Tag Archives: contaminated water

The Latest: Unclear When Boil-Water Advisory Will Lift

  • By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Oct 9, 2015, 12:35 PM ET

The latest on the rainstorm that pounded parts of the East Coast (all times local):

12:15 p.m.

While Columbia officials are confident they will not lose water service, they can’t say when most of the city’s 375,000 customers will be able to stop boiling water before they drink it.

Assistant City Manager Missy Gentry says Columbia is trucking in water and laying pipes from two nearby rivers to make sure water remains in the Columbia Canal, which is the chief source for drinking water.

An advisory telling people to boil water was issued during Sunday’s rainstorm, and Columbia Utilities Director Joey Jaco says he can’t say when that may be lifted. He says crews must finish repairing numerous breaks in the system first.

The advisory has left thousands scrambling for bottled water and businesses shut down. Restaurants that are open are serving meals off paper plates and drinks from cans.

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The largest hospital in Columbia shut down its water supply for 12 hours as it set up an alternative source of water.

Palmetto Health Richland Hospital shut down its water system at 6 p.m. Thursday, restoring service at 6 a.m. Friday.

Hospital officials said they acted because the city of Columbia does not know when it will be able to provide safe drinking water.

Hospital spokeswoman Tammie Epps says the U.S. Army has provided a reverse osmosis system to purify the water so it can be used. Epps says the system was flushed and cleaned during the 12-hour shutdown. She says the water from the Army system is being tested for 24 hours before it can be relied upon.

The hospital is continuing to use the un-filtered, city-provided water for its air conditioning and certain other equipment.

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Link to emergency filtration…

MIT Finds Way to Reuse Water from Fracking

fracking oil

Fracking, or the process of extracting oil from underground reservoirs, takes a lot of time, money, and water. But humans are extremely dependent on this technique because it brings out a natural resource that fuels transportation methods that we use in our everyday lives. Cars, buses, trains, and planes are just a few of the ways we get around that use oil as fuel. So how can a process that is so important still be so inefficient? Fracking wastes millions of gallons of water per year, water that could be reused for other purposes.

So why isn’t it being reused? Because when water is pressurized down into the ground to extract oil, it becomes contaminated and deemed “brimy”. This type of water is discarded into deep injection wells and new, clean water is bought to continue the fracking process.

Oil Rig

Luckily a company that works with MIT has come up with a genius process to reuse some of these million gallons that are wasted every year. This company, called Gradient Corporation, has created a cost-effective process to treat brimy oilfield water for reuse. Depending on the location and type of fracking, carrier gas extraction (CGE) or selective chemical extraction (SCE) is used to clean the brimy water. Carrier gas extraction heats produced water into vapor and condenses it back into water without contaminants. In selective chemical extraction, chemical reactions remove specific contaminants. Both processes are effective, easy to use, and will save millions of dollars annually for fracking companies.

Reusing water is important, especially at a time when the West Coast is in a severe drought. It is important that every person does their part in helping to save water and save our environment. There are so many ways that you can save water, but one important way that also improves your health is to buy a water filtration system for your home that reuses backwash water. Think of it as your own system, like fracking, that can normally waste backwash water. Filtercon Technologies has developed a system that does just the opposite; reuses that water for other purposes while still purifying the water that goes into your home. Want to know more? Visit http://www.filtercon.com or call us at 800-550-1995.

Source:

Toward Cheaper Water Treatment. MIT News. July 15, 2015. http://newsoffice.mit.edu/2015/cheaper-fracking-water-treatment-0716

Images:

1) wkms.org

2) huffingtonpost.com

How San Diego is Saving Water during the Drought

Last week the San Diego community received the 2014 Annual Drinking Water Quality Report handbook. In it contains information about where the city’s water is sourced from, how the water treatment process works, how the city is diversifying our water, and how the city is moving towards more sustainable practices.

By 2035, the city of San Diego plans to have 1/3 of its drinking water supplied through a program that purifies recycled water. It is planned to produce about 15 million gallons of water for the city each day. The technology used to do so requires membrane filtration, reverse osmosis, advanced oxidation with ultraviolet light, and hydrogen peroxide. The city tested this method through a one-year project using 9,000 water quality tests and daily monitoring to ensure that no contaminants were present in the recycled water. The California Department of Public Health and San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board approved the recycled water purifying process as it met all federal and state drinking water standards.

San Diego is also exploring ways to use groundwater basins to provide water storage, capture rainwater for recycling purposes, and implement an ocean desalination plant to produce desalinated water for use throughout San Diego County.

The 2014 Water Quality Report also states that the city has been mandated to reduce its water use by 16% as a whole. They are asking residents and businesses to identify where they can most save water and give tips on the best ways to do so. Some of these include: only watering your lawn two times per week, putting low-flow heads on your faucets and showerheads, and evaluating your pipes for possible water leaks. They are also urging residents to use the City’s Public Utilities Department website, wastenowater.org, for water-saving resource guides.

Are you wasting water throughout your home? Filtercon Technologies is a full-line water treatment company. They have whole-house water filters that don’t waste water, save you money, and keep you healthy! They are one of the most trusted water filtration systems in the state, and work mostly by referral. Check out their site, http://www.filtercon.com. Or call for more information at 800-550-1995.

Source:

The City of San Diego 2014 Annual Drinking Water Quality Report. City of San Diego Public Utilities Water & Wastewater. 2 July 2015.

Image:

kidscures.org

How Alkaline Can Alleviate Bladder Issues

One of the body’s main ways of discarding minerals that it doesn’t need is through urination. It’s a common process, most people do it at least once a day. But it’s also so common that we don’t think about it until we’re having issues actually doing so.

You can tell a lot by your urine- the color, the smell, the thickness- all of these factors change by what your body is going through. Urine can also be more acidic than basic. When this happens, your body is telling you that it is dehydrated.

bladder problemsOne main bladder issue that people face due to acidic urine is a syndrome called interstitial cystitis. This condition causes irritation and inflammation in the bladder, which can be quite uncomfortable. However, there are ways to alleviate this syndrome and its effects on the body. If you eat a diet with plentiful green vegetables, stay away from spicy foods, don’t drink alcohol or smoke, and stay away from artificial sweeteners,  it will help raise the pH in your body.

Another great way to help with this syndrome is to drink more water so that the acids in your body become diluted. However, drinking regular tap water or bottled water is not likely to help because of the contamination that occurs during water treatment processes. Chlorine, fluoride, arsenals, prescriptions, and other bad chemicals seep into city and bottled water, raising the pH to a very acidic level.

alkaline waterAcidic water can actually cause some very dangerous health issues. The acids can take away healthy minerals from your organs and bones over time, leaving your body without the ones it needs to thrive.

This is where alkaline water comes in. Alkaline is a pH-raising benefit to water that adds healthy minerals. The effects of drinking alkaline water are that acids in your bloodstream are reduced, your metabolism increases, and your body can absorb nutrients a lot easier. Alkaline can not only help alleviate bladder issues, it can help with overall health. Most doctors recommend alkaline water to patients with bladder issues and other health issues like asthma. Dr. Jamie Koufman and Dr. Nikki Johnston found that alkaline water can reduce the symptoms of acid reflux. Some  studies even suggest that alkaline water can help cancer.

Alkalizer
How do you get alkaline water? From an alkalizer machine. An alkalizer is attached to a water source like an under-the-sink filtration system or whole-house filtration system and reduces acidity of the water that flows through it. Some alkalizers cost thousands of dollars, but there are more affordable systems in the market today.

To find out more about alkalizers, visit our Website , or to order your own alkalizer today, call us at: 1-800-550-1995

Reducing Water Pollution

It’s inevitable that every system and process on Earth results in some sort of pollution. But thanks to an increase in education about water pollution, presently this is a growing concern. The definition of water pollution is a change in the quality of water, whether it be chemical, physical, or biological. Effects pollution can be harmful to those drinking or using it and particularly dangerous to humans.

water pollution
Water pollution, ironically enough, mostly stems from human impact. Oil tankers and mines contribute greatly to water pollution. Other human sources include factories or sewage treatment plants.

How do can you tell if the water near you is polluted? Well, you can’t tell just by looking at it. The only sure way is to scientifically test a small sample. Many companies, like Filtercon for example, offer test kits to test your water at home for water pollution.

Here are some simple thing you can do in your life to prevent water from being polluted:
fish in polluted water
Non-Toxic Products
Rainwater can wash unsafe substances into nearby rivers, oceans, and other bodies of water. For this reason, try buying products that are not harmful to the environment. This includes BPA-free bottles, artificial air fresheners and disinfectants, chemical fertilizers, and flame retardants. You can find products that aren’t harmful to the environment in most local stores. If you use toxic products, simply dispose of them correctly (take them to hazardous waste sites) so they do not cause water pollution. Make sure that you aren’t dumping chemicals down the drain and check out your city’s local hazardous waste dropoff site.

Motor Oil and Cooking Oil
A good practice is not to allow your car to drip motor oil on the ground. Contact your local waste site and ask them when you can dispose of it properly to them. The same goes for cooking oil and paint, it’s a good idea not to put it down faucet. Many restaurants have a grease bin where they dispose of their cooking oil. If you can’t find a place to properly dispose of your cooking oil, ask a restaurant close by.

watering can
Yard Care
The best type of yard fertilizer for your yard is a non-toxic fertilizer, like compost. Toxic fertilizers turn into ocean and lake pollution when it rains. They can also be absorbed in the water supply, which is a result of poor drainage in the yard. It’s also good to not overwater your yard if you are using toxic fertilizer.

Dog Friendly
When walking your dog, clean up after him/her. It is courtesy, of course, but their stool sometimes can find their way to our water supply.

Your Toilet
Some people use their toilet as a garbage can. Please do not make this mistake. It is polluting to add items like dirty diapers, sanitary napkins, and tampon applicators to your toilet drainage. These items could end up polluting the ocean and can damage the water treatment effort.

To Learn More About Our Environment Friendly Products: Visit Our Website

Report assesses mercury contamination in streams

It’s well known that there is a risk to human health from eating fish that have swum in mercury-contaminated streams. In fact, mercury contamination of fish is the primary reason for issuing fish consumption advisories.

Such advisories exist in every state — even in areas with no obvious source of mercury pollution. That’s because much of the mercury originates from combustion of coal and can travel long distances in the atmosphere before being deposited, according to a new report by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

Mercury is a potent neurotoxin that accumulates in fish to levels of concern for human health as well as the health of fish-eating wildlife.

Understanding the sources of mercury, and how mercury is transported and transformed within stream ecosystems, can help water resource managers identify which watersheds are most vulnerable to mercury contamination. Armed with that information, they can prioritize monitoring and management actions, explained William Werkheiser, USGS associate director for water.

Research by USGS has found that some of the highest fish mercury levels are seen in southeastern U.S. streams draining forested watersheds that contain abundant wetlands. This phenomenon stems from the fact that wetlands provide ideal conditions for atmospherically deposited mercury to be converted to methlymercury, which enters the aquatic food chain and ends up bioaccumulating in fish.

Wetlands are often created or restored in order to improve habitat or to filter nutrients and sediment, but according to USGS the anticipated ecological and water-quality benefits need to be balanced against the potential for increased methylmercury production.

The agency also said that mercury emission reduction strategies must consider global mercury sources in addition to domestic sources.

While reductions in domestic mercury emissions are likely to result in lower mercury levels in fish in the eastern United States, there will be smaller benefits in the west of the country, where lower domestic emissions may be offset by higher emissions from Asia.

What is Coliform Bacteria?

girl5

What is Coliform Bacteria?

Coliform bacteria are present in the environment and feces of all warm-blooded animals and humans. Coliform bacteria are unlikely to cause illness. However, their presence in drinking water indicates that disease-causing organisms (pathogens) could be in the water system. Most pathogens that can contaminate water supplies come from the feces of humans or animals. Testing drinking water for all possible pathogens is complex, time-consuming, and expensive. It is easy and inexpensive to test for coliform bacteria. If testing detects coliform bacteria in a water sample,water systems search for the source of contamination and restore safe drinking water.

What are the different types of coliform bacteria?

There are three groups of coliform bacteria. Each is an indicator of drinking water quality

and each has a different level of risk. Total coliform is a large collection of different kinds of bacteria. Fecal coliform are types of total coliform that exist in feces. E. coli is a subgroup of fecal coliform. Labs test drinking water samples for total coliform. If total coliform is present, the lab also tests the sample for fecal coliform or E. coli, depending on the lab testing method.

 

Total coliform bacteria are common in the environment (soil or vegetation) and are generally harmless. If a lab detects only total coliform bacteria in drinking water, the source is probably environmental and fecal contamination is unlikely. However, if environmental contamination can enter the system, pathogens could get in too. It is important to find and resolve the source of the contamination.

Fecal coliform bacteria are a subgroup of total coliform bacteria. They exist in the intestines and feces of people and animals. The presence of fecal coliform in a drinking water sample often indicates recent fecal contamination. That means there is a greater risk that pathogens are present.

E. Coli is a subgroup of the fecal coliform group. Most E. coli bacteria are harmless and exist in the intestines of people and warm-blooded animals. However, some strains can cause illness. The presence of E. coli in a drinking water sample usually indicates recent fecal contamination. That means there is a greater risk that pathogens are present.

What if coliform bacteria are found in my water?

When coliform bacteria are found, water systems investigate to find out how the contamination got into the water. They collect additional water samples and often inspect the entire system. Collecting additional samples helps determine whether an actual problem exists. If the lab detects bacteria in any of the additional samples, the initial findings are “confirmed.”

What if total coliform bacteria are confirmed in my water?

If a lab confirms total coliform bacteria in your drinking water, your water system will investigate to find out how the contamination got into the water. After identifying the source of contamination, the system can usually resolve the problem with system repairs, flushing, and adding chlorine for a short period.

What if fecal coliform bacteria or E. coli are confirmed in my water?

Confirmation of fecal coliform bacteria or E. coli in a water system indicates recent fecal contamination, which may pose an immediate health risk to anyone who consumes the water. The water system will issue a “health advisory” within 24 hours to alert all water users of a health risk associated with the water supply. The advisory usually recommends using boiled or bottled water for drinking, preparing food, and brushing teeth. It also outlines the steps underway to correct the problem and explains when the system expects to resolve the problem. The health advisory will remain in effect until the situation is resolved and the water is safe to drink.

Whole House Ultraviolet Disinfection System for Bacteria and Viruses

ultraviolet-water-system

Our Ultra-violet (UV) light is 99.9% effective against disease causing micro-organisms such as E. coli. By exposing contaminated water to high intensity UV light disease causing micro-organisms are rendered harmless.

Filtercon offers Whole House Ultraviolet Systems, as well as small units for under the counter ultraviolet sink faucets.

Ultraviolet disinfection systems are safe, proven to be effective , and have been used worldwide for many years.

Ultraviolet units can be installed alone, or together with a whole house filter, or with an under the sink filtration unit.

Call FILTERCON for more information (800) 550-1995

Article by the Department of Health Washington State
Original Link: http://www.doh.wa.gov/Portals/1/Documents/Pubs/331-181.pdf