Your Drinking Water and Your Health – You are Not an Observer !

Even though 60% of the human body is water, water is a resource that is often taken for granted.  The primary concerns with water relate to having adequate quantity of the proper quality.  In terms of hydration, drinking water is probably one of the best ways to keep your body healthy.  Water is used in your body to help maintain your temperature and ensures the proper operation of your circulatory, digestive, and neurological systems.   Water is one of the pathways that potential contaminants and disease causing agents can enter the body, so the quality is also important.   Therefore, we need drinking water of adequate quantity of the proper quality.

When the body is not properly hydrated, our body’s response is to make us feel thirsty, but if you miss this clue watch out for dry mouth, swollen tongue, weakness, dizziness, confusion, palpitations, and fainting.   If over hydrated, you can become water intoxicated or hyperhydration.  If hyperhydration occurs, the kidneys can not process all the water and the system becomes overwhelmed.   There are phone apps and other tools to help you to remember to drink enough water, but our general recommendation is if you feel thirsty it is time to get a drink and given a choice pick water.

Water comes in many forms, which can include premium bottled water, tap water, spring water, carbonated water, soda, coffee, tap water, nutrient infused water, juices, and purified water.   Of all these, it is my professional opinion that we just need to drink water.   The two most common sources of drinking water for a community is either public water or a private water source.  A public water source is always regulated by both the federal and state governments and many may call this city water or tapwater, but well or spring water may be from a public or private source.   If you get your water directly from a well or spring, this is a private source and this is not commonly regulated.

If you get your water from city water, the most common health concerns are related to the presence of chlorine-by-products or corrosive by-product in the United States, the public water supply systems are disinfected using various forms of chlorine and phosphate is added to attempt to control corrosion.  The chlorine is used to disinfect the water, but it can react with naturally occurring organics to form trihalomethanes, i.e., a potential carcinogen; while phosphate will react with the metals in the water to form a scale or coating on the inside of the piping, see “Flint, Michigan”.    If you are on well water, the most common problems are the presence of bacteria and elevated levels of salts in the water, like nitrate, chloride, and sulfate, or corrosive water.   In some cases, the water may contain elevated levels of radionuclides and trace metals, like arsenic, iron, lead, and manganese.      The quality of the drinking water depends on type of water, location, level of treatment, the condition of your plumbing, and your home or house.   In some areas, the community is concerned about pipelines and natural gas development, but a hidden problem may be the existing quality of their drinking water.

For citizens, our general recommendations related to drinking water are:

1. City Water Customers– Review any annual “Consumer Confident Reports” produced by your water supplier and act accordingly.
2. Private Water Sources -Get your water tested, at least annually, and have the results review by an expert (our Mail order program) or maybe conduct a in-home screening test yourself and calculate your Water Quality Rank.
3. Look out for potential problems with your drinking water, based on what you can see, taste, smell, or otherwise detect with your senses or problems that may be caused by the water.
4. Download our free “Know Your H20 Phone App” at our website – all Free.

A few short phrases we should try to remember.

We ALL Live Downstream !
Groundwater and Surface water are Connected!
We are Part of the Water Cycle – Not just an Observer!

Websites of Interest

Consumer Confidence Reports
https://www.epa.gov/ccr/ccr-information-consumers

Neighborhood Hazardous Reports and Water Testing
http://www.knowyourh20.us

 

Ohio Waste Treatment Facilities Charged with Clean Water Act Violations

“The centralized waste treatment plant owned and operated by Patriot Water Treatment LLC and the city of Warren’s publicly-owned wastewater treatment plant in Trumbull County (Ohio) were sued by the FreshWater Accountability Project (www.FWAP.org) for significant and ongoing violations of the Clean Water Act. Fair Shake Environmental Legal Services (www.fairshake-els.org) brought the lawsuit on behalf of FreshWater Accountability Project through the Citizen Suit provision of the Clean Water Act that allows “any citizen” to “commence a civil action on his own behalf…against any person…who is alleged to be in violation of (A) an effluent standard or limitation under ⦋the Act⦌ or (B) an order issued by the Administrator or a State with respect to such a standard or limitation.”

It appears that the pretreatment standards may have not been meet and there is a question if the proper wastewater treatment assessments or wastewater characterization were conducted as part of an Industrial Pretreatment Permit.   I am not sure if the issue of “were not carried out to protect public health and safety or the bio-accumulative impact ”  is a real issue, because it would depend on the nature of the contaminant and potential to exposure.  With respect to radiological parameters radon half life is about 3 days and most radium and uranium would likely be bound to sludge and solids, so monitoring of the waste sludge would be a big concern.   No matter what – proper waste characterization and treatability studies should always be conducted.

Read more at http://fwap.org/ohio-waste-treatment-facilities-charged-with-clean-water-act-violations/

Lawyers –  lawsuit can be accessed at http://fwap.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Time-Stamped-FWAP-v.-Patriot-Water-Treatment-et-al.-Complaint.pdf

Training

“Fracking” Environmental Consequences

Protecting People Against Terrorist Attacks: Chemical, Biological, and Radiological (CBR) Threat Protection
Ethical Decision Making Webcast

Training Professionals – Career Training 

Water Testing From Throughout The USA !

DIY – Do it Yourself- Citizens are screening the quality of their drinking water.     With thousands of customers around the world, where starting a new project where everyone can share their results & then view other results submitted from around the world. Compare your water quality with other people from all over.   Compare your drinking water quality to others throughout the USA.  Does you water score a 100  (A+) or does it get an F.

Check out the Informational Map

Get a DIY Water Testing Kits

he Keystone Clean Water Team (KCWT) -Carbon County Groundwater Guardian Program (CCGG) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, volunteer, environmental education organization which provides homeowners with information on private wells, water quality and quantity, and septic systems. We are dedicated to protecting private well owners from illnesses caused by our drinking water. We advance good groundwater stewardship by raising awareness on a variety of groundwater issues that affects everyone with a private water supply. We can help you get your water tested at the lab of your choice or use our Mail Order Program, plus explain the test results –Get our Educational Booket.

Complete Water Quality Screening Test – DIY at Home

Complete Water Testing Kit – Because it is important to @KnowYourH20 

Whether you have well water or municipal water, you won’t know what you’re drinking unless you test it.  Crystal clear water can contain a number of contaminants from chemicals to metals and even bacteria.  Many of the contaminants that are cause for concern can easily go undetected. They are colorless, odorless, and tasteless.

TestAssured’s Complete Water Analysis Test Kit includes 10 tests that are easy to administer and give you results within 10 minutes with the exception of the bacteria test which takes 48 hours. This single kit includes all of the following water tests:

  • Lead Test
  • Bacteria Test
  • Pesticide Test
  • Iron
  • Copper
  • Nitrates & Nitrites
  • Chlorine Level
  • pH Levels Check
  • Alkalinity
  • Hardness

These tests allow you to quickly and accurately analyze your drinking water and are compatible with well water, city/municipal water, tap water, residential drinking water, ground water, spring water sources, and bottled water. The results are fast and easy to read by following along with the color-coded charts and instruction manual. Testing can easily be done in your home, classroom, school, office, or anyplace else where you would need to test water quality.

The Complete Water Analysis Test Kit  is TestAssured’s most popular water testing kit and includes ALL 10 of TestAssured’s at home water tests in one convenient, affordable package.

If you looking for more information on water quality and drinking water, please visit the Water Research Center.

Lead in Drinking Water – Quick Accurate Screening Test At Home

Lead in Your Drinking Water

Despite measures taken by the EPA, lead poisoning is still a serious concern.  Lead can be found in old water taps as well as interior and exterior piping, plus in consumer products, paints, and pigments, and even your home.  As water sits in these pipes, the water can interact with the piping or the coating on the piping.  During this reaction, the level of lead in the water may increase. You can not see lead in water, but there may be some warning signs of a problem.  These warning signs are blue-green or blue water when you fill the bathtub, coatings or precipitates that are green or bluish-green in color, water that has a metallic taste, and pin hole leaks in the piping.    Drinking this water can cause lead poisoning that results in a number of serious health concerns.  Those at the most risk are young children, pregnant women, and the elderly.  If your tap water has lead levels exceeding 15ppb, you should take action immediately to minimize your exposure.

TestAssured’s Lead in Drinking Water Test Kit is designed to test for lead in water. This test is compatible with municipal water and private water systems.  If you live in a home with older pipes or frequently drink from a water fountain where lead piping could be used, you should check the lead levels.   If you not sure, you may want to take a look at our Know Your H20 Phone App.

This fast acting Lead in Drinking Water Test Kit includes all the instructions and supplies you need to quickly test your drinking water for the presence of lead.  In only 10 minutes, the Lead in Drinking Water Test will let you know if there are harmful elements in your water. It also includes a free pesticide test strip so you can make sure there are no pesticide contaminants in your water.  This simple test kit can easily be used in your home, classroom, office and anywhere else where you would need to test water quality. Quickly and accurately test well water, city/municipal water, tap water, residential drinking water, groundwater, and spring water sources. The results are fast and easy to read by following along with the included color chart and instruction manual.

Our Suggestions

  1. Take a look at the DIY Lead in Water Test Kit.
  2. Check out and learn about your city water, using this zip code search site.
  3. Support and Share this page with others @KnowYourH20
  4. Learn about Flint Michigan do not let this happen to you – Be Proactive – Not Reactive.

Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products (PPCPs) and Your Water

“A study by the U.S. Geological Survey published in 2002 brought attention to PPCPs in water. In a sampling of 139 susceptible streams in 30 states, detectable yet minute quantities of PPCPs were found in 80 percent of the streams. The most common pharmaceuticals detected were steroids and nonprescription drugs. Antibiotics, prescription medication, detergents, fire retardants, pesticides and natural and synthetic hormones were also found.

The potential human health risks associated with minute levels of PPCPs in water in general and drinking water in particular is still being determined. Until more is known, there is much the public health and environmental protection community can do to educate the public about taking proactive steps concerning the use and disposal of PPCPs.

Pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) are a diverse group of chemicals including:

  • all human and veterinary drugs
  • dietary supplements
  • topical agents such as cosmetics and sunscreens
  • laundry and cleaning products
  • fragrances and all the “inert” ingredients that are part of these products

Pharmaceuticals and personal care products are introduced to the environment as pollutants in a variety of ways, including:

  • intentional disposal of unneeded PPCPs (flushing)
  • bathing or swimming
  • discharge from municipal sewage systems or private septic systems
  • leaching from landfills
  • excretion by humans and domestic animals
  • runoff from confined animal feeding operations
  • discharge of raw sewage from storm overflow events, cruise ships, and some rural homes directly into surface water
  • accidental discharges to a groundwater recharge area
  • loss from aquaculture
  • spray-drift from antibiotics used on food crops.”

Other Resources
pharmaceuticals-PPCPs
ppt_ppcp_Presentation

Water Treatment – Point Of Use for PFOS and PFOA = NSF P473

Technical References

Handbook of Membrane Separations: Chemical, Pharmaceutical, Food, and Biotechnological Applications, Second Edition

Personal Care Products and Pharmaceuticals in Wastewater and the Environment

Nationwide Program: Community Environmental Report Your Home Health Status and Know Your H20?

Nationwide Program:
Community Environmental Report
Your Home Health Status and Know Your H20?

Direct Link to this Nationwide Program-
Visit Us at http://www.knowyourh2o.us

Know Your H20?

We Launched Two – New Phone Apps and they are Available for IOS and Android Platforms

  1. Know Your H20? – Know Your H2O? is an educational tool that can help you diagnose the problem with your water. This app will lead you through a series of questions to pinpoint the issues with your water. You can reach your diagnosis through describing symptoms that are effecting your home, your health, or the water itself. This App is linked to the Water Research Portal.
  2. Baseline Water Testing (Pennsylvania) – The PA Baseline Testing mobile app is an educational tool for residents of Pennsylvania who are impacted by Oil & Gas Development or Subsurface Coal Development. By selecting which factor impacts your region, you can discover various recommendations and tiers of water testing that can help bring you piece of mind about the safety of your drinking water. Got Data? You can also submit your own testing data and results to help continue to build the PA Clean Water Team’s database.

The Nationwide Program

  1. The program helps you to identify the existing and historic environmental hazards in your community.
  2. We are working with a national environmental database search company to offer a report to help you understand your home or your future homes environmental health status within a community.
  3. We are doing this by taking a snapshot of the current and historic environmental concerns and hazards in the community and a review of select criminal activity.
  4. Featured Activities or Issues: Old Landfills, Leaky Fuel Tanks, Hazardous Waste Sites, Department of Defense Facilities, Superfund Sites, Radiological Sources, Clandestine Drug Labs, Floodplains and Wetlands and more.
  5. Report cost $ 55.00 per property, payable to the Keystone Clean Water Team.

Questions – please contact us at (570) 335-1947 or email the program manager, Mr. Brian Oram, at bfenviro@ptd.net.

Keystone Clean Water Team – 501c3
15 Hillcrest Drive, Dallas, PA 18612
http://www.pacleanwater.org

B.F. Environmental Consultants Inc.
http://www.bfenvironmental.com

@KnowyourH20

Starting Off the New Year Right – Drinking Water Water Resources Sustainability

Starting Off the New Year Right

by Brian Oram

Happy New Year, I would like to propose we make one additional commitment this year.  This commitment is to care about the water we drink as we try to remember how we impact or influence the quality and quantity of the water resources.  Although it is the beginning of a new year (wishing you GOOD Luck in 2017!), for the water cycle the new year started in October.  This is the time of the year when the aquifer begins to recharge. Many people are unaware that the aquifer must recharge, it is not infinite.  In Pennsylvania and the Northeastern United States, we are blessed with having abundant water resources, but something we should not take for granted.   In 2016, we had an interesting election year that brought up many concerns. Also in the news, came a reminder of the limitedness of the water.  A number of regions of Pennsylvania were put on a drought advisory and many small streams, springs, and even a few shallow wells dried up, i.e., no water.  With 2016 in the rear-view mirror, I would like to suggest a few small steps to help move us forward in a positive direction.  These steps are as follows:

  1. Learn about how and where you get your drinking water – Does your water come from a private source or city water supply source?
  2. If the water is from a private well- When did you have the water tested? For parts of Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey, it is not uncommon for about 40 to 50% of private wells to have a problem that may make the user or a guest sick.
  3. If you are on a city water source- Have you ever looked at the Annual Confidence Report about the quality of your drinking water? The most common problem with community water sources is elevated levels of trace metals like lead and chlorine by-products like trihalomethanes, i.e., suspected carcinogens.  For information on water testing, please visit water-research.net.
  4. Are you using your water wisely? There are ways to use our drinking water resources more efficiently.   A website titled, wateruseitwisely.com, offers over 100 tips on how to best use water.  My favorite tip is “Turn off the water while you brush your teeth and save up to 4 gallons a minute. That’s up to 200 gallons a week for a family of four”.  There are over 4 million households in Pennsylvania, this one lifestyle change could save 41.6 billion gallons of water.  This is only one change!
  5. Our surface water and groundwater are connected, and “we all live downstream”. This phrase means that how we use the groundwater resources directly impacts the surface water resources and we all are interconnected.  Therefore, when using cleaning products, chemicals, or managing a waste we all live downstream from someone else.   For example, the biggest source of man influenced global oil pollution is not massive spills or leaks.  Only 8% of man influenced oil pollution comes from pipelines and major releases. The biggest sources are the small leaks from our boats, cars, and other means of transportation and the improper disposal of waste oil by individuals.
  6. Know Your H20? – it is important to know how you can influence the quality of the water resources, but it is also important to know the historic hazards in your community that may be contributing to a problem. With this in mind, it is important to learn about the historic hazards in your community and surrounding your home.  The Keystone Clean Water Team offers neighborhood or community hazard survey reports for communities within the Unities States.  The 501 c3 offers a few free reports each month.  To get more information about this program, please visit – knowyourh20.us.

The best way to start off the New Year is not with a significant lifestyle change, but baby steps.   Make a few basic commitments and make small changes that will help you and your family save and conserve water, check the quality of your drinking water, learn about the hazards in your community, and perhaps implement 1 item each month that will save and conserve water.   It is important to remember that the less water you use, the more money stays in your pocket.

A few short phrases we should try to remember.

We ALL Live Downstream !

Groundwater and Surface water are Connected!

We are Part of the Water Cycle – Not just an Observer!

You can help – Make A Donation !

 

 

How to Detect Water Contamination New Approach

“How to Detect Water Contamination In-Situ?
Scientists from Tomsk Polytechnic University have developed a device for the rapid analysis of liquids on the content of hazardous substances such as heavy metals. Polytechnicers use a method based on polymer optodes—very small plastic matrices that can be made sensitive to specific substances by means of special reagents. The matrices change color and intensity depending on the concentration of the substance. The device is mobile, can carry out analysis in situ even at low temperatures, and its cost is many times less than the price of a spectrophotometer—the most frequently used device for chemical analysis. The device is based on polymethacrylate sensors—transparent pieces of plastic with thickness of 1 mm and a size of 3×3 mm. The pores of matrices serve as receptacles, where various chemical reactions can undergo.
If a matrix is handled with a special reagent it becomes an optode sensitive to a particular substance. The researchers plunge this optode into the water to test it or simply drip a few drops on it, and it changes its color. Hence, there is a required element. Sergey Muravyov, the scientific supervisor of the project, head of the TPU International Laboratory Advanced Measurements, says: “The more intense the color is, the higher is the concentration of the substance.”

For example, if water contains silver optode, it turns purple-red. According to the scientist, the method can detect substances even at very low concentrations in water.
“You dip optode into the water and then load it into the device analyzer. There, a special electronic device receives optical signal and converts it into an electric three-channel RGB-signal. After this signal processing the device outputs the data in digital form on the concentration of the searched substance. The analysis takes place immediately,” the project manager says.
This method allows the detection of almost all metals, organic materials and various pharmacological agents in water.
“Our method works with those substances with which interaction leads to color change. Indeed, this is not the whole range of substances. But universal methods do not exist. Today, the most widely used method for chemical analysis is spectrophotometry. A modern spectrophotometer costs about 500 thousand rubles, and it is a bulky stationary device. Our device can achieve the same quality of measurements, but it is compact and can cost about 30 thousand rubles at the market placement,” he says.
Such a device for rapid analysis is useful for environmental and related personnel of industrial enterprises. For example, oil companies can use the device for the determination of the tracers in the drilling fluid.
“To date, we have prepared a prototype device. Now we have set ourselves the task to use this method for a multi-component analysis. The fact is that the reagents that configure optode to a definite substance are sensitive to a few substances,” says Sergey Muravyov.”

Source: Phys.org

New Arsenic Test -Using Bacteria?

Private Well Owner Outreach to Private Property Owners Association in the Poconos – Monroe County

The Keystone Clean Water Team was very happy to work with the local “Poconos Region” Property Owners Association to offer a private well water screening test for the residents drinking water.  For the 2016 program, a total of 16 residents participated in the program and for this program water testing was offered at two different tiers.  The basic tier provide general information related to the bacterial quality of the water and level of nitrate, iron, and total hardness.  The advanced tier provided testing for trace metals such as arsenic, copper, lead, zinc, and more comprehensive analysis of the overall quality of the water.  The following is a summary of the results:

2 samples were positive for total coliform bacteria, but no samples were positive for E. coli.;

1 sample exceeded the drinking water standard for lead and 5 other samples had detectable levels of lead in the water;

13 of the 16 samples contained detectable levels of nitrate, but at no point did the level exceed or approach the drinking water standard of 10 mg/L;

1 sample had elevated levels of manganese, but 3 had detectable levels of manganese in the water; and

15 of the 16 samples were considered slightly to corrosive to metal piping and 1 sample was considered very corrosive to metal piping.

The pH of the water ranged for 6.2 to 7.5 and only two samples had a pH that was less than the recommended drinking water standard of 6.5.  These samples were associated with water that had detectable levels of lead, but not the highest level of lead.  The sample with the highest level of lead appeared to be a sample collected at the kitchen sink after the water had been treated with a water softener.

From this snapshot, we learned the following:

  1. There appears to be a 13 % probability that a private well may contain total coliform bacteria.
  2. The water produced from the aquifer tends to be slightly corrosive and have total hardness that ranges from 30 to 150 mg/L.
  3. The groundwater does not appear to have elevated levels of nitrate.
  4. The groundwater does not appear to have E. coli. bacteria.
  5. Lead was detected in some water samples, but the occurrence in the well water is related to the corrosiveness of the water, type of water treatment, and type of plumbing fixtures in the home and not the groundwater aquifer.
  6. Homeowners that reported problems with sulfur odor or black particles were the same homeowners that had elevated or detectable level of manganese.
  7. If you are considering the use of a water softener, please consider the type of household plumbing and it may be necessary to install a neutralizing filter.

Based on these results, we recommend that all private well owners conduct an annual water quality test.  To facilitate this effort, the Keystone Clean Water Team offers an online mail order informational water testing program for private well owners throughout the USA and we offer our Know Your H20? Free Phone App. To learn about our mail order program, please visit us at http://www.water-research.net or http://www.knowyourh20.us.   If you have any questions, please call or email 570-335-1947 or bfenviro@ptd.net.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

Mr. Brian Oram, PG