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Archive for the ‘Impurities Found in Drinking Water’ Category

Burbank Water Quality 2022

Posted by Rayne Water

 

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

Burbank is the suburb that local Angelenos can’t help but love. After all, Hollywood glitz and glamor extend north into Burbank, where you’re just as likely to encounter regular families as celebrities. While there’s certainly a lot to love about this Southern California town, the taste of the tap water might not be one of those things.

Whether you’re a long-time Burbank resident or just stopping by for a visit to the Warner Brothers Studio backlot, keep reading for a full guide to Burbank’s current water quality.1 

We’ll discuss where tap water comes from, how the city treats it, what affects its quality, and how you can improve it at home. Grab a glass of water, and let’s dive in.

Burbank Water Sources

Your water has quite the journey to make before it arrives at your tap, especially in Burbank. The city doesn’t actually own any of the naturally occurring water underneath its soil. Instead, it purchases water from the Metropolitan Water District (MWD).2 

The MWD is a wholesaler supplier of water across Southern California. While it receives its water from sources such as San Francisco Bay Delta,3 its two primary sources:4

Burbank purchases water from the MWD. When this water is recycled and returned to aquifers beneath Burbank, the city receives additional groundwater credits.2

As a result, Burbank residents receive recycled water from three sources:2

  1. Stored Ground Water – 47% of the city’s water comes from untreated water in underground aquifers. This is water Burbank has purchased, imported, and added to its own aquifers. The city pumps this water from wells.
  2. State Water Project – 33% of the water comes from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta in Northern California. However, this source is environmentally vulnerable, which could significantly impact California’s future.
  3. Ground Water Credits – 20% of the city’s water also comes from underground aquifers, specifically in return for recycling the water it imports back into the city’s aquifers.

If all that sounds incredibly complicated, don’t worry. It is. Drought-prone California walks a fine line to continue providing enough water to its increasing population.

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The Water Treatment Process

All of the sources of water noted above must undergo a treatment process before they are safe to drink. This process is essential to ensure that the Burbank water quality meets all necessary standards. 

The source of the water affects how much the water must be treated. Groundwater doesn’t usually require as much treatment as source water, which comes from lakes, rivers, and streams. Regardless, the treatment process removes things like:5

To deliver safe drinking water to their communities, treatment plants follow a five-step process:5

  1. Coagulation – Particles like dirt have a negative charge in water. To remove them, the treatment plant adds chemicals with a positive charge like salts, aluminum, or iron. These chemicals neutralize the negative charge and bind to the particles, increasing their size.
  2. Flocculation – The treatment plant uses additional chemicals and mixes the water so that the particles become larger and heavier. These groups of particles are called flocs.
  3. Sedimentation – These flocs are heavier than the water, so they settle at the bottom, separating from the clean water at the top.
  4. Filtration – The treatment plant refines the water at the top using filters with different pore sizes to remove dissolved particles, pollutants, and germs. They can also filter for odor and taste using activated carbon filters or reverse osmosis systems.
  5. Disinfection – The treatment plant disinfects the filtered water using chemicals like chlorine or using UV light or ozone. Any of these options disinfect the water, but the chlorine will also kill any germs in the pipes when the water travels through them. The treatment plant might also adjust the pH of the water for taste and to protect pipes. They will also usually add fluoride to support oral health.

After this five-step process is complete, clean and safe water travels through the pipes and to your faucet.

Water Quality in Burbank

Clean water is essential to protect your health. In less developed countries, untreated water can contain waterborne diseases such as typhoid fever or cholera. Even in the United States, untreated water can spread illnesses like:6

Untreated water can also expose you to chemicals with disastrous effects on your health. Those effects depend on the levels of the chemicals, but they still exist. More specifically:6

Common chemical contaminants like arsenic, benzene, and uranium have federal limits regarding their concentration in tap water. There is a growing concern, however, about other chemicals, such as PFAs, or perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances.7 

What are PFAs?

PFAs are referred to as “forever chemicals” because they can remain in your body long-term and they take hundreds of years to break down in the environment. Their usage is widespread in products from cookware to dental floss. As a result, they contaminate many different sources of water.7 

Exposure to these chemicals at levels higher than one part per trillion can increase your risk of developing a wide range of conditions from liver tumors to high cholesterol, and a 2021 estimate found that the majority of Americans drink tap water with concentrations of PFAs that are too high.7 

In 2022, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) set more aggressive limits on PFAs in water. However, these guidelines are not legally binding.8 Because of these chemicals, locals in other cities are worried about the quality of their water. Even as nearby as Pasadena, people are thinking, “Is Pasadena water safe to drink?” Not just in Burbank but the Pasadena water restrictions and West Covina water restrictions have become more stringent because of PFAs.

While drinking water quality standards regarding PFAs are a major priority for the state of California, there are no standards yet for the maximum contaminant levels of PFAs.9

While emerging research into chemicals like PFAs is a concern, as of now, the water in Burbank meets or exceeds both state and federal standards for water quality. Each year Burbank Water and Power releases an annual report with data on over 162 elements it tests for in the city’s drinking water. Consumers can read through this water quality report and feel confident about the water they’re drinking.10

To continue providing safe and reliable water to all of its residents, the city of Burbank is also investing in its infrastructure. The majority of the city’s water pipes are over 80 years old. As a result, the city has begun to replace them. While this will ensure long-term access to clean water, it is one factor that has raised water costs for residents.11

How to Improve Water Quality at Home

The City of Burbank works hard to deliver clean water to its residents, but there are also many strategies you can use at home to improve your water quality. If you have specific concerns about contaminants in your water, you can use Rayne Water to determine both the water’s quality and any potential contaminants. 

Even if the water is safe to drink, there are many reasons Burbank residents might want to treat it more thoroughly. For example, while disinfectants like chlorine keep the water safe, they can cause unfavorable tastes and smells as well as damage to hair, skin, and even your health.12

Moreover, water can become contaminated during the distribution process. This occurs when lead or copper pipes corrode or when there is a breach in the plumbing system. Additionally, byproducts of the treatment process like trihalomethanes can be bad for your health.6

Using a reverse osmosis system can protect your drinking water from bacteria and viruses.12 These systems may also improve water taste, which is one of the major concerns most Burbank locals have. While most drinking water might be safe, it isn’t always enjoyable.

Why? Most cities in Southern California have what’s called “hard water.”13

This means that the water contains higher levels of certain minerals like calcium and magnesium. While hard water isn’t dangerous outright, there are several reasons you might prefer “soft water.” The benefits of soft water include:14

  1. Cleanliness – Hard water can leave behind mineral buildup on pipes and soap scum on your clothes and dishes.
  2. Cost – Because hard water leaves behind this residue, you may end up spending more money on cleaning products and using more water.

When facing a drought, every ounce of water used matters. The simplest solution might be to use water softeners. The objective of a water softener is to remove excess calcium and magnesium as well as other minerals found in your water supply. 

Discover the Benefits of High-Quality Water

Water quality matters. Whether you drink your eight cups a day or use the tap to make coffee or tea, you drink a lot of water. The city of Burbank works hard to ensure safe water is delivered to your pipes, despite all of the ecological issues Southern California faces.

While the water in Burbank meets both state and federal standards, concerns about Burbank water quality are understandable, considering the existence of chemicals like PFAs or even just the taste of the water you drink each and every day.

Now, you can take control of your water quality with Rayne Water

From water softeners to reverse osmosis systems, Rayne Water’s products can help you enjoy the highest quality water. 

 

Sources: 

  1. LA Homes. What Is Burbank Known For? 5 Fun Facts About the History of Burbank, CA. https://www.lahomes.com/blog/burbank-fun-facts/ 
  2. The City of Burbank Water and Power. Water Sources. https://www.burbankwaterandpower.com/water/water-supply/water-sources
  3. The City of Burbank Water and Power. Water Quality Reports. https://www.burbankwaterandpower.com/water/water-supply/water-quality-reports
  4. LADWP. Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. https://www.ladwp.com/ladwp/faces/ladwp/aboutus/a-water/a-w-sourcesofsupply/a-w-sos-metropolitanwaterdistrictofsoutherncalifornia 
  5. CDC. Water Treatment. https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/drinking/public/water_treatment.html 
  6. EPA. Drinking Water. https://www.epa.gov/report-environment/drinking-water 
  7. Scientific American. Forever Chemicals Are Widespread in U.S. Drinking Water. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/forever-chemicals-are-widespread-in-u-s-drinking-water/ 
  8. Harvard School of Public Health. Stricter federal guidelines on ‘forever chemicals’ in drinking water pose challenges. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/features/stricter-federal-guidelines-on-forever-chemicals-in-drinking-water-pose-challenges/ 
  9. California Water Boards. PFAS: Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances. https://www.waterboards.ca.gov/drinking_water/certlic/drinkingwater/pfas.html 
  10. Burbank Water and Power. Currents. https://www.burbankwaterandpower.com/images/administrative/downloads/BWP_Currents_July2022_Final.pdf 
  11. City of Burbank. Op Ed: Ensuring Burbank’s Residents Continue to Have Access to Safe, Clean Water. https://www.burbankca.gov/newsroom/-/newsdetail/20124/ensuring-burbank-s-residents-continue-to-have-access-to-safe-clean-water 
  12. Washington Post. How to Test and Improve Your Tap Water. https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2022/08/23/how-test-improve-your-tap-water/ 
  13. City of Anaheim. Water Hardness. https://www.anaheim.net/672/Water-Hardness 
  14. Rayne Water. Is it Better to Drink Soft or Hard Water? https://www.raynewater.com/blog/is-it-better-to-drink-soft-or-hard-water/

 

Expert Reviewer – Ken Christopher

Guide to West Covina Water Restrictions & Contaminants

Posted by Rayne Water

 

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

West Covina has a lot to offer the roughly 100,000 residents who call this city home. From towering palm trees to mountain views, there’s no shortage of reasons why Angelenos flock to this coveted San Gabriel Valley suburb. And to keep West Covina a prosperous place to live, the city government has implemented certain water use restrictions (which bear similarities with Pasadena water restrictions).

Keep reading to learn about the city’s water conservation efforts as well as specific strategies you can use to reduce your own water usage. We’ll also discuss water quality in West Covina and how residents can improve their water at home.

West Covina Water Restrictions: Everything You Need to Know

Southern Californians are no strangers to drought. That’s why it’s essential for local governments to maintain an adequate water supply for now and for the future, as well as encourage their residents to conserve this precious resource.

Many cities in Southern California use a three-level system to address water shortages. Each of the three levels comes with specific restrictions, with those restrictions increasing in severity and Level 3 representing a true emergency.

With Southern California residents experiencing severe drought over the past few years, it’s important to follow each water use restriction put in place to alleviate the conditions. In June 2022, cities across Southern California, including West Covina, came under new water usage restrictions, specifically a Level 2 Water Supply Shortage. While some California residents can get water from the Colorado River, others must rely on Northern California only to meet their water needs. As a result, millions of customers from the following six water districts are facing a shortage:

The West Covina water restrictions also include about 80 cities and neighborhoods in the region from Agoura Hills to Winnetka. These water restrictions relate both to overall water usage as well as specifically outdoor watering and irrigation usage.

As part of the Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District, West Covina and its neighboring cities have been asked to reduce their household water consumption by 20% and minimize their outdoor water usage to twice weekly.

That means that residents will need to seriously consider how they are using water in their homes and how often they’re watering their lawns or gardens.

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Tips to Conserve Water

Reducing household water consumption by 20% can seem daunting, but the California Department of Water Resources has multiple strategies you can use to conserve water. These strategies range from more time-intensive and expensive (at least initially) to small habits you can incorporate into your daily life to adhere to watering restrictions.

First, consider your appliances, you can install water-efficient appliances and fix any leaks to save significant amounts of water in your home. Likewise, outside, you can plant drought-resistant vegetation and replace your grass or turf landscape.

But you don’t need to spend a lot of money to conserve water. Instead, you can start small with lifestyle changes such as:

Likewise, you don’t need to redo your entire lawn to conserve water. For your garden, helpful habits include:

Each of these habits adds up to make a big difference in your water conservation efforts.

Water Contaminants in West Covina

It’s understandable to have concerns about your city’s water quality. There are many contaminants reported to be found in water that’s not properly treated, including:

In fact, in the 1970s, water contaminants from industrial pollution were a major concern in the San Gabriel Valley. As a result, the state-financed and built groundwater treatment programs and facilities in the 1990s. Because of this testing, treatment, and filtration process, the tap water in West Covina may be safe to drink.

However, many people still like to use tools like reverse osmosis and water softeners to improve their water quality. To understand why, it’s helpful to clarify the difference between hard and soft water:

Most cities in Southern California have hard water, so some residents will use water softeners.< Similarly, some residents utilize reverse osmosis systems for better-tasting water. Just because water is safe to drink doesn’t mean that it’s tasty.

Conserve Water and Keep Quality with Rayne Water

Residents in West Covina enjoy safe drinking water. The Level 2 Water Supply Shortage restrictions cities in Southern California including West Covina are currently facing can help stave off future water crises so that residents can continue enjoying that safe water. By reducing their water consumption by 20%, residents can help their community conserve this essential resource. But if you are living in other cities in California (for instance you were wondering about Burbank’s water quality or is Pasadena water safe to drink), we also service neighboring cities. We have reverse osmosis, Los Angeles needs to keep your water top quality.

Thankfully, there are numerous strategies residents can use to conserve water, from drought-resistant landscaping to shorter showers.

And while you’re saving water, we’re saving you money. You can spend less on cleaning products and bottled water and make the most of the water you do use through reverse osmosis systems or water softeners.

Rayne Water is here to help our community stay hydrated.

 

Sources:

  1. United States Census Bureau. QuickFacts West Covina city, California. https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/westcovinacitycalifornia/INC110220
  2. American Legal Publishing. § 5.03.035 LEVEL 1 WATER SUPPLY SHORTAGE. https://codelibrary.amlegal.com/codes/culvercity/latest/culvercity_ca/0-0-0-67308
  3. South Pasadenan. San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water | Upper District Adopts Emergency Water Conservation Program. https://southpasadenan.com/san-gabriel-valley-municipal-water-upper-district-adopts-emergency-water-conservation-program/
  4. California Department of Water Resources. Conservation Tips. https://water.ca.gov/water-basics/conservation-tips
  5. Suburban Water Quality Systems. 2020 Water Quality Report. https://www.swwc.com/wp-content/uploads/files/ca/ccr/ccr-covinaknolls-2020.pdf
  6. Upper San Gabriel Municipal Water District. Water Quality. https://upperdistrict.org/quality/
  7. Rayne Water. Is it Better to Drink Soft or Hard Water? https://www.raynewater.com/blog/is-it-better-to-drink-soft-or-hard-water/
  8. City of Anaheim. Water Hardness. https://www.anaheim.net/672/Water-Hardness
  9. KTLA. Here are the new LADWP watering restrictions beginning Wednesday; which cities are affected. https://ktla.com/news/local-news/here-are-the-new-ladwp-watering-restrictions-beginning-tomorrow-and-which-cities-are-affected/

 

Expert Reviewer – Ken Christopher

Guide to Pasadena Water Restrictions & Contaminants

Posted by Rayne Water

 

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

Water is our most precious resource, yet it’s seldom thought of with the expected necessity. With how abundant and accessible water has become from generation to generation, it’s easy to take it for granted. Yet living with limited access to fresh water is still a daily reality for people around the world.

Is Pasadena water safe to drink? While many in the Pasadena area may feel assured that unlimited clean water will always run from the taps, the reality of water security is a complex issue. In order to ensure the faucets keep flowing, the city of Pasadena has mandated a set of guidelines governing water use. The Pasadena water restrictions affect every residential spout in the city as the Department of Water and Power scrambles to keep up with demand.

Read on to learn about the specific regulations regarding public use of water, and how you might get more than you bargained for from the city’s unfiltered supply.

Why Did Pasadena Implement Water Usage Regulations?

Los Angeles, and southern California in general, is synonymous with sunny days and cloudless skies. The less acknowledged flipside of southern California’s climate, however, is its bone-dry precipitation levels and propensity for drought. Pasadena exemplifies this lack of rainfall, most glaringly during the summer. The driest month of the year is August, which experiences 0.2 days of rain on average.

That’s less than five hours total—in a month.

Needless to say, natural reservoirs are not replenished in sufficient supply to meet the city’s demands. The Raymond Basin is the main local source of the city’s water supply, and it’s fed by rainfall in the San Gabriel valley. With little precipitation in the surrounding mountains, the Raymond Basin fails to meet even half of Pasadena’s demand, requiring the city to import water from other municipalities.

Drought Levels in Pasadena

Infrequent precipitation and an unreliable supply of local water mean Pasadena is frequently in cycles of drought. The city has come up with a six-level gauge to assess the threat of drought at a given time:

With multiple low-precipitation records set in 2022, over 90% of California has been in the same drought category this year.

The National Integrated Drought Information System, a governmental program that tracks droughts across multiple metrics, also deems Pasadena and the surrounding area to be in a state of severe drought.

With local and national systems painting a dry picture, it’s clear Pasadena is going through a drought-stricken period. Not wanting to push the needles further into extreme dryness, officials decided to limit the public’s use of water.

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What Are Pasadena’s Rules Regarding Water Usage?

Water conservation is crucial for Southern Californians of LA county and surrounding regions. In order to combat the ongoing shortage, the city of Pasadena has enacted a set of guidelines dictating who can use water and when. Below is a breakdown of the current rules governing which uses of water are permitted, restricted, and prohibited.

Creating watering restrictions such as implementing a specific watering day or certain irrigation rules can create a significant difference in water waste during droughts. These regulations apply to every residential building in the city, so if you’re living in Pasadena, that probably includes you.1 However, like all good rules, there are always a few exceptions.

What Are The Exemptions to Pasadena’s Water Restrictions?

The rules regulating water usage in Pasadena (and similarly with West Covina water restrictions) apply almost fully across the board. That said, there are a few instances when one isn’t governed by the current regulations:

Dealing with the water shortage has no end in sight, so it’s helpful to understand your full rights when it comes to usage. Likewise, it’s beneficial to inform yourself about the quality of water flowing from Pasadena’s treatment facilities to your tap.

Contaminants in Pasadena’s Water Supply

Despite meeting Federal regulations, Pasadena’s water contains a long list of contaminants that may be prejudicial to your health. In total, the city’s supply contains 36 chemical contaminants, 17 of which are found in highly unhealthy quantities.7

Below is a small collection of some of the compounds floating around in Pasadena’s water. Keep in mind, this list only scratches the surface of what makes it past the city’s filtration system.

Evidently, Pasadena is not only providing its residents water in short supply, but the quality it delivers is also in question. Many of the chemicals you’re drinking may have effects on your health. Even trees can have their growth inhibited by the high levels of toxins sprayed on them while watering.11

But what are Pasadenans to do? Water is the very lifeblood of existence and there’s no way to stop using it. Luckily, there are steps that you can take to ensure the city’s supply is safe for you, your family, and the environment.

Purify Your Home’s Water with a Filtration System from Rayne Water

Just because Pasadena’s treatment plants are pumping out chemical-laden water doesn’t mean you have to drink it as is. Rayne Water has been serving California’s water conditioning needs for almost a century. When it comes to dealing with contaminants, we are the experts you can trust.

Our water softeners can eliminate excess chlorine-based compounds that make your water smell and taste like a public pool. As a bonus, they can eradicate minerals that build up on surfaces and cause scaling—making cleaning your dishes, your skin, and your shower a breeze.

We also provide some of the most supremely refreshing reverse osmosis Los Angeles has to offer. Our systems can remove the chemical impurities plaguing your water supply. Aside from Pasadena, we can also help improve Burbank water quality.

You, your family, and your property deserve the crispest, cleanest water nature has to offer. Trust Rayne Water to help clean the contaminants from Pasadena’s supply and allow purity to flow from your taps.

 

Sources:

  1. Pasadena Department of Water and Power. Watering Schedule. https://ww5.cityofpasadena.net/water-and-power/wateringschedule/
  2. Climate Data. Climate Pasadena. https://en.climate-data.org/north-america/united-states-of-america/california/pasadena-715014/
  3. Pasadena Water and Power. Where does our water come from?. https://ww5.cityofpasadena.net/water-and-power/water/
  4. Pasadena Water and Power. Drought Awareness – Do your part to save water. https://ww5.cityofpasadena.net/water-and-power/savewater/
  5. National Integrated Drought Information System. Conditions for Pasadena, CA. (Los Angeles County). https://www.drought.gov/location/91117
  6. City of Pasadena. AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF PASADENA AMENDING PASADENA MUNICIPAL CODE TITLE 13, CHAPTER 13.10, WATER WASTE PROHIBITIONS AND WATER SUPPLY SHORTAGE PLANS. https://www.cityofpasadena.net/public-notices/wp-content/uploads/sites/16/2017-03-13-ORDINANCE-7298.pdf
  7. Environmental Working Group. Pasadena. https://www.ewg.org/tapwater/system.php?pws=CA1910124
  8. World Health Organization. Arsenic. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/arsenic
  9. Public Health England. Chloroform: General Information. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/chloroform-properties-incident-management-and-toxicology
  10. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Public Health Statement for Bromoform and Dibromochloromethane. https://wwwn.cdc.gov/TSP/PHS/PHS.aspx?phsid=711&toxid=128
  11. Committee on Medical and Biological Effects of Environmental Pollutants. Arsenic: Medical and Biologic Effects of Environmental Pollutants. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK231025/

 

Expert Reviewer – Ken Christopher

3 Various Bakersfield Water Contaminants

Posted by Rayne Water

You have probably wondered, “is tap water safe in Bakersfield, CA?” In the following sections, we’ll break down five potential examples of Bakersfield water contamination and provide potential solutions. 

#1 1,2,3 – TCP

1,2,3,-Trichloropropane (1,2,3 – TCP) is a highly regulated, toxic chemical that can infiltrate water supplies around the country.1 It’s a man-made chemical commonly used in:

In a 2009 study, the EPA discovered that 1,2,3 – TCP can cause cancer in laboratory animals, and the study extrapolated that it could potentially cause cancer in humans. 

While the California Water Board established a regulatory maximum concentration of 0.005 micrograms per liter for statewide water treatment facilities, you may still be worried about your home or business water supply. 

#2 Nitrates

Nitrates are common compounds that regularly appear in drinking water.2 They form as a result of a chemical reaction between nitrogen and oxygen or nitrogen and ozone. 

While all living things need some level of nitrogen and nitrates to survive, too much can cause significant health concerns, especially for children, infants, and pregnant people. 

The CDC recognizes a few potential causes of nitrate contamination in local drinking water supplies:

Luckily, you can easily remove nitrates from your home or business water supply by treating it via one of the following methods:

While municipal water suppliers do treat and filter water, which removes some nitrate content, it’s important to note that mechanical filters (like activated charcoal filters often found in countertop filter pitchers) and chemical disinfection (with chlorine, a common water treatment chemical) do not effectively remove nitrates. 

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#3 Arsenic

Arsenic in your water supply is a pressing concern. Some water experts hypothesize that arsenic—a naturally occurring substance found in rocks and soil—can leach out of certain rock formations when groundwater levels are significantly low.3

During different conditions, water regulations are often in place to prevent the groundwater level from getting low enough to expose arsenic-rich rock formations (among other reasons). However, arsenic can still get into your drinking water via:

Just as with nitrates, water boiling and other common water treatment methods don’t remove arsenic solids from drinking water. Nonetheless, you can reduce the total dissolved solids of potential arsenic contamination using:

#4 Calcium and Magnesium

Calcium and magnesium are perfectly healthy in small quantities, but when a high concentration of these elements are dissolved in your water supply, they can cause hard water—water that leaves stains, leads to soap scum buildup, and impacts the effectiveness of soap.4

While the other impacts of hard water can be irritating, hard water staining is one of the most persistent impacts of water with high levels of calcium and magnesium. Hard water stains are difficult to remove, and they can damage plumbing fixtures. Furthermore, as they build up in water pipes, they reduce efficiency. Mineral accumulation could eventually cause pipe bursts and leaks. 

A Bakersfield water softener is an excellent solution to hard water in your home, business, industrial facility, or farm. You’ll notice a significant reduction in hard water stains, your soap scum buildup will decrease, and your hands will feel less slimy after you wash your hands in softened water. 

#5 Biological Contaminants

Biological contaminants are also a concern for Bakersfield residents—along with people everywhere. (After all, we all drink water.) 

While they’re often naturally occurring, some biological contaminants can also have negative effects on your health.5

Biological contaminants can be further categorized as one of the following:

Local water suppliers treat and filter water to remove a significant portion of these organisms, but contaminations can still occur. Homeowners and businesses should take care to supply their families, workers, and operations with the cleanest water possible to prevent illness and product contamination. 

Rayne Water Conditioning: Bringing Clean Water to Homes and Businesses Since 1928

It’s important to remember that mandatory water restrictions and common contaminants don’t just impact residential water users—businesses and agricultural operations must also abide by rules and take care to monitor their water supply for potentially harmful substances.

No one understands the pursuit of clean water better than Rayne Water. We’re not just a residential water service provider—we started in the commercial sector in 1928, and we’ve been servicing business owners with pride ever since. 

For clean and compliant water, look no further than Rayne Water Conditioning. If you’re ready to make the switch to safer water, contact us for a free consultation.

Find a location near you!

 

Sources: 

  1. California Water Boards. 1,2,3,-Trichloropropane. https://www.waterboards.ca.gov/drinking_water/certlic/drinkingwater/123TCP.html 
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nitrate. https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/drinking/private/wells/disease/nitrate.html 
  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Arsenic. https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/drinking/private/wells/disease/arsenic.html 
  4. US Department of the Interior. Hardness of Water. https://www.usgs.gov/special-topics/water-science-school/science/hardness-water#overview 
  5. US Environmental Protection Agency. Types of Drinking Water Contaminants. https://www.epa.gov/ccl/types-drinking-water-contaminants 
  6. The City of Bakersfield. Water Restrictions Mandated for City Water Customers. https://www.bakersfieldcity.us/379/Water-Resources
  7. Water Education Foundation. Potable Water. https://www.watereducation.org/aquapedia-background/potable-water 
  8. US Department of Energy. Best Management Practice  #14: Alternative Water Sources. https://www.energy.gov/eere/femp/best-management-practice-14-alternative-water-sources 
  9. University of California Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Converting to a Low-Water Landscape: A How-To. https://ccuh.ucdavis.edu/sites/g/files/dgvnsk1376/files/inline-files/5.%20Karrie%20Reids%20Presentation.pdf 

Bakersfield Water Contamination Causes and Levels

Posted by Rayne Water

It feels like every time you watch the news, you see stories about water contamination and water supply issues. With the increasing concern over air pollution, climate change, and its negative impact on our water supply, these stories are likely to continue to flood our news feeds. And if you live in California, you have to contend with both water contamination and water shortages. 

In cities such as Bakersfield, CA, shrinking groundwater and freshwater supplies—combined with the proliferation of human activities that contaminate the remaining water—are a cause for serious concern. 

How Contaminated is Bakersfield’s Water?

As of now, the clean drinking water in Bakersfield, CA is considered safe for consumption. The 2020 California Water Quality Report found that the levels of contaminants in the water system were at safe levels. This report analyzed water from the main sources of Bakersfield drinking water, including:

The report notes that the recommendations from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are for the general population. Some people may be impacted by lower levels of contaminants than deemed safe by the EPA.

What are Contaminants in Drinking Water?

The EPA defines contaminants in water as anything other than water molecules. At times, this can lead to confusion because not all contaminants are harmful to humans, nor are all contaminants regulated by the EPA. 

Some of the categories of contaminants that are evaluated in drinking water include:

Before you vow never to drink the water from your tap again, it’s important to note that cities monitor and regulate the drinking water flowing to the homes of their constituents. Let’s look more closely at what is and isn’t regulated and how the levels considered safe might impact you.

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Is It Safe to Drink the Tap Water in Bakersfield?

In general, officials in California say that it’s safe to drink the tap water in Bakersfield, CA. However, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) sets stricter standards for drinking water than the federal government. In their guidance for clean drinking water, the EWG notes several concerns with the federal standards for legal limits of contaminants in drinking water, including:

Therefore, while the drinking water in Bakersfield is deemed safe to drink, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have some concerns.

Bakersfield Water Contaminant Levels

Studies of Bakersfield water contamination by the EWG have uncovered some potentially problematic findings. These findings can be divided into two categories: contaminants with and without legal limits in drinking water.

Water Contaminants with Legal Limits

The following potentially harmful contaminants were found in the tap water in Bakersfield. While they were all below the legal limit, their presence is still alarming to many:

While all of these contaminants are below legal limits, those limits haven’t been updated in quite some time. It’s possible they could be set to a lower level upon further review.

Water Contaminants without Legal Limits

There are other contaminants in Bakersfield’s drinking water that the Environmental Working Group (EWG) finds concerning. While these don’t have set legal limits, they are found in an analysis of the tap water in Bakersfield in levels higher than recommended by the EWG:

These contaminants are potential contributors to the development of cancer with regular ingestion and exposure.

How to Ensure Safe Drinking Water in Your Home

If you’re feeling a little panicky about your drinking water, take a deep breath. There are ways you can upgrade the quality of your tap water to keep you and your family safe, including installing a water cleaning and filtration system, such as:

The best water system for your family depends on the quality of the water where you live. 

Bottled Water vs. Tap Water

It might be tempting to stuff your refrigerator with bottled water and avoid tap water altogether. However, this solution is damaging to the environment and not necessarily better for you. A study conducted by the State University of New York at Fredonia found that 93 percent of the bottled water samples they analyzed were contaminated by microplastics.

Furthermore, most of the bottled water purchased in the United States comes from the same groundwater and freshwater bodies as the water that flows through your taps—it’s just put through a different filtration system.

Therefore, unless the tap water is deemed completely unsafe for consumption, your best choice is to invest in a high-quality water solution system for your home.

Rayne Water: A Safe and Environmentally Friendly Water Solution System

The water in Bakersfield, CA contains many of the same contaminants found in other water systems across the country. The government sets acceptable levels of these contaminants that are allowed to be present in drinking water. Although Bakersfield’s water doesn’t exceed the legal levels of any measured contaminants, the presence of these particles is still a potential cause for concern.

Instead of reaching for bottled water that may have contaminants of its own, try investing in a water solution system. At Rayne Water, we’ve been working with homes in California since the 1920s. We have the latest in water filtration systems, water softeners, and more, all designed to keep you and your family safe.

 

Sources: 

  1. CalWater. Bakersfield 2020 Water Quality Report. https://www.calwater.com/ccrs/bk-bk-2020
  2. EPA. Types of Drinking Water Contaminants. https://www.epa.gov/ccl/types-drinking-water-contaminants
  3. Environmental Working Group. Developing Health-Protective Standards for Drinking Water. https://www.ewg.org/tapwater/ewg-standards.php
  4. EWG. California Water Service (CWS) Bakersfield. https://www.ewg.org/tapwater/system.php?pws=CA1510003
  5. EWG. Water Filter Guide. https://www.ewg.org/tapwater/water-filter-guide.php
  6. Frontiers in Chemistry. Synthetic Polymer Contamination in Bottled Water. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fchem.2018.00407/full

Los Angeles Water Quality 2021

Posted by Rayne Water

 

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

How clean is LA tap water?

If you’re one of the more than 10 million residents of Los Angeles, chances are you’ve poured yourself a cup of water from a city-supplied tap.1 While the latest Environmental Protection Agency report (January 2019-March 2019) found that Los Angeles water quality was in compliance with the federal health guideline for drinking water standards, this doesn’t mean that there weren’t still some contaminants present in the water.2  

Read on to learn more about what LA’s water supply contains, and how you can treat your own water source at home with a water filtration system.

 

Examining LA Water Quality 

According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG) drinking water quality report, tap water provided by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power was in compliance with federal drinking standards.3 This data covers years 2012-2017. 

Just because LA’s tap water was in compliance doesn’t mean, according to EWG, that this water is necessarily safe to drink. The purpose of EWG is to bridge the gap between actual water quality and what is mandated by government standards. 

EWG claims that “legal limits for contaminants in LA tap water have not been updated in almost 20 years,” meaning the bar for meeting federal regulations may be too low. 

The latest report outlining what is in LA’s water found 21 total contaminants with eight exceeding EWG health guidelines. 

These eight contaminants include:3

The health concern with all of the above contaminants is their potential to cause cancer at high enough contaminant levels. Los Angeles water quality falls short of EWG guidelines, but it fares better than the national average for levels of haloacetic acids and total trihalomethanes. 

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Water Filters: The Answer to Clean Water

According to EWG, water filtration and contacting your local officials are two ways to address the high levels of contaminants in LA drinking water. 

The LA County Department of Public Health says that while public water suppliers in the city routinely test their water, “the cost of reducing contaminant levels to zero would be prohibitively expensive.”6

While it may take some time to hear back from government leaders, you can start filtering your home water source today for far less money than it would take to treat an entire city’s water source. 

EWG outlines a few water filter options, including activated carbon, reverse osmosis, and ion exchange. 

The water filter system that best reduces contaminant levels is reverse osmosis. This system effectively eradicates all of the above mentioned contaminants, plus more than half-a-dozen other contaminants. The system works by pushing unfiltered water through a reverse osmosis membrane that removes impurities and contaminants, leaving you with fresh-tasting water.

Rayne Water: LA Water Made Clean

LA’s tap water is legally safe to consume, but that doesnt’ mean the water quality is top notch. According to the guidelines set forth by research and advocacy nonprofit Environmental Working Group, LA’s tap water should be filtered before drinking. Installing a reverse osmosis water filtration system in your home—especially if you live in southern California—is one step you can take to treat your water. 

Water treatment company Rayne Water services California, Arizona, and Nevada and has several reverse osmosis and water softener systems available.

If you want LA water made clean and soft, consider installing a Rayne Water system today. Rayne offers a variety of water systems along with helpful tidbits such as how to remember to drink water or is chlorinated water safe to drink

Sources:

  1. U.S. Census Bureau. Quick Facts: LA County. https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/losangelescountycalifornia,CA/PST045219
  2. Tap Safe. Is Los Angeles Tap Water Safe To Drink? https://www.tapsafe.org/los-angeles-tap-water/#:~:text=The%20Los%20Angeles%2C%20CA%20USA,and%20it’s%20bottled%2Dwater%20quality
  3. EWG. Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. https://www.ewg.org/tapwater/system.php?pws=CA1910067
  4. World Health Organization. Arsenic. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/arsenic
  5. World Nuclear. What is Uranium? How Does it Work? https://www.world-nuclear.org/information-library/nuclear-fuel-cycle/introduction/what-is-uranium-how-does-it-work.aspx
  6. County of Los Angeles Public Health. Water Quality. http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/eh/tea/toxicepi/water.htm
  7. Rayne Water. Residential Reverse Osmosis Systems. https://www.raynewater.com/residential_category/drinking-water-systems/

Expert Reviewer – Ken Christopher

 

 

Dangers of Drinking Water from Plastic Water Bottles

Posted by Rayne Water

 

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

Health-conscious consumers have been shying away from single-use plastic water bottles for years, both due to their environmental impact and potential health impacts. But are plastic bottles bad, and if so, what are the dangers of drinking from plastic water bottles? The answers to these questions are complex. 

Though nearly every authority agrees that the dramatic turn towards single-use plastic water bottles over the last few decades has resulted in a massive rise in plastic waste, the potential health impacts of drinking bottled water are more ambiguous. While proponents within the plastic water bottle industry argue that drinking water from plastic bottles is safe to consume, advocates outside of the industry tell a different story. 

Let’s take a closer look to discern whether drinking water from plastic bottles is safe, and if it isn’t what you can do to protect your health and the health of your family.

BPA-Free?

The primary criticism you’ll see leveraged at plastic water bottles circles around the compound bisphenol A, otherwise known by its acronym ‘BPA’. BPA was first developed in the 1890’s as a synthetic estrogen, but it wasn’t until the 1950’s that it began to see use in early epoxy resins. Shortly thereafter, major manufacturers discovered that, when used in specific ways, BPA could produce a type of plastic known as polycarbonate. 

Polycarbonate was attractive due to the fact that it was both hard and shiny, which made it great for use in a variety of products including drinking cups. Within a short period of time, BPA was being used in a large number of products, many of which were outside of the beverage industry. 

Uses of BPA included:

Many of these products still contain BPA today, unless they are specifically noted to be “BPA-free”. In the United States, the use of BPA in food products is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It is notable that currently, BPA is only banned in specific products for babies like sippy cups and formula packaging. 

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How Common is BPA?

It’s difficult to assess how widespread BPA is in both the products we use and the environment in general. A 2003-2004 study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that, of around 2,500 people tested, around 93% had detectable levels of BPA in their system. 

Detectable levels of BPA have been found in the urine of nearly all adults and children tested in the United States. These include individuals living in both rural and urban environments, in the tissue of pregnant women, their breast milk, amniotic fluid, and in developing fetuses. BPA exposure isn’t limited to one geographic area, but exposure can be greater in certain regions or countries. For example,higher BPA levels were found in women who had lived their entire lives within the United States versus women who had immigrated from Mexico. 

Despite consumer-led pressure to move towards a “BPA-free” world, the use of BPA in a variety of products remains widespread. In 2002 around 2.8 metric tons of BPA was produced for use in a variety of industries. By 2011 nearly 5.5 metric tons were produced.

What are the Health Impacts of BPA Exposure?

BPA is considered an endocrine disrupting compound, which means that it can disrupt how hormones normally function in your body. This can have profound, and lasting effects. While little was known about the health effects of BPA 20 years ago, many studies have since been released that point towards potential health impacts in humans.

Many studies in animals have demonstrated the BPA can result in negative effects on reproduction, development, and metabolic function. More recently, a slew of studies focusing on human health impacts have linked BPA exposure to negative human health outcomes. A meta-analysis of these studies conducted in 2013 found that BPA may be associated with the following negative health impacts:

Exposure during gestation and the early development stages of children is particularly concerning. Potential impacts include:

The more profound and lasting effects of BPA exposure seem to stem from exposure occurring during key developmental windows in children, with effects resulting throughout or later in life.

What About “BPA-Free” Plastics?

The fundamental challenge in understanding whether chemical exposure can lead to negative health impacts lies in the delay between exposure and the health effects from that exposure, as well as the length of time it takes to conduct studies on the chemical and possible impacts. Consider that BPA has been widely used in packaging since the 1950’s, yet only in the last few years have a number of studies come out that draw a clear link between BPA exposure and health impacts in humans.

That same challenge lies at the heart of whether “BPA-free” plastics pose a health risk. In the face of public pressure to move away from BPA-plastics, manufacturers began exploring alternatives. Nearly all of these alternatives contain bisphenol, the “BP” in “BPA”. BPAF, BPS, BPZ, and BPP are just a few examples of BPA-alternatives that are now being used in some “BPA-free” plastics.

While little is known about whether these BPA-alternatives result in negative health outcomes in humans, early evidence suggests that this may be the case. A meta-analysis of BPA and BPA-alternatives conducted in 2018 suggests that BPA-analogs may similarly result in disruptions to reproductive functions as BPA.

In response to the cry for BPA-free plastics, many bottled water producers turned to polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles. These plastic bottles can also leach a toxic substance, antimony, into the water they hold. Like BPA, the rate that the chemical leaches into the water is dependent on the temperature it is stored at. However, unlike BPA, PET bottles must be stored in very hot conditions for long periods of time, up to 38 days, until levels of antimony exceed safety thresholds.

A Better Alternative

To limit exposure to BPA and BPA alternatives in drinking water and reduce plastic use, consider using a glass or steel container for drinking water on-the-go. Though avoiding BPA specifically in drinking water containers is possible thanks to the rise of BPA-free plastics, tracking which chemicals those plastics do contain can be challenging. Experts recommend avoiding plastics with the recycling numbers 3, 6, and 7 to start. But the best alternative is to simply abandon plastic containers for drinking water entirely.

If you’re like many people who source their drinking water exclusively from single-use or 5-gallon plastic water bottles, you’ll need to address the root of the problem. Here are a couple of ways that you can easily make the swap away from plastic water bottles:

Transitioning away from bottled water also carries with it some great benefits, including:

Closing Thoughts

The dangers of plastic water bottles stem from the chemicals used to manufacture the bottles. As plastic bottles heat up, the molecules in the bottle move around more rapidly and can leach into the products they hold. While the focus has mostly remained on the dangers of BPA-containing plastics, a new movement towards plastics containing BPA-analogs has given rise to additional ongoing risks associated with plastic containers.

Though eliminating bottled drinking water won’t eliminate your exposure to BPA and BPA-analogs given their widespread use in food packaging and other industries, it will lessen your exposure to any chemicals that may leach from your bottles into your water. Whether it’s BPA, BPS or other BPA alternatives, or antimony found in PET bottles, transitioning to glass or steel containers for your water is an easy way to reduce your exposure.

Transitioning away from plastic water bottles also carries other benefits, such as lower-cost drinking water, reduced environmental impact, and greater control over contaminants. If you’re curious about cost-effective water treatment options for your home or business, contact us at Rayne Water today. With decades of experience working in water treatment, we’d love to help you find a safer, cost-effective alternative to bottled water.

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Sources:

  1. “Exposed to extreme heat, plastic bottles may ultimately become unsafe” https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/2019/07/exposed-to-extreme-heat-plastic-bottles-may-become-unsafe-over-time/
  2. “Why ‘BPA Free’ May Not Mean a Plastic Product Is Safe” https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/2018/09/news-BPA-free-plastic-safety-chemicals-health/
  3. “Antimony leaching from polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic used for bottled drinking water” https://doi.org/10.1016/j.watres.2007.07.048
  4. “Effects of bisphenol A and its analogs on reproductive health: A mini review” https://doi.org/10.1016/j.reprotox.2018.06.005
  5. “Bisphenol A and human health: A review of the literature” https://doi.org/10.1016/j.reprotox.2013.08.008
  6. “Exposure of the U.S. population to bisphenol A and 4-tertiary-octylphenol: 2003-2004” https://doi.org/10.1289/ehp.10753
  7. “Left your bottled water in a hot car? Drink it with caution, some experts say” https://www.today.com/health/bottled-water-hot-plastic-may-leach-chemicals-some-experts-say-t132687

Expert Reviewer – Ken Christopher

5 Contaminants in Your Drinking Water

Posted by Rayne Water

Do you know what’s in your drinking water? There are a wide range of contaminants in drinking water. This is true even for water that has undergone treatment, such as the water supplied by public water suppliers around the country. 

Gaining a better understanding of what contaminants are in your water, and what the potential impacts of those contaminants are on your health and your home, can help you make an informed decision about whether an in-home water treatment option is right for you.

Types of Contaminants in Drinking Water

You may not realize it, but there are quite a few contaminants that can be found in drinking water in the United States. While many of these contaminants can be treated for, and are usually removed before tap water reaches your house, mistakes that lead to exposure can and do occur.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), which is the primary law by which federal drinking water standards are defined, classifies common contaminants in water as belonging to one of the following four categories:

The EPA defines a contaminant as any substance in one of these four categories that can be found in drinking water. This broad definition includes substances that may not cause a negative health impact, such as common types of minerals. However, many of the contaminants have been linked to negative health outcomes, such as damaging your immune system, causing organ damage, or elevating the risks of certain types of cancers over time. This reinforces the fact that, though water is crucial for our ongoing health, it is equally important to seek out good water sources. To learn more about the links between the water we drink and our health, check out our article that answers the question, “Can drinking water boost your immune system?”

Each category has many different contaminants within it. We’ll take a look at some of the most common pollutants found in drinking water in the United States, and note which type of contaminant they are, but if you’d like to find a more comprehensive list the EPA provides a complete table of contaminants covered by the National Primary Drinking Water Regulations (NPDWR). It is also worth noting that contaminants are regularly being evaluated to be added to the list through the EPA’s Contaminant Candidate List

#1. Microbes

Microbes are considered a biological contaminant, and consist of:

Microbes like those listed above pose one of the greatest threats to public safety through the modern drinking water system. Widespread outbreaks of waterborne diseases aren’t very common in the United States, but they do happen. For example, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine estimated that between 52,000 and 70,000 people in the United States are affected by Legionnaires disease, which is spread by the bacteria Legionella.

Legionnaires disease is the most common waterborne pathogen in the United States and highlights the limitations of the most common types of water treatments. While water can be treated for microbes at a specific point, it still must travel through a water delivery system to get to your home. Along the way, microbes such as Legionella can enter the water supply, often through biofilms that line the water delivery system. 

Reverse osmosis is the best available treatment in residential and commercial settings for microbe water contaminants.

#2. Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)

VOCs are a very common contaminant found in drinking water throughout the United States. A 2006 study on the quality of our national water supply found at least 1 of 55 VOCs in 90 of 98 aquifer studies across the United States, indicating that VOCs are widespread in the water sources for community water supplies.

VOCs are so common because they are in many of the products we use on a daily basis. These types of chemicals are found in fuels like gasoline and diesel, glues, cleaners, adhesives, as well as many types of plastics and rubbers. They are also used in the manufacturing of computers, refrigerators, skin lotions, and some pharmaceuticals.

Not only are VOCs common, but they are notable because they dissolve into groundwater and become persistent. Common VOCs include:

The best type of treatment for removing any VOCs in your drinking water is filtration through activated carbon. Activated carbon is excellent at trapping and removing organic compounds like VOCs from your drinking water. Activated carbon will restore a crisp, clean taste to your water and ensure potentially harmful solvents, refrigerants, and fuel additives have been removed.

 

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#3. Heavy Metals

The water crisis in Flint, Michigan brought the dangers of lead in community water supplies to the forefront of the nation’s consciousness. Heavy metals like lead can enter our water systems naturally, through erosion and runoff, or through aging water delivery systems. An example of the risks that aging plumbing poses can be found in testing in 2018 that found elevated levels of lead in drinking water at 11 schools in San Diego county. Those elevated levels of lead were attributed to aging pipes, water fountains, and sinks.

The most common heavy metal contaminants found in drinking water include:

Arsenic in particular is a very common contaminant that affects water in private drinking wells. Arsenic occurs naturally in the Earth’s crust and is widely used in a variety of industries. It can enter the water supply naturally, or through industrial and agricultural runoff. 

The best available treatment for heavy metals like arsenic and lead is reverse-osmosis. Ion-exchange units, commonly known as water softeners, can also remove some types of heavy metals like arsenic and copper. 

Water softeners can also be used to reduce the content of hard minerals in your water, which can affect its alkalinity. Water softeners can be a great option if you are concerned about the ph of tap water. If you are wondering, “is alkaline water good for you?”, check out our article on the subject!

#4. Disinfectants and Disinfection By-Products (DBPs)

When most people think of contaminants in their drinking water, they typically aren’t thinking about the products used to treat their water. This is a mistake. Not only do disinfectants alter the taste and smell of water, but they can also react with organic material in the water to form new substances that pose a potential health impact.

To be sure, disinfectants like chlorine and chloramine are crucial for modern public water supplies. Up until the use of chlorine to disinfect water, public drinking water supplies posed an enormous health risk. With the introduction of disinfectants, widespread outbreaks of waterborne pathogens largely became a thing of the past, saving many thousands of lives every year.

While disinfectants provide a great benefit, it comes at a price. That price comes in the form of by-products, which are primarily four trihalomethanes (THMs). These are:

Of these, chloroform and bromodichloromethane are classified as possibly carcinogenic in humans. In addition to these four chemicals, the addition of chlorine to drinking water produces over 600 other compounds.

The best water treatment option for disinfectants and DBPs is granulated activated carbon (GAC) filtration.

#5. Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS)

PFAS are a group of chemicals that are only fairly recently coming to light as a potential health risk in our drinking water, despite their fairly widespread use for the past 80 years. Typically found around military installations, industrial sites, and manufacturing facilities, PFAS are a large group of synthetic compounds that are sometimes also referred to as “GenX chemicals”.

PFAS are notable for their persistence in the environment and widespread detectability. One widely referenced study of blood serum across the United States between 1999 and 2012 found detectable levels of PFAS in 99% of all samples, which points to the fact that PFAS aren’t just widespread in our environment but also in our bodies.

Little is really understood at this point about exactly how widespread PFAS are in our environment and drinking water systems, how they affect our health, or even the most common pathways that these chemicals enter drinking water.

Animal studies of chemicals in the PFA grouping point towards health effects that include:

There are currently no Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs) defined for PFA chemicals under the SDWA, meaning that these chemicals are being monitored but not necessarily treated for. However, the EPA is moving forward with developing a MCL for PFAS, which is good news. 

In the meantime, if you want to ensure you and your family are protected against PFAS in your water, the best available treatments according to the EPA are activated carbon filtration and ion-exchange systems, which can remove up to 100% of PFAS in drinking water depending on the system.

Closing Thoughts

We’ve outlined five of the most common types of contaminants that are found in drinking water in the United States. While microbes like Legionella have the potential to cause the most widespread and acute harm, organic chemicals and compounds like VOCs, synthetic chemicals like PFAS, and even heavy metals like lead and copper can all be found at detectable levels in many tap water systems around the country.

Perhaps the most difficult aspect of controlling contaminants in drinking water is that they can rise at any time, and any rise in contaminant levels is rarely caught in real time. Achieving ongoing protection against a wide range of contaminants requires treating drinking water once it arrives in your home. This ensures you capture contaminants that may have entered your water supply after it has been treated, while also removing contaminants that may have been missed during the treatment process.

If you’re curious about a clean water treatment solution for your home, reach out to our team at Rayne Water today. We’ve been helping residential and commercial customers get clean, filtered, and safe drinking water since 1928, and we’d love to help you find a solution that’s right for your needs. To learn more, contact us.

 

Sources:

  1. “National Primary Drinking Water Regulations – Complete Table” https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2016-06/documents/npwdr_complete_table.pdf
  2. “EPA’s PFAS Action Plan” https://www.epa.gov/pfas/epas-pfas-action-plan
  3. “Types of Drinking Water Contaminants” https://www.epa.gov/ccl/types-drinking-water-contaminants#:~:text=These%20contaminants%20may%20be%20naturally,as%20microbes%20or%20microbiological%20contaminants.
  4. “Microbial Contaminants – CCL 4” https://www.epa.gov/ccl/microbial-contaminants-ccl-4

 

 

 

Do You Need a Water Filtration Home System?

Posted by Rayne Water

If you are asking yourself, should I be filtering my home water source? The answer is yes. Filtering the water coming into your home is important if your water is contaminated or if you are concerned about exposure to certain types of contaminants. If you are considering installing a water filtration home system, you’ll want to start by understanding what contaminants are in your water and what types of filtration systems are available. Once you have the basics understood, you can focus on how to get great tasting, filtered drinking water into your home

Do I Need a Water Filtration System?

If you are scratching your head and wondering if you should invest in water treatment systems, that is the first step towards having healthier drinking water. However, only you can answer whether you need an in-house water filtration system, but there are some very good reasons why you might consider ditching your regular faucet water and install one. The importance of water purification cannot be understated if you are concerned about exposure to potentially harmful contaminants. Although the water provided by community water systems has undergone some form of treatment, violations of water quality standards occur every day.

To illustrate this point, a 2015 study of nearly 18,000 community water systems from the period between 1982 – 2015 found that between 9 – 45 million people were affected by violations of drinking water standards. If you are concerned about bacteria, chemicals, and other contaminants while asking yourself, “should I filter my tap water?” The answer is that filtering your tap water provides the greatest assurance that the water in your house is clean and free of contaminants.

For you to be completely sure that a house water filter is the right thing for you to invest in, its best to understand what substances are in the water from your plumbing. 

What Types of Contaminants can be Found in Tap Water?

There is a wide range of contaminants that can be found in tap water. Here are some of the most common and problematic:

 

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

What Type of Filtration System Should I Get?

Finding the right filtration system can make a big difference in which contaminants get removed. Different filtration methods remove different contaminants. Although many water filtration systems will combine multiple filtration methods, it is important to start with getting your water professionally tested.

Starting with a professional water test will tell you exactly what contaminants are in your water. From there, you can more accurately narrow down which filtration methods are appropriate for the water in your house.

Here are the three most common types of filtration methods and what types of contaminants they are effective at removing:

Closing Thoughts

There are many benefits to home water filtration systems. That is why there is no single best water filter at home, but rather there are water filtration systems that are more appropriate for the type of contaminants found in your water. That is why it’s important to conduct a professional water test before investing in a water filtration system for your home. 

Everyone deserves to have great tasting, filtered water. What is great about all these water purification systems is that you can combine multiple filtration methods, so that they can capture the most contaminants. Each filtration method has advantages and disadvantages, so systems that combine filtration methods typically minimize the disadvantages of specific filtration methods. Thus, optimizing your chances of providing healthy, purified water for your home. 

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Sources:

  1. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/12/climate/drinking-water-safety.html
  2. https://www.pnas.org/content/115/9/2078
  3. https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/drinking/home-water-treatment/household_water_treatment.html
  4. https://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/2006/3043/pdf/fs2006-3043.pdf

Do Offices Need Commercial Water Softeners?

Posted by Rayne Water

There are many benefits of an office water cooler, but have you been battling the effects of hard water in your office building? If so, installing a commercial water softener system may be the right choice for you.

Commercial water softeners remove the mineral ions that contribute to water hardness. Gaining a better understanding of how commercial water softeners work, including what contaminants they remove, can help you understand if a water softening system is an ideal solution for your needs.

What is a Water Softener?

Water softening systems are used to remove mineral ions from hard water. Those mineral ions can have a big impact around your office building, not only on industrial systems and machinery but even on your employees themselves.

Before we dive into how commercial water softeners work, let’s explore what hard water is exactly.

What is Hard Water?

Hard water is simply water with a high content of hard minerals. These minerals are in the form of ions, which are picked up and bound to water molecules as it percolates through the ground.

Hard water occurs naturally, and water softeners use natural processes to reverse water hardness. Some regions in the United States have naturally harder water than others. If you are dealing with the effects of hard water, everyone else on the same municipal water supply will also be dealing with hard water.

Water hardness can be affected by different minerals. Hard water predominantly contains calcium carbonate and magnesium, which are found in chalky soil and limestone. However, hard water can also contain metal ions like iron, manganese, zinc, aluminum, and others.

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When do you need a Water Softener?

The simple answer for when you need a water softener is when the effects of hard water are too difficult or detrimental to deal with. This threshold will change for each person and organization. The impacts of hard water can be severe, particularly in a commercial setting. Understanding what those impacts are can help you gain a better sense of whether you need a water softening system.

One thing to keep in mind is that there are different levels of water hardness. Water hardness exists on a scale ranging from “soft” water that contains less than one grain-per-gallon (GPG) of dissolved calcium carbonate, all the way to “very hard” water that contains over 10 GPG of dissolved calcium carbonate.

Because water hardness can vary depending on your location, it is important to have your water tested before investing in a water softening system. A water test will tell you not only how hard your water is, but also what the mineral content of the water is. Water tests can also let you know what other contaminants are in your water. High levels of contaminants, in addition to mineral ions, may indicate that a water filtration system, such as a commercial reverse osmosis system, may be necessary alongside a water softening system. 

How do Water Softening Systems Function?

If you are wondering, “how does a water softening systems work?” The answer is through a process known as “ion exchange.” Sometimes water softening systems are also referred to as ion exchange systems.

When water percolates through the soil, it attracts mineral ions, which become bound through an electrical charge to the water molecule. Water softening systems attract mineral ions away from the water molecule by replacing them with a sodium ion. In other words, in a water softening system, the minerals in hard water are exchanged with sodium ions. 

To accomplish this exchange process, water softening systems contain a negatively charged resin. Attached to that resin are positively charged sodium ions. When hard water enters the system, the mineral ions attached to the water molecule are attracted to the resin. The sodium ions that were previously attached to the resin swap places with the mineral ion, allowing the water molecules to maintain a balanced electrical charge. 

The water exiting the system is considered “soft” because the hard minerals remain behind on the resin. Water softening systems typically contain a tank containing resin and a tank containing a salty brine solution. When the resin becomes saturated with minerals, it needs to be refreshed. To return the system to peak working condition, the salty brine solution in the second tank flows into the tank containing the resin. The sodium ions in the brine solution replace the mineral ions attached to the resin. The remaining water, containing the detached mineral ions, is flushed from the system as wastewater.

The process of flushing the collected minerals from the system occurs periodically and can be automated with some systems. Periodically, the sodium in the brine tank must also be replenished. Aside from these events, water softening systems do their job without any intervention. The ion exchange process doesn’t use any chemicals to remove minerals from hard water.

Water softening systems are considered a “point-of-entry” (POE) solution. This is because water softening systems are typically installed where water is piped into a building or home. The installation location ensures that the water being piped throughout a building or home is soft, which eliminates the most significant impacts of hard water.

Water Softening Systems vs. Water Filtration Systems

It is important to note that while ion exchange systems are excellent at removing hardness from water and heavy metals such as iron or lead, they aren’t effective at removing other contaminants from drinking water. To remove organic and inorganic materials from water, you’ll want to consider a water filtration system. Using both a water softening system and a water filtration system can be an effective way to remove both the hardness from water as well as other contaminants that affect the safety or taste of water.

Water filtration systems rely on various methods to remove contaminants from water. Reverse osmosis (RO) is one such method, which utilizes a membrane containing very tiny pores. In an RO system, water is forced through the membrane using pressure. Contaminants larger than the water molecule are left behind. 

Activated carbon is another very popular method of water filtration. Activated carbon filters contain porous charcoal which can capture organic compounds, such as benzene, pesticides, and petroleum products. Activated carbon filters are also capable of removing the chemicals used in water treatment, such as fluorine and chlorine, as well as the odors that can negatively impact the taste of your water.

What are the Impacts of Hard Water?

In a commercial setting, hard water can be quite detrimental. Although in a residential setting the focus of attention tends to be on the health effects of hard water, in a commercial environment, the impacts of hard water tend to revolve around its effect on systems, machinery, and manufactured products.

Equipment Efficiency

When hard water passes over or through something, it leaves behind mineral deposits, which are collectively known as “scale” or “limescale.” Scaling can be a big problem in commercial applications, particularly for machinery and equipment. When hard water is heated, it leaves behind mineral deposits as an insoluble precipitate that is difficult to remove. Over time, these mineral deposits build up and impact the efficiency of the equipment.

Water heaters, dishwashers, machinery, or other appliances that use large amounts of water will experience the worst impacts from hard water. Equipment that uses hot water, such as industrial boilers, tend to be the most impacted.

Plumbing

The same mineral deposits that can impact machinery and appliances will also harm your plumbing. Over time, mineral deposits can slowly reduce the flow of water passing through pipes, in a similar way to how cholesterol buildup in our body can reduce the flow of blood.

Food and Beverage Preparation

The minerals in hard water will impact the taste of food and beverages. For example, most coffee shops choose to use soft water for the preparation of their beverages due to the impact on the taste of their products that hard water can have. Hard water can harm the equipment used to prepare food and beverages, such as coffee pots and espresso machines.

Mineral Deposits

Surfaces around your office building that come into contact with hard water will have mineral deposits. Typically these are found on sinks, faucets, and fixtures. They will probably also be found in fountains and other displays that use flowing water. While not necessarily damaging, these mineral deposits are unsightly and difficult to keep clean. When the minerals in hard water combine with soap, they form soap scum, which is an insoluble precipitate that is also unsightly and difficult to remove.

Final Thoughts

If you are seeking to understand whether your office needs a commercial water softener, it is helpful to understand what a water softener is. Water softeners remove hardness from water. Hardness consists of hard minerals that can be left behind by hard water and impact the efficiency of equipment, the taste of food and beverages, and the plumbing of your building.

If your office building has tenants that rely on machinery that uses water or heats water, such as water heaters or boilers, or prepare food and beverages, or manufacture certain products, chances are you will need a water softening system. 

To understand whether a water softening system is right for you, you’ll want to test your water. Testing your water will give you an idea of how hard your water is, as well as let you know of any additional contaminants which might require a water filtration system.

If you’re still wondering why your office needs a commercial water filter system, to learn more about commercial water treatment options, please contact our water experts at Rayne today. With more than 100 years of experience in water treatment, Rayne can guide you towards the treatment options that are ideal for your office environment.

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Sources:

  1. Ungvarsky, Janine. 2018. “Hard Water.” Salem Press Encyclopedia of Science.
  2. https://www.usgs.gov/special-topic/water-science-school/science/hardness-water
  3. https://www.wqa.org/improve-your-water/solutions/for-the-entire-building