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HOW A MUNICIPAL WATER DISASTER CAN HAPPEN

A municipal water disaster can present itself without warning. The potential for adverse health effects can be great. Contact your city’s municipal water department for the latest report on the safety and quality of your water. The following are examples of water disasters that took the residents of these cities by surprise.

Most recently the Flint Michigan water disaster comes to mind. Flint had switched using the Detroit water system to using the Flint River. Soon after, high levels of lead were detected in tested homes. The water from the river was corrosive to the city water pipes which leached lead into the water supply. Lead poisoning can cause organ damage. In children it can cause brain damage.

Our nations capitol Washington, D.C. faced a water crisis when it was discovered that their lead levels were unacceptable. It was found that the change from using chlorine to chloramine caused premature pipe corrosion resulting in lead leaching into the water supply.

Cryptosporidium, a parasite, lives in the intestines of infected humans and animals. Feces from hosts can enter municipal water supplies by farm runoff and storm water. Milwaukee Wisconsin had a cryptosporidiosis outbreak in 1993 which caused illness to 400,000 people. Of which at least 69 people died. This incident became the largest documented waterborne disease outbreak in U.S. History. Cryptosporidium oocysts are tiny and were able to pass through the water facility’s filtration system. Milwaukee has put in place practices that has improved water quality security including water monitoring equipment and updated filters.

In 2014, the Toledo , Ohio metropolitan area residents were under an order not to drink or cook with the water. Samples taken from a water treatment plant indicated a toxin call microcystin. This toxin was a result of a large bloom of algae on Lake Erie. Microcystins form with the conditions of warm stagnant water and oversupply of nutrients. Fertilizer runoff from cropland contributing to the process. Ingestion of this toxin can cause liver damage.

It is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to have an emergency supply of water in an event of a water crisis. Your water supply should include one gallon of water per person for three days. Ideally This water should be commercially bottled and sealed to ensure its safety. Rotate out bottles with close expiration dates. Include extra water if you have pets.

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Good Water Makes Good Coffee

For many people, the first thing they consume in the morning is a cup of coffee. A good cup of coffee would taste like coffee and look like coffee. A good recipe for good coffee starts with good water.

Good water can come right out of your kitchen faucet. If you’re lucky. Water hardness can vary depending on your geographical location. Water quality can vary from town to town. Call your water supplier for the most recent water report to learn how good your water is. The water report should also tell you how hard your water is. The United States Environmental Protection Agency requires the monitoring of 91 contaminants.

You know you have hard water if you see mineral deposits on your pots, sinks, and toilets. Hard water can leave whitish deposits on your coffee maker parts that do not wipe off. These deposits are from calcium and magnesium and do not pose a health risk. Over time mineral deposits can clog the tube and drip arm resulting in an uneven or failed brew. These minerals can also leave a slime floating on top of your coffee. Clean your coffee maker by running vinegar through a brew cycle. Be sure to run a cycle of water through after that to rinse the vinegar out.

Water that makes bad coffee? Pretty much the same culprits that make bad tasting drinking water can make bad coffee. How about hydrogen sulfide, that rotten egg smell. The presence of iron can give your water a metallic taste. How about too much chlorine?

Coffee shop chains use a filter system that treats their water so essentially a cup of their coffee tastes the same no matter where the coffee shop is located.

A better cup of coffee for you might just involve using a pitcher type water filter product. These can reduce chlorine taste, odor, and contaminants. Be sure to read the instructions on how often to change the filter. Keep the pitcher and parts clean and store your water in the refrigerator to inhibit bacteria growth.

Using bottled water can make a good cup of coffee but the expense makes this not such a good idea. Lugging several gallons of water from store to car to house can be a lot of work.

If you need a more advanced filter system call your local professional water treatment company for their advice and solutions. If you already have a water system in place a regular inspection is a good idea to make sure it is working properly and maintained correctly.

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3 Tips to Save Money With Water Purification Devices

Some of the water purification devices on the market are not really purifiers, at all. If you aren’t careful about which water purification device you choose, you could waste a lot of money and end up with little or no protection. Here’s how to tell the difference.

1. High Priced does not always mean high quality.

Most of us are used to paying more to get more, but when it comes to a water purification device; price has nothing to do with quality. The most expensive systems on the market include a reverse osmosis (RO) step.

Now, I’m talking only about systems that are designed for use by homeowners with a public provider. If you have a private well or other private source, you need laboratory testing to determine contaminants and then you can design an effective system.

If reverse osmosis is your only choice to remove specific contaminants, then you will also need to include other steps. Some companies’ advertisements make it seem that RO is all that you need, when nothing could be further from the truth.

People who are serviced by a public provider do not need an RO step in their water purification devices. There are less expensive, more effective options.

2. Low Priced might not do the job

On the other end of the spectrum are cheap products like the Brita water purification device. While the system does remove chlorine and some other common contaminants, it does not remove chlorine byproducts, commonly referred to as THMs.

THMs or trihalomethanes are known carcinogens. For many years, we were told that the amount released during the chlorination process was safe for consumption. The first studies that showed an increased cancer risk from this level of consumption were withheld from the public.

Now, we know that one of the reasons we need water purification devices in our homes is because of THMs and the increased cancer risk that accompanies them. If a water purification device does not include a multi-media adsorptive block, don’t buy it. No matter how cheap it is, it is still a waste of money.

3. The Best Water Purification Devices.

The best systems include several steps to remove the widest range of contaminants. First, granular carbon to reduce chlorine and other chemical contaminants, then a multi-media block to further reduce chemicals and get rid of the ones that are not trapped by carbon, alone.

The block should have a sub-micron sized porous structure to prevent water from circling around the granules, which would result in less effective contaminants removal. The structure also removes illness causing parasitic cysts that can be deadly.

The best water purification device also includes an ion exchange step to remove lead and other metallic ions. Heavy metals are exchanged for potassium and sodium, to both improve the taste and the healthfulness of your water.

These are not the most of the least expensive systems. The price is around a hundred dollars for a kitchen counter top purifier. People who install water purification devices like these save thousands of dollars per year by not buying bottled. It’s the safest and most economical choice for your family.