Trihalomethanes (THMs) are the result of a reaction between the chlorine used for disinfecting tap water and natural organic matter in the water. At elevated levels, THMs have been associated with negative health effects such as cancer and adverse reproductive outcomes. Now a study by government and academic researchers adds to previous evidence that dermal absorption and inhalation of THMs associated with everyday tap water use can result in significantly higher blood THM concentrations than simply drinking the water does [EHP 113:863–870]. The results of this exposure assessment study could serve as a guide for future epidemiologic investigations exploring the potential connection between THMs in tap water and adverse health effects.

The researchers recruited seven healthy participants aged 21–30 years to spend two 24-hour periods (usually one week apart) in one of two study residences. The study residences were typical ranch-style homes, one located in North Carolina, the other in Texas. The North Carolina house was served with a water supply higher in THMs than that of the Texas house.

Over the total two days, each participant performed 14 activities using tap water. These included drinking a hot beverage prepared with tap water (THM-free bottled water was consumed except when drinking was part of a test activity), washing their hands, showering, washing dishes both by hand and in a dishwasher, and washing clothes in a washing machine. The water use activities were rigidly scheduled and controlled for exposure time and water temperature.

The team took baseline measurements of the THMs in ambient indoor air, cold tap water, and subjects’ blood and exhaled breath just before and just after each activity. The ratio between pre- and post-activity measurements illustrated the impact of each activity on participants’ blood and exhaled breath THM concentrations; twofold or greater deviation from baseline was established as meaningful.

Relatively high pre- to postactivity ratios were observed for several of the activities. For example, blood concentrations rose 5- to 15-fold as a result of showering in the North Carolina participants, and rose approximately 5-fold in the Texas subjects. The results confirm that showering and bathing are important sources of THM exposure; they also provide evidence that other THM exposure scenarios, such as washing dishes by hand and being exposed to a cohabitant’s shower steam, may also be important.

Although an apparent dose–response relationship was discovered, the authors emphasize that public health implications should not be inferred from their findings, partly due to the small number of subjects. Their purpose was to shed light on which water use activities should be considered in the context of an epidemiologic study and to establish some practical approaches for future investigations. Noting the wide range in blood THM concentrations among the subjects in this and other studies in response to similar levels of THM exposure, subsequent exposure assessment research is being conducted on the possibility that genetic variation may play a role in individuals’ susceptibility to absorption of THMs.

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An extensive new study confirms a long-suspected link between crippling birth defects and the nitrate contamination that threatens drinking water for 250,000 people in the San Joaquin Valley.

The study took place in the Midwest, but its findings hit hard in the Valley, where research last year showed farm-related nitrate pollution is extensive and expanding in the underground water of Fresno, Tulare and Kern counties.

The birth defects involved include spina bifida, cleft palate and missing limbs.

Valley clean-water advocates say the study again raises the profile of safe drinking water as a human right. Bureaucratic and funding delays have slowed fixes for years in many small towns.

“This contamination is so dangerous,” said Maria Herrera of the Visalia-based Community Water Center. “Many towns need help with their drinking water, and we’re still not seeing enough.”

The study from Texas A&M was published last month in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Health Perspectives, making the strongest case to date about nitrates and birth defects.

Researchers looked at real-world situations, locating and contacting thousands of mothers using the National Birth Defects Prevention Study. Participants’ addresses were matched to drinking-water sources.

“We went beyond other studies to find out how much water pregnant women were drinking at home and at work,” said lead scientist Jean Brender, associate dean for research and a professor at the Texas A&M Health Science Center’s School of Rural Public Health.

The study focused on Iowa and Texas where nitrate problems are found in the groundwater. Nitrates can come from farm fertilizers and dairy waste. Other sources include septic systems, sewage treatment and decaying vegetation.

The study says mothers of babies with spina bifida were twice as likely to have consumed 5 milligrams or more of nitrate from their daily drinking water than women whose babies had no major defect.

Spina bifida is among several birth defects that happen during pregnancy as the baby’s brain and spinal cord develop. In some cases, spina bifida can result in bowel or bladder problems — in others, paralysis.

Many people living in rural Valley towns buy bottled water to protect themselves and their children from nitrates, which also can cause a potentially fatal blood disease in infants.

Many are forced to use 10% or more of their farmworker wages to pay for both bottled water and suspect tap water. When they cannot afford the bottled water, they drink from the tap, residents say.

Two years ago, the United Nations came to Seville, a town of 480 in Tulare County, as part of a worldwide tour of communities where drinking water is chronically unsafe. The U.N. investigator’s tour included communities in Costa Rica, Slovenia, Uruguay and Namibia.

The U.N. investigator recommended that California move with more urgency to address the problems, and the state has funded some projects. Money has been granted to study a solution in Seville.

The California Department of Public Health, which doles out money to improve rural water systems, last month announced a plan to push investment of $445 million of unspent federal drinking water funding. The report was ordered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which this year scolded the state for not spending the money.

Kathleen Billingsley, chief deputy director of policy and programs at the Department of Public Health, said, “The entire administration is committed to addressing the concerns outlined by the U.S. EPA.”

Back in Tulare County, some residents of small towns blame the water for unexplained stomach problems, hair loss and dizziness. Their biggest concerns are for pregnant women and infants.

“When I was taking care of my grandchild, I ran out of (bottled) water for the formula,” said Becky Quintana, a Seville resident. “I had to go buy more. I was not going to use the tap water.”

The nitrates problem is not just in Tulare County. A study released last year by the University of California at Davis showed the problem is widespread throughout Fresno and Kern counties in the Tulare Lake Basin, one of the most intensely farmed regions in the country.

Previous studies have suggested birth defects related to nitrate consumption, but the Texas A&M study went into more depth in looking at Iowa and Texas.

Researchers discovered about 25% of the participants in Iowa only drank bottled water, as did nearly half of them in Texas.

They compared birth defects among mothers who had very low exposures of nitrate from their drinking water to those who took in higher amounts of nitrate from water. Researchers took into account bottled water and tap water that either came from a municipal system or a private well.

The results might not be surprising. Researcher Brender said the women who drank water with low amounts of nitrates — bottled water, which was noted as having the least nitrate — were far less likely to have a child with birth defects.

Brender added that the research does not directly say nitrates cause the birth defects. There may be other chemicals, including pesticides, that have an impact. The researchers only examined nitrates in this study.

But she has advice for pregnant women and anyone else living in a rural area who drink water from a private well: “Get your private well tested.”

Water Of Life, Evanston, Wyoming. Rock Springs, Green River, Kemmerer Wyoming

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2013/07/15/5568213/birth-defects-linked-to-bad-water.html#storylink=cpy

by: Mark G.

 

Contamination / Drinking water / Nitrate / Wyoming

Should I Be Concerned?

Arsenic is a potential concern to those that do not receive municipally treated water and live in an area with high natural deposits of arsenic, receive runoff from orchards, or receive runoff from glass and electronics production wastes. Arsenic is potentially a very harmful and even fatal contaminant that can cause damage with immediate consumption or over the long term.

The health effects of arsenic depend on its chemical form, how much is consumed, and for how long. Long-term exposure to arsenic can cause a number of harmful effects on the human body. There is increasing evidence that people who consume drinking water with high arsenic levels for many years can have health problems, including nervous system effects, skin changes, and several circulatory diseases.

Finding Arsenic in My Water

If you suspect you might have arsenic in your water, the safest approach is to talk to a local water treatment professional.  Because well water is particularly susceptible to arsenic, those not connected to municipal drinking water systems may want to consider this option.  You should also check with local health authorities about the possible presence of arsenic in your community.

Fighting Arsenic

There are several types of water treatment systems that can effectively reduce arsenic levels in drinking water. These include: reverse osmosis systems, specialty media, and distillation systems.  You can choose from numerous tested and certified water treatment products available to reduce arsenic in drinking water.

Contact Water of Life to treat your Arsenic problem : www.waterproblemsolvers.com

Appliance Longevity

 

A recent independent study has demonstrated what many experts already expected:  Water softeners can extend the life of your appliances.  That means saving you money and energy and keeping our landfills a little less full.

 

Softeners help preserve the efficiency of water heaters and major appliances, the report found.  The study was commissioned by the Water Quality Research Foundation (WQRF) in 2009 and conducted by the Battelle Memorial Institute, a renowned independent testing and research facility dedicated to applied science and technology development.

 

Here are some key appliances that can have an increased life when run with softened water: 

 

Dish and Clothes Washers

 

Dishwashers and clothes washers were operated for 30 days and 240 full wash cycles on soft and hard water sources.  The washers using softened water were almost completely free of any scale build up.  As the report states, they appeared as if they could be cleaned to look like new with just a quick wipe down.  The appearance of the inside of washers using hard water, however, showed the need for deliming and cleaning due to the build up of scale and deposits.

 

Remember, with softened water, you can also use less detergent in your dishwasher and clothes washer and get better results.

WATER OF LIFE

Water of Life, located in Evanston, Wyoming specializes in water softeners, filters, and bottle-free water coolers. We sell, install, and maintain water softening and filtering equipment, including RO and UV filtration and purification. We proudly serve the Lyman, Rock Springs, Green River, Coalville and Kemmerer areas as well as points between. Whatever your water treatment needs, we would love to help.

Drinking Water Contaminants

Where does our water come from? How is it treated? How do we know it is safe to drink?

There are two main sources of water: surface water and groundwater. Surface water is found in lakes, rivers, and reservoirs. Groundwater lies under the surface of the land, where it travels through and fills openings in the rocks.

Consumers typically receive their water from one of two sources: a private well or a community water system. A household well pumps groundwater for household use. The source of a community water system may be either surface water or groundwater.

Approximately 15% of the US population relies on individually owned sources of drinking water, such as wells, cisterns, and springs. The majority of household wells are found in rural areas. Water quality from household wells is the responsibility of the homeowner.

The remaining 85% of the US population receives its water from community water systems. Community water systems are required to meet the standards set by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the authority of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA).

Community water systems must ensure that the drinking water they supply does not have contaminant levels higher than the standards of the SDWA, the SDWA amendments, or state regulations.   The EPA generally delegates to the states the authority to enforce all federal drinking water standards, but can intercede when necessary. States must set standards that are no less stringent than the EPA’s.

The good news is that treatment options are available.  In most cases, these treatments have been rigorously tested and certified for effectiveness through the WQA Gold Seal program. Regardless of receiving water from a well or a community water system, you may notice odors, tastes, colors, or stains that are not appealing to you. In these cases, access resources on this Web site to find out more about the causes, effects, and possible solutions.

When you’re ready to act, there are trained professionals and certified products available to help you.

WATER OF LIFE

http://www.waterproblemsolvers.com               307.787.6800

SERVING – Rock Springs, Evanston, Green River, Kemmerer, Lyman and Coalville.

Protect Your Family

When water leaves a municipal treatment facility, it meets all the guidelines of the Safe Drinking Water Act.  But, the water coming out of your faucet may not.  Water travels a long distance to reach your home or business.  It typically goes from a water treatment facility, to a water tower, through miles of pipes, to your home where it goes through your home’s plumbing, and finally to your faucet.  Furthermore, many consumers have older or contaminated water pipes in their home which, unknown to them, can decrease the quality of their drinking water.  Replacing a home’s plumbing can be costly, and providing municipal water to the requirements or needs for all residents in a community is unrealistic and can be unaffordable. The good news is that options are available to overcome these obstacles.

The Final Barrier concept recommends the use of drinking water filtration systems to ensure quality drinking water is available at the water faucet.   Use of the “Final Barrier” can address issues such as:

  • Disinfection byproducts formed during treatment and delivery to homes
  • Corrosion products from the distribution system
  • Corrosion or other products from unknown sources in home plumbing
  • Contaminant intrusions into the system from distribution line breaks
  • Trace levels of unregulated contaminants such as endocrine disruptors

Final Barrier treatment is the right solution for many communities and their residents.

  • The Final Barrier controls the water quality at the point of use. Technologies are currently tested, certified, and available for use by consumers to economically treat the 1% of water for drinking to the highest safety levels at the point where water is consumed.
  • Drinking water treated with a certified system provides water that exceeds the Safe Drinking Water Act so it is better for people with special needs such as pregnant women, babies, and the elderly.
  • Several municipalities have found it more cost-effective to subsidize “Final Barrier” in-home systems rather than pay for centralized water treatment or installing new water pipes or treatment facilities.

Every household faces different water issues and a myriad of possible concerns.  You may need to do some home testing and research to find out what contaminants you may be facing.  Or consider calling in a trained professional whose expertise and equipment will pinpoint your areas of concern and offer you solutions.

With certified products that are right for you, you can build your Final Barrier.

 

http://www.waterproblemsolvers.com

Well water and Human Health

 

The first step to protect your health and the health of your family is learning about what may pollute your source of drinking water. Potential contamination may occur naturally, or as a result of human activity.

What are Some Naturally Occurring Sources of Pollution?

  • Microorganisms: Bacteria, viruses, parasites and other microorganisms are sometimes found in water. Shallow wells — those with water close to ground level — are at most risk. Runoff, or water flowing over the land surface, may pick up these pollutants from wildlife and soils. This is often the case after flooding. Some of these organisms can cause a variety of illnesses. Symptoms include nausea and diarrhea. These can occur shortly after drinking contaminated water. The effects could be short-term yet severe (similar to food poisoning) or might recur frequently or develop slowly over a long time.
  • Radionuclides: Radionuclides are radioactive elements such as uranium and radium. They may be present in underlying rock and ground water
  • Radon: Radon isa gas that is a natural product of the breakdown of uranium in the soil — can also pose a threat. Radon is most dangerous when inhaled and contributes to lung cancer. Although soil is the primary source, using household water containing Radon contributes to elevated indoor Radon levels. Radon is less dangerous when consumed in water, but remains a risk to health.
  • Nitrates and Nitrites: Although high nitrate levels are usually due to human activities (see below), they may be found naturally in ground water. They come from the breakdown of nitrogen compounds in the soil. Flowing ground water picks them up from the soil. Drinking large amounts of nitrates and nitrites is particularly threatening to infants (for example, when mixed in formula).
  • Heavy Metals: Underground rocks and soils may contain arsenic, cadmium, chromium, lead, and selenium. However, these contaminants are not often found in household wells at dangerous levels from natural sources.
  • Fluoride: Fluoride is helpful in dental health, so many water systems add small amounts to drinking water. However, excessive consumption of naturally occurring fluoride can damage bone tissue. High levels of fluoride occur naturally in some areas. It may discolor teeth, but this is not a health risk.

 

 

What You Can Do

Private, individual wells are the responsibility of the homeowner. To help protect your well, here are some steps you can take:

Have your water tested periodically. It is recommended that water be tested every year for total coliform bacteria, nitrates, total dissolved solids, and pH levels. If you suspect other contaminants, test for those. Always use a state certified laboratory that conducts drinking water tests. Since these can be expensive, spend some time identifying potential problems.

Testing more than once a year may be warranted in special situations:

  • someone in your household is pregnant or nursing
  • there are unexplained illnesses in the family
  • your neighbors find a dangerous contaminant in their water
  • you note a change in water taste, odor, color or clarity
  • there is a spill of chemicals or fuels into or near your well
  • when you replace or repair any part of your well system

Identify potential problems as the first step to safeguarding your drinking water. The best way to start is to consult a local expert, someone that knows your area, such as the local health department, agricultural extension agent, a nearby public water system, or a geologist at a local university (See more detailed information below).

Be aware of your surroundings. As you drive around your community, take note of new construction. Check the local newspaper for articles about new construction in your area.

Check the paper or call your local planning or zoning commission for announcements about hearings or zoning appeals on development or industrial projects that could possibly affect your water.

Attend these hearings, ask questions about how your water source is being protected, and don’t be satisfied with general answers. Make statements like “If you build this landfill, (just an example) what will you do to ensure that my water will be protected.” See how quickly they answer and provide specifics about what plans have been made to specifically address that issue.

Identify Potential Problem Sources

To start your search for potential problems, begin close to home. Do a survey around your well:

  • is there livestock nearby?
  • are pesticides being used on nearby agricultural crops or nurseries?
  • do you use lawn fertilizers near the well?
  • is your well “downstream” from your own or a neighbor’s septic system?
  • is your well located near a road that is frequently salted or sprayed with de-icers during winter months?
  • do you or your neighbors dispose of household wastes or used motor oil in the backyard, even in small amounts?

If any of these items apply, it may be best to have your water tested and talk to your local public health department or agricultural extension agent to find way to change some of the practices which can affect your private well.

In addition to the immediate area around your well, you should be aware of other possible sources of contamination that may already be part of your community or may be moving into your area. Attend any local planning or appeal hearings to find out more about the construction of facilities that may pollute your drinking water. Ask to see the environmental impact statement on the project. See if underground drinking water sources has been addressed. If not, ask why.

Common Sources of Potiental Ground Water Contamination

Category Contaminant Source
Agricultural
  • Animal burial areas
  • Drainage fields/wells
  • Animal feedlots
  • Irrigation sites
  • Fertilizer storage/use
  • Manure spreading areas/pits, lagoons
  • Pesticide storage/use

How a Water Evaluation Works: Easy as 1-2-3

  1. A Water of Life water specialist will come to your home and perform a series of tests that will measure both mineral and contaminant levels in your water supply.
  2. The specialist will show you what’s in your water, then thoroughly explain what the causes might be and what types of products can treat them effectively.
  3. The whole evaluation takes only about an hour, and you will have all the information you’ll need about the types of water issues you have and what you can do about them. Remember, the evaluation is FREE: there are no strings attached and no obligation to buy.

http://www.waterproblemsolvers.com

877-738-2217

WWW.WaterProblemSolvers.com
Water of Life services Green River, Rock Springs, Evanston, Lyman and Kemmerer.

We are Water of Life, your source for water treatment equipment and
service in Western Wyoming. Water of Life is a family-owned business
with over 16 years of experience in treating some of the toughest well
water problems in rural Wyoming. We are also very familar with the
problems of municipal water supplies, including chlorine, hardness,
taste and odor.
 
Making water better is all we do, and we have the experience to help you find
the water treatment that is just right for your own situation. Improving
the water in your home will give you refreshing, safe water for
drinking and cooking, prevent damage to new appliances, fixtures and
plumbing, and raise the level of enjoyment of your home water supply.
 

Česky: Pitná voda - kohoutek Español: Agua potable

Our WATER NEEDS ANALYSIS gives us the tools to help you assess the water needs of your home and to recommend the right products that will work for you. Our goal is to make your water source safe for you and your family and to protect the valuable investment of your home.