cut down how much you are spending on drinking water is to eliminate bottled water entirely. Installing a drinking water filtration system, such as a reverse-osmosis system under your sink, offers the ability to have gallons of on-demand drinking water at a fraction of the cost of bottled water.

The fact is, much of the bottled water sold today is actually municipal water that has undergone some type of additional treatment. You can do the same thing at a fraction of the cost with a reverse osmosis system. RO systems remove contaminants and impurities that cause your water to have a poor taste and odor, as well as contaminants that may pose a health risk.

Installing your own drinking water filtration system gives you greater control over how your water is treated, while significantly lowering the cost of your drinking water. Plus with a reverse osmosis filtration system, it’s clean and purified water guaranteed.

The cost breakdown of a reverse osmosis filtration system is $25/mo, which is .0002 cents per oz (since an RO system produces 30 gallons a day) compared to .04 cents per oz like a bottle of water (that’s 200x cheaper!).

 

Closing Thoughts

While many people prefer the taste of bottled water over tap water, what they may not realize is that their bottled water comes at a premium hundreds or even thousands of times higher than the equivalent cost of tap water. Daily consumption of tap water as the primary drinking water source costs around $1.00 for males and slightly less for females on average throughout the United States. In contrast, even the lowest estimates for the average cost of bottled water make it hundreds of times more expensive. Also, the water cost compares small to the environmental impact of plastic waste from bottled water consumption.

 

Save Costs on Water: Install a Water Filtration System in Your Home 

If you are looking for a way to cut costs but still have a great drinking water taste, consider installing a Rayne Water filtration system. Our drinking water filtration system uses the process of reverse osmosis to provide you with the best water supply. It’ll be a nice walk to your kitchen sink where you can fill your reusable water bottle with premium filtered tap water and not worry about wasting plastic or costing your wallet.

Please contact us today so that one of our water quality experts can help you find the best water system treatment option for your home or business.

Sources:

  1. https://www.bottledwater.org/economics/real-cost-of-bottled-water
  2. https://www.consumerreports.org/bottled-water/should-we-break-our-bottled-water-habit/
  3. https://www.consumerreports.org/bottled-water/how-coke-and-pepsi-make-millions-from-bottling-tap-water-as-residents-face-shutoffs/
  4. https://www.thebalance.com/cost-of-a-bottle-of-water-4773937

Expert Reviewer – Ken Christopher

Are Home Improvements Tax Deductible

Posted by Rayne Water

If you are considering doing some home improvement projects, you might be wondering whether those projects are tax-deductible. Standard deductions can have a big impact on your overall tax burden, so gaining a firm understanding of what home improvements are tax deductible is sensible for all homeowners.

How Does a Tax Deduction for Home Improvements Work?

Are home improvements tax deductible? Unfortunately, expenses made making home improvements aren’t deductible because they are considered personal expenses. This doesn’t mean that making improvements to your home can’t bring tax benefits. The tax benefits of home improvements are gained when you sell your home, rather than in the tax year that you spent money on the project.

To understand how this system works, you’ll need to understand the terminology used by the IRS to classify different types of home projects, as well as gain a sense of what your tax credit and cost basis is as a homeowner. If you are able to improve your home’s value (capital improvement), you increase your chances of keeping a higher amount of a tax free capital gain by increasing your cost basis of the property.

Improvement Versus Repair

One thing that gets confusing is whether a project around your house is an improvement or a repair. While these two terms have a similar meaning in an everyday sense, there are big differences when it comes to reaping your tax benefits.

Improvements can be primarily thought of as projects that add value to your home equity, although it can also be a project that adapts your primary residence to a new use or improves the life span of your home. Which home improvements add value to your home? Kitchen, plumbing, or bathroom upgrades are all considered home improvements because they increase the selling price of your home.

In contrast, a repair is something that may be necessary but doesn’t add value to your home with no profit as a result. There’s no comprehensive list of what qualifies as a repair, but some easy examples are replacing a drafty window, fixing a broken water heater, or repainting a room.

Water Softener Systems starting at only $35/mo. Try before you buy!

What is Your Tax Basis?

An important concept to understand regarding a standard deduction for home improvements is your tax basis. Your tax basis is the amount of money that you subtract from your sale price to determine your profit.

Each home improvement you make as a homeowner can be added to the tax basis of your home. Let’s look at an example of how this works in action:

Weighing the Tax Benefit of Home Improvements

In the past, raising your tax basis through mortgage interest and home improvements was one of the most effective ways to reduce your tax rate from selling your home. Recent changes to the law made this less necessary in some situations.

The current tax law stipulates that if you lived in your home for two of the five years before the real estate is sold, you won’t have to pay taxes on the first $250,000 of profit for single filers and $500,000 for married-filing jointly filers in the tax season you’re filing for.

So, if you are a single filer and anticipate receiving less than $250,000 in profit off of your home sale, you likely won’t see a benefit from including any expense from home improvements in your tax basis. The same can be said for married filers if their profit from the sale is less than $500,000.

The tax benefits of home improvements are much more likely to be a factor if you have lived in your residence for a long time and home real estate sales have steadily risen in your area. In this case, it is conceivable that some portion of your profit would be subject to taxes and understanding which home improvement is a deduction becomes much more important.

What Home Improvements Are Tax-Deductible When Selling?

Here we’ll provide a list of what home improvements are tax deductible when selling. There is no comprehensive list available, so it is important to remember that in order to be considered an improvement, the project must add value to the home and ultimately increase the profit of the sale. Here are a few of the most common home improvements ideas:

The list of projects that can increase the selling price of your home is fairly extensive. One thing to keep in mind is that the improvement you make must still be present when you sell your house to be valid. For example, if you upgrade your air-conditioning unit, that same unit needs to be present when you sell the house in order to be added to your tax return.

Prioritizing Improvements That Add Value

Due to the recent changes in how homeowners’ sale profits are taxed, it can be a good idea to prioritize improvements that increase the selling price of your home. Unless you anticipate a profit exceeding the tax exemption threshold of $250,000 for single filers or $500,000 for married filers, your focus will probably be on improvements that add value rather than the tax benefit those improvements provide.

Final Thoughts

Most homeowners are curious about whether their home improvement project is tax-deductible. While home improvements aren’t tax-deductible in the year that they are done, they can be added to the value of your primary residence to raise your tax basis. Your tax basis is subtracted from your final selling price to determine your profit.

Although it was incredibly important to track your home improvement expenses in the past, recent changes to the tax law made it less of a priority. If the profit from your home sale is less than $250,000 for single filers or $500,000 for married filing jointly filers, you won’t face a tax penalty on your profits. If your profit exceeds those thresholds then including your home improvements in your tax basis makes sense.

Under the current law, it makes sense to prioritize home improvements that increase the selling price or closing cost of your home. These include improving the size of the living space in your home through an addition or basement or renovating your bathroom or kitchen. There are also laws on home office deduction that may be of interest to you. Improvements that add to the quality-of-life of the occupant, such as a water softening system for your whole house attract potential homeowners by reducing maintenance requirements and ongoing costs.

To learn more about the benefits of water softening and filtration systems, contact Rayne Water today.

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Sources:

  1. https://turbotax.intuit.com/tax-tips/home-ownership/home-improvements-and-your-taxes/L6IwHGrx6
  2. https://turbotax.intuit.com/tax-tips/home-ownership/tax-aspects-of-home-ownership-selling-a-home/L6tbMe3Dy
  3. https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/what-home-improvements-tax-deductible.html
  4. https://www.hrblock.com/tax-center/filing/credits/home-renovation-tax-credit/