Contaminated Water: What If Your Well Has PFAS?

Drinking water is a necessity in every family and when it is contaminated, the families face health issues. The same happened to a local family in Cooper Township. They had followed in the news special report that PFAS was contaminating the water in the Parchment region. PFAS, or polyfluoroalkyl, are used in different industries for various purpose.

The problem with the chemical is that it does not breaks down, either in environment or human body. It continues to accumulate there over time, and then there are health issues. This local Watson family stopped drinking the water, as they had children in the family. After testing the water, it was found that there were no PFAs in said drinking water. The testing company used what is called 537 version 1.1 to perform the test.

They were safe, but not all families in the locality were safe. If they had a private well or they relied on tap water, they had to drink the contaminated water only. However, here authorities took step to help the people.

The first thing DEQ is doing is looking for areas where there are industrial or commercial sources. They have looked for houses with contaminated water. As per the federal government, if there is 70 parts per trillion PFAS in water, then it’s too high.

To meet such circumstances, they have funds for providing bottled water during the period when further steps are not taken. Then the water filtration system is checked and ensured that it provides pure tap water, even though it will cost hundreds of dollars to the authorities.
They have also declared that, if anyone is finding any problem with their well water, they must contact the authorities fast.

The EPA Is Sued For Missing Drinking-Water Deadlines

While the Environmental Protection agency is mainly responsible for taking action on the different environmental issues related to public health and safety, recently it was found that the EPA is ignoring different deadlines for reviewing and revising standards. They are responsible for setting and revising standards for solvents, chromium, the Legionella bacteria, and all other pathogens available in the drinking tap water. Yet, a group of conservatives accused the EPA of avoiding its duty.

A suit was filed by the nonprofit Water keeper Alliance in the federal court of Manhattan. They have done so along with their 300 plus members that are the California Coastkeeper Alliance and Waterkeepers Chesapeake, who are Maryland based. They want the EPA to comply with the deadlines set by Congress in the Safe Drinking Water Act of 1996. This Act was enacted after there was an outbreak of water borne illness within the nation that took more than 100 lives nationwide.

According to the law, there is a schedule where the EPA must identify any contamination present in tap water and set different standards for any type of contamination, like the lead level is set as 15 ppb. They must also review the standard after every 6 years.

Chemicals Found in Alabama Drinking Water Won’t Be Limited By Trump EPA , Report Says

Even though the general public wants to know about how to safely drink tap water, the Trump administration does not show any plan for setting up standards that will limit different chemical levels in water.

It was expected that the EPA would release a detailed report on the PFAS compound and how it affects the human body and the environment. These chemicals, namely PFOS and PFOA, are used widely in Teflon, Scotchgard, firefighting foam of defense, and even waterproof clothing.

It is believed that almost 98% of Americans have these chemicals in their blood stream. In about 16 million Americans’ tap water, these chemicals were found at levels that is said to be dangerous by the EPA which has obviously decided that these chemicals will not be regulated in the Drinking Water Act.

There is no need to remove these chemicals from the drinking water supplies. Still, different states have started taking their own action.

Although both the Republicans and the Democrats are trying so that EPA can set some rules for these chemicals, the Trump government seems not to show any interest in all this. One of the major reasons for this may be that, if EPA takes action against these two chemicals, then major chemical companies, as well as the Defense department, will be facing a liability of billions of dollars for cleaning the chemicals that have contaminated the ground water near the military bases and the chemical plants.

Opponents are attacking the Trump administration with statements that they care more about corporate profit than public welfare. If the EPA does not take action, it means that they are simply doing as they are instructed.

World renowned chemical company 3M has been manufacturing PFOS and PFOS for decades and they are one source of PFAS contamination of water in Alabama. Their attorneys argue that these chemicals do not pose any risk to humans. While the environmentalists believe that these chemicals are quite harmful for the human body.

Even the acting administrator did not commit anything about setting a standard for these chemicals in the drinking water. Many suggest using the water filter softeners, but that will not help much with these two chemicals. Without commitment, there is high risk that these two chemicals will continue to be in the tap water for coming days. That may prove very dangerous someday.

Politico also states that, if these chemicals are to be removed, then 3M and the Department of Defense will have to face liability of billions of dollars. Actually, 3M has already paid $1.5 billion for settling lawsuits that included injury claims.

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The main health problem associated with these chemicals is a threat to pregnant women. During pregnancy, if they drink contaminated water, then the development of fetus may have problems! Even breastfeeding mothers should be careful about these chemicals. There are other health problems like liver effects, cancer in kidneys or testicles, and affects to the immune system.

In The U.S , The Cleanest Drinking Water Could Become Undrinkable

Memphis, Tennessee is home to what some consider the sweetest and purest drinking water in North America. The reason it’s so clean has to do with where the city’s drinking water sits in a pristine underground lake known as the Memphis sand aquifer .
We have a very unique situation here. Good portion of the water that’s in the Memphis aquifer is over 2,000 years old that’s before the modern age of industrialization and carbon and pesticides and medicines and everything else that gets into the water. So it’s a very very clean water.

Above the Memphis Sand aquifer, separated by a layer of clay, is the city’s groundwater and above that groundwater, just a few miles from downtown , is a recently retired coal power plant, and it’s coal ash pit from the 60s that holds the toxic residues, like arsenic and lead left behind by burning coal.

Next to all that is a new gas power plant, the Tennessee Valley Authority or TVA manages both the old and new plants and the pit. The TVA wanted to pump water from the aquifer to cool the gas power plant and that had people worried because of the potential for unintended consequences . Coal ash contaminants are leaching down into the groundwater .

If the new power plant turned on its pumps, water might be drawn through those breaches in the layer of clay and into the city’s clean drinking water . When you pump the groundwater that can create a higher potential for water to move from the shallow groundwater above down toward breaches and then Into the aquifer system. That would have been bad but no one actually knew how bad that is until the TVA was forced to comply with the Obama administration’s coal ash rule the regulation mandated that the TVA installed a network of groundwater monitoring wells and that monitoring revealed that coal ash had been leaking into the groundwater.

The results showed the groundwater round the coal ash pit was contaminated with arsenic at levels 400 times higher than the EPA’s groundwater Standards allowed .

Because of those results the Tennessee Department of Conservation convinced the TVA to agree to hold off on using the pump said the new plant. On March 2nd coal plants around the country complied with the coal ash rule and posted their own groundwater monitoring results online these revealed extensive groundwater contamination across the nation similar to Memphis’s .

But despite the coal ash success, the Trump administration has started the process to weaken it. The proposed changes could mean that coal companies would no longer be required to post results of their monitoring online or even bother to clean up contamination and that could be bad for Memphis and cities across the country .

Beware of Fluoride’s Neurotoxicity, a World Expert on Lead Warns

As per the report of Fluoride Action Network (FAN), Fluoride is amongst those chemicals that are suspected of interfering with the neurodevelopment among children. It was published in a major review article by Dr. David Bellinger in the journal, Pediatric Medicine.
Bellinger is one of the most renowned experts who deals with neurotoxicity of lead. He holds two important position at Harvard, three in Boston, and one at Boston’s Children hospital.

In his review, he cited meta-analysis of 27 IQ studies of Iraq and China (Choi et al. 2012), and then he co-authored a follow up story. These studies by Bellinger show there is a strong association between the fluoride level in pregnant women and the IQ of the children birthed forthwith. The IQ level is found to be lowered in these offspring.

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Although the media has covered the Choi meta-analysis since 2012, they didn’t consider the neurotoxicity studies held before that. They have even shown interest in studies that are mainly concerned with tooth decay!

Director of FAN, Paul Connett, PhD said that he expected as more and more pregnant women learn about this relation between their offspring and the danger of Fluoride, they will try to avoid any source of fluoride in their diet and regular habits too. Parents must also avoid feeding their babies in water bottles that contain fluorinated tap water. There are already a lot of studies and more will only confirm these facts.

High Lead Levels Found in Bordentown Water System

According to the Bordentown City Officials, there are high lead levels found in the drinking water system of the city. There are certain clusters that are hot spot. They have also asked the county to provide them with a mobile testing van so that they can test the blood of children in the area.
The tap water of the region was not found to be satisfactory after the tests. In 10 percent of the 73 homes, the lead level was above 15 ppb. This was the third time that the federal lead limit of 15 ppb was exceeded in the last few testings.

Commissioner Myers says he is concerned about the health and safety of his citizens and assures that the tap water that is released from the treatment plant has almost no lead, thus he suspects that the leak must be from somewhere else. It means there are homes where the plumbing lines may be the source of lead, thus the city is digging outer water lines in 19 homes. However, after digging eight, no lead pipes were found which means this was not the source.

Thus, officials believe the lead galvanized pipe lines must be somewhere else, maybe from the water source to the homes. Some others said that, although they have changed the lead pipes with plastic pipes, still the lead level in homes is 123 ppb. It means the problem is there. Now officials suggest that something must be done so this problem can be resolved fast.

Suez Has Offered To Test For Lead In The Water Of Any Concerned Customer

If the Suez water customers of Hudson and Bergen counties meet certain criterion, then they can take the utility up for testing the lead level in their water.
Suez, in response to the notice of non-compliance that was issued by State department of environmental Protection, has offered to test lead in the water for any concerned customer having pipes that Suez does not have any record of the material or pipes which are fed by the utility owned lead services.

It makes it clear that everyone cannot request to test their water. It is for those whose water supply is owned by Suez. It is applicable to about 17,000 service lines. Jersey City, Bayonne, and Hoboken are not included as these cities have their own water system, although it may be seen that Suez trucks are making repairs.

According to the EPA, high levels of lead beyond 15 ppb is not good for health, especially for children, as they will face learning disabilities. Just drinking the lead contaminated water may not pose a risk. It depends upon who is consuming it and how. Like, if a kid drinks the water mixed with their formula, then they have high chances of being affected.
Suez has confirmed that, if they find any household with high levels of lead, they will send the family a water pitcher with a filter.

The main problem lies in the fact that, in many homes, there are still the lead service lines, and this aging infrastructure is making this problem. To upgrade the whole infrastructure will not only take time, but also is a huge task. The total cost of upgrading in the state will be around $8 billion, and until state approves funding, further tasks cannot be done.

Newark Water Crisis Continues – Are We Facing A New Jersey’s Flint?

The lead incident of Flint was an eye opener, whereby the Government started taking care of different water lead levels. And now, after this, it is well known that Flint was not the only place with the threat of lead, there are more such places like Newark in New Jersey. The tap water there is not good enough and has high lead levels.

Newark was called Mini Flint after more than thirty schools in the city were detected with lead contaminated tap water. It has high a rate of poverty and the population is mostly black. Thus, the officials kept ignoring the facts and even spoke out about having safe drinking water.

The lead level set by EPA is 15 ppb, but it was found that in more than 22 percent of the samples tested, the lead level was higher. The Mayor suggested that they will arrange for filters to those homes where lead level was found high.

City officials still claim that the water lead level is not something very dangerous, but the citizens find it otherwise. They do not agree with the statement that only tap water in certain areas is affected by lead contamination. They do not want to compare Newark with Flint, as they said that Flint didn’t take any steps, but at Newark it was a mistake.

Different activist organizations and the citizens are not happy with the explanation and say that only the water from the Pequannock Treatment Plant may have high risk of lead. The activists have also started mission that will educate the citizens about the risk associated with lead. They want the city to test everyone for lead at its own expense. The infrastructure should also be mended so that further problems do not arise in near future.

Lead Concerns Addressed in Benton Harbor

Safe drinking water is a concern of every local authority, and thus the City of Benton Harbor officials gathered in the town hall to discuss it. As residents of Benton Harbor, the water must be safe for their grandkids too. This meeting at the town hall was organized by the Berrien County Health Department and Benton Harbor’s City Manager Darwin Watson, to update the public about the water issues in Michigan. This problem persists in the state of Michigan, as well as the whole nation.

During the routine testing of 2018, the city become aware of the elevated level of lead in the drinking tap water. Every testing after this discovery showed an elevated level of lead that was more than 15 ppb.

To fight the situation, the state has already used about $80,000 from the total grant of $300,000 with the belief that the lead pipes were the main source of contamination. They are even suggesting to the residents that if they suspect that the lead level may be high in their tap water, then they must flush water for 5 minutes before they collect it for drinking. They can even pick up a special water filter, NSF53, that is available within the city.

The City Manager hopes that all this will convey the message to the residents that the authorities are working on the problem. It is a process that will take time to overcome, but when everyone is aware of the situation it becomes easier to handle it efficiently.

Grand Isle’s Drinking Water to Alter Disinfectants. Chlorine Might Be In Your Water.

The residents of Grand Isle may find changes in the taste or smell of their drinking water. This change is nothing to worry about, as the Parish government is changing the disinfectant from chloramine to chlorine.

Due to this change, the tap water may taste a bit different, or there may be some smell. This change will last about a month, and according to the officials, this system is normal for any water system where chloramine is used.

Even during the change period, the water will be matching the standard set by the EPA, and there will be no risk in drinking it. However, users might be affected by the change in taste or smell.

As the water is safe to drink, there is no need to boil it before drinking. Still, those who are having problems with the smell or the taste of chlorine may take some simple steps to get rid of the smell.
When water is not used for several hours, the tap water should be left flowing for at least 5 minutes and then used.

An open pitcher should be filled after letting the water run for 2 minutes. When the pitcher is refrigerated, the chlorine smell will disappear after a few hours. The best way to remove the chlorine smell is by using a water filter.

The filter should be as per the standard of the National Sanitation Foundation (check out our best-selling water filters here). The cartridge of the filter should also be removed afterwards as suggested by the manufacturer.