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

 

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.

Pennsylvania Lead Task Force – John Yudichak. Senate Resolution 33

Senate Approves Resolution Creating Task Force to Investigate Threat of Lead Exposure in Pennsylvania

Senator John T. Yudichak recently announced that Senate Resolution 33 — which creates a bipartisan task force to investigate the scope of Pennsylvania’s lead exposure problem — was approved unanimously by the full Senate. The resolution had been approved unanimously by the Environmental Resources and Energy Committee at the end of April.

Senator Yudichak introduced the resolution earlier this session because lead exposure can threaten the health and well-being of every Pennsylvanian—especially senior citizens and children. “The task force report will advance cooperative efforts to arm the General Assembly with better information and best practice recommendations to develop new lead abatement programs that more aggressively mitigate lead exposure in Pennsylvania,” said State Senator John Yudichak.

The resolution calls for the Senate to establish a task force on lead exposure comprised of the chairs of the Environmental Resources and Energy Committee and the Health and Human Services Committee and two members appointed by the Senate President pro tempore and the Minority Leader. An advisory committee of the Joint State Government Commission will conduct a comprehensive review of Pennsylvania law and public policy related to lead exposure and abatement practices and then submit a report to the task force and full Senate within 18-months. The report must assess the age of housing and infrastructure, lead exposure threats, and identify the prevalence of lead in structures where children spend significant time.

 

A few key points

  1. This is not just a drinking water issue.  Lead is present in many homes and sources include old lead paint, cookware, make-up, and other consumer products.
  2. If on city water, check piping in home for lead pipe and evidence of corrosion.  Remove the aeration devices and clean and flush the water lines to remove any films and coatings.
  3. If on city water – read the Consumer Confident Reports generated by water supplier and look for signs of corrosion.
  4. If on well water – get your water tested.
  5. Use are free phone App – Know Your H20 – Android / Google ;  Apple

Your Drinking Water and Your Health

Your Drinking Water and Your Health by Brian Oram
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.
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” or visit 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

Bacterial contamination in private water wells send thousands of people hurling to the ER

“It may not have been bad shrimp or dirty lettuce that kept you up all night. A recent study shows that in North Carolina, microbes in drinking water from private wells are responsible for estimated 29,200 emergency room visits for acute GI illnesses each year. That number accounts for nearly all visits of that type and cause.

This is a particularly serious problem in North Carolina, where more than a third of all residents — 3.3 million — rely on private wells for their drinking water. These wells, which can source their water from beneath the ground, a spring or a river, are largely unregulated.

(This is why contaminants from coal ash, such as arsenic, lead and chromium 6, which have even more harmful long-term health effects, are of such concern — and why widespread testing is necessary.)

An article in this month’s Environmental Health Perspectives — among its co-authors is Jacqueline MacDonald Gibson of UNC’s Gillings School of Global Public Health — concludes that people on private wells are more likely to get sick from their water than those on community systems, such as municipal utilities.

enviro-health-perspectives-drinking-water

From the Study

The presence of total coliforms in groundwater indicates that microorganisms from surface water have been able to reach the aquifer and a more rigorous monitoring should begin for other microorganisms (pathogenic) which might also reach the aquifer. When fecal indicators are detected, anything can happen, and will happen, with potential serious public health implications.”

 

To learn or read more – Go to  Article

More importantly to Act Now and Get Your Water Tested.

Monitoring your homes health and the hazards in your community.

 

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

 

Understanding the Health Risks of Private Well Ownership

Understanding the Health Risks of Private Well Ownership
Guest blogger / writer – Julie Bowen <julie@palatino.org>

As a country, we are proud of our reputation for having the safest and cleanest drinking water in the world. However drinking water that is procured from privately owned wells is not regulated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency or many state agencies, meaning that the owners of those wells are responsible for ensuring that their water is safe and drinkable. Water from private wells tastes crisp and refreshing, and it can be a wonderful gift to own your own water source. It is also important to acknowledge that many residents living in rural areas have no choice but to procure their water from private wells or cisterns.  However, regardless of the reasons that their water is sourced from private wells, it is essential that private well owners are aware of the health risks involved in private well ownership as well as the myriad of benefits that they can obtain.  

The Risks of Water Contamination

Drinking water from wells can be contaminated in a variety of different ways:  either due to naturally occurring chemicals and minerals, the land use and farming practices in the area surrounding the well, and a malfunction of the wastewater treatment systems operating on the well itself. As a result of this, there are a wide range of illnesses that can be contracted via drinking contaminated well water. These can range from short-term gastrointestinal and stomach illnesses that includes nausea, vomiting and diarrhea to more severe long term illnesses such as reproductive problems, neurological disorders, and other chronic illnesses.  Death by drinking water is not common, but it has happened.  Individuals with compromised immune systems, as well as children, pregnant women, and elderly people, are more vulnerable to the effects of certain contaminates and should be especially vigilant about the quality of their privately owned drinking water.

Two of the parasitic illnesses private well owners should be most aware of are Hepatitis A and Giardia (which is the parasite that causes the illness giardiasis, a common cause of diarrhea). Giardiasis is a relatively short lived condition, that is caused by water becoming contaminated by either mammalian or human feces. The parasite itself is resistant to basic chlorination, meaning that it tends to be particularly resistant to water treatment methods, however once infected most individuals have overcome the illness in approximately 7 days. More deadly are the risks posed by the liver condition hepatitis A, which is a highly contagious illness that is also contracted via the fecal oral route, due to water contaminated by infected feces.  Hepatitis A is a self-limited disease that does not result in chronic infection, but the symptoms can be severe and pose a particular risk to vulnerable individuals.

Taking the Appropriate Precautions                      

Because of the risks of being exposed to contaminated drinking water, it is recommended that in addition to regularly checking the quality of your drinking water, and taking the necessary precautions to ensure it avoids contamination, private home owners also secure comprehensive health insurance.  This will help them to ensure that they are fully protected in the unlikely instance that something should go wrong with their water supply, and they should contract one of the myriad of illnesses listed above.                          

The Keystone Clean Water Team (KCWT) is committed to ensuring that home owners with responsibility for private wells are given the support, the information, and the technology that they need to ensure that their well based drinking water is as clean and as safe as possible. The quality of well water should be tested at least three times a year, and the well itself should be regularly repaired and maintained to protect the water that is inside. When it comes to modern well technology, knowledge is power, so it is important to be as informed as possible about what is happening inside your well, and well as any possible risks that you face. The process involved in maintaining healthy well water can seem complicated, and the language involved in the process unnecessarily convoluted, which is why The Keystone Clean Water Team can help homeowners interpret their test results and ensure their water is as safe as it can be.

A few thoughts from the KCWT:

  1. When people say may water taste great and looks great – I have no problem – 50% of the time they have a problem that can make them sick.
  2. Of these individuals, 50% of the time the problem can be eliminated for a few hundred dollars.
  3. Some recent work on lead in drinking water found that 2 out of 3 private well samples had elevated lead; whereas only 1 out of 10 city water samples had a lead issue.  Testing your well water quality is important, but you must understand our risks.
  4. Blood lead testing is important for kids – get it done if you are living an older community that has or had historic industrialization.

A few suggestions:

  1. Download our free phone App.
  2. Get Your Water Tested (Portion of the Proceeds Help the KCWT)
  3. Get a Custom Neighborhood Hazard Report
  4. Order the Private Well Owner Educational Guide

 

Obama Flint Michigan – Drinking Water Issues – Comments Water Quality Association

Dear Valued WQA Member,

Following President Barack Obama’s important visit to Flint, Michigan yesterday, the Water Quality Association applauds the President’s position on water filtration in Flint. As a result, WQA has responded by demonstrating how the drinking water treatment industry can help bring immediate solutions for the residents of Flint. Today, WQA President Don McGhee issued an Official Statement on President Obama’s Visit and sent an Official Letter to the White House offering to provide certified filters and related technologies, technical advice, as well as public education.
To learn more about President Obama’s statements regarding the drinking water crisis in Flint, Michigan, please visit the links below:

Click here to view President Obama’s speech to the Flint community.

Recommendations

  1. Get your water tested.
  2. Check if you see signs of corrosion or a lead issue.
  3. Barrier filter (Point of Use)
  4. Kids – blood lead levels tested

Good luck

Know Your H20?

http://www.knowyourh20.us

 

Lead Drinking Water Crisis in Flint Michigan KDF

Lead- Metals- Corrosive Water
Water Quality Association Addresses Drinking Water Crisis in Flint, Michigan

Offers facts and tips about treating for lead contamination

Lisle, Illinois -The Water Quality Association (WQA), an Illinois-based not-for-profit organization, is offering informational resources to help with the drinking water crisis in Flint, Michigan. Flint residents are expected to receive federal aid to help ensure their access to safe drinking water. On January 16, 2016, President Obama signed an Emergency Declaration for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to coordinate all disaster- relief efforts. The declaration states that, “This emergency assistance is to provide water, water filters, water filter cartridges, water test kits, and other necessary related items for a period of no more than 90 days.”

Lead (Pb) has been identified as the waterborne contaminant of primary concern for Flint’s residents. To minimize the presence of contaminants such as lead, which may enter the water after it has left a municipal treatment facility, WQA recommends water treatment equipment that has been certified by an ANSI (American National Standards Institute)-accredited certification body. Such accredited entities include WQA’s Gold Seal Product Certification Program, NSF International and Underwriters Laboratory. Flint residents are encouraged to visit www.wqa.org to search for the names of products certified by WQA for lead reduction. Click here to download a technical fact sheet about Lead (Pb).

It is important consumers follow the manufacturer’s instructions for maintenance. WQA also lists of water treatment professionals across the U.S. on its website at www.wqa.org.
Additional notes
1. Recommend that we concentrate on the following – get kids and adults blood tested.
2. Get first flush testing completed for lead and alternative water source for drinking.
3. Install point of use treatment in the interim.
4. Develop a plan to remove the lead service lines.
5. Develop a plan to install corrosion control.
6. Lawsuits should wait until the problem is addressed.

More on lead in drinking water- Corrosion 

Check out the Know Your H20? App

Water Treatment Systems – Must Likely need a neutralizing filter and a filter that has KDF 85 or KDF 55 media.

 

More – 2/4/2016

Water Quality Association Addresses Frequently Asked Questions about Lead in Water

Lisle, Illinois -The Water Quality Association (WQA), an Illinois-based not-for-profit organization, is offering informational resources to help differentiate fact from fiction regarding the drinking water crisis in Flint, Michigan. The Association has compiled answers to several of the most common questions, while addressing some widespread misconceptions Flint residents may have about lead (Pb) in drinking water.

What are potential health effects from lead?

Lead poisoning often displays no outward symptoms; however, irritability, weight loss, vomiting, constipation, and stomach pain are possible signs to look for. Young children and pregnant women are at the greatest risk, even from short-term exposure. Reduced cognitive development and neurobehavioral deficits are associated with blood levels less than 10 micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood in children.[1] Therefore, there is no safe level for lead to be present in the blood of children.[2] Individuals will adsorb more lead if they have poor nutrition than those with better diets.

Can a Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) meter be used to detect lead in drinking water?

No. There have been some misconceptions around TDS Meters. These meters cannot measure lead specifically; they detect the conductivity directly related to the concentration of combined total dissolved solids such as minerals, salts and metals. The typical sample of tap water in the U.S. contains approximately 350 parts per million (ppm) of TDS[3], which, as a whole does not on its own indicate a health concern and in many cases is used as a means to enhance taste of water.  Lead concentration is found 1000 times lower at the parts per billion (ppb) level, and is too small to be detected without sophisticated instrumentation. Moreover, because TDS meters don’t measure individual ions, lead cannot be detected on its own.

Where can I go to get my water tested?

Water testing should be done be a certified testing laboratory.[4] WQA strongly recommends water testing be conducted at each point of use in accordance with appropriate sampling procedures. The water should be checked after a period of disuse before a specific water treatment product is selected. Water conditions can change, so the water should be tested both before a treatment product has been installed and at regular intervals following installation. Studies have shown the reported levels of lead found in some Flint, MI water results are higher than conditions under which the manufacturer set the replacement recommendations for filters in published manuals. A list of certified labs in Michigan can be found here.

How do I maintain a filter once it is installed?

Always follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions and contact the manufacturer to confirm usage and capacity. To ensure the manufacturer can provide the most accurate recommendations, have test results for lead and iron on hand for review.

Where do I find a product certified for lead reduction?

American National Standards Institute (ANSI)-accredited entities offering product certification include: WQA’s Product Certification Program, NSF International, International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials, and Underwriters Laboratory. All of these certifiers have product listings. To find products certified by WQA for lead reduction, click here. Contact information for local professionals and manufacturers of certified products can also be found wqa.org.