Dr. Oz examines the safety our drinking water and discusses what steps you can take to make sure (1) that you know what's in your water, and (2) what action you can take.
It is estimated that 12 million American households, roughly 15 percent of the U.S. population, get their drinking water from private wells. Public water systems are regulated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Private wells are the sole responsibility of homeowners. EPA standards do not apply to private wells. Therefore, homeowners with private wells must protect and maintain their water supplies to ensure the quality of the drinking water for their families.
Ground water is comprise of the accumulation of rainwater that filters down through soil, sediments and bedrock to pool beneath the Earth's surface. Nearly 98% of the available fresh water on Earth is ground water. The U.S. uses almost 83.3 billion gallons of ground water daily.
Why do you need to disinfect?
Ground water is not 100% pure clean water. Ground water always contains some dissolved minerals providing nutrients for life forms or naturally occurring microorganisms in the ground water.
National Ground Water Association (NGWA) describes most waterborne microbes as harmless and many can be beneficial. Some, however, are pathogenic. Bacteria, such as E. coli, can cause disease and death. Infection with E. coli, for example, can result in stomach discomfort, diarrhea, serious illness and even death.
These pathogen bacteria can enter the ground water through many points of contamination such as septic tank overflow or through contaminated runoff from woodlands, pastures and feedlots. Routine periodic testing of private well water and disinfection are a crucial element to maintaining a safe private well water supply.
How often should I be testing for bacteria?
NGWA recommends private well owners have their well water tested at least once every year and also after flooding events. There are several "do-it-yourself" test kits available at very affordable prices. NGWA recommends test kits that are simple to use with no mail-in requirements.
What are the flood risks?
Flood conditions cause well water to be particularly vulnerable to bacteria contamination allowing contaminated water to flow into the well.
Under normal circumstances, rain water trickles gradually into the ground through the tiny spaces between grains of sediment resulting in the natural filtration of ground water. Bacteria are separated out of the water by the filtration process. When flooding occurs, natural filtration is bypassed and wells may be contaminated rapidly. Shallow wells are at greater risk for contamination than deep wells during floods. According to the EPA, wells that are more than 10 years old or less than 50 feet deep are most likely to be contaminated following a flood, even if there is no visible damage.
How to disinfect your well?
If contamination is identified in private well water, immediate disinfection is required. This job can is most often done by ground water professionals. Homeowners can find more information from state and local health departments and government agencies. The most commonly used well water disinfectants are sodium hypochlorite (chlorine bleach) and calcium hypochlorite (chlorinated swimming pool disinfectant) but ultraviolet disinfection is becoming increasing more popular to reduce exposure to chlorine.
Before disinfecting a well it is important to determine that the well is located and constructed such that it is protected from contamination sources.
Ultraviolet (UV) Disinfection
UV Treatment is growing in popularity in the United States and has been a standard method of disinfection for decades across the globe. The technology is based on using ultraviolet light that penetrates and destroys the bacteria. With a very low amount of maintenance, UV can be used to treat the whole house or at the point of use.
The benefit of using UV disinfection is that it will not add any taste or odor to your water supply, and will not create disinfection chlorine chemical by-products. It will also disinfect a broader range of waterborne pathogens than chlorine (such as Cryptosporidium and Giardia, which are chlorine-resistant microbes and very difficult to treat). Treating your water 24/7 also provides a peace of mind that your water is protected at all times.
Call Fort Myers Water at 239- 208-0099 or visit our website at http://ftmyerswater.com to schedule your private well inspection and disinfection service today.
On Tuesday the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) Inspector General’s Office issued a report saying that the EPA needs to take addition steps to ensure safe drinking water in U.S. community drinking water systems. This report comes out on the heels of the USA Today study that reported wide spread lead contamination in U.S. drinking water.
The EPA OIG report didn’t limit their findings to lead contamination, but also included bacteria, nitrates, arsenic and copper, all of which present potentially represent serious health risks for people ingesting these contaminants in the water. From the EPA report, “Contaminated drinking water may cause cancer and other serious health effects, such as reproductive problems, birth defects or adverse environmental effects.”
The EPA report is focused on small community water systems. Small communities are defined as having 3,300 or fewer full time year round residents. Small community water systems represent 82% of the U.S. water systems according to the EPA. The Safe Water Drinking Act requires all U.S. water systems periodically check for and report contamination and authorizes the EPA to set safe levels for contaminants in our drinking water.
In October 2011, the EPA classified 2,252 small communities’ water systems in violation of meeting required contamination levels. As of April 2015, 86% of those water systems were still non-compliant with the most serious violations being in Puerto Rico, Kansas, and Texas.
So what’s the point? I don’t see my community mentioned.
The point, my friends, is that just because your name doesn’t show up on the list it doesn’t mean you’re safe and can go back to sleep. The alarm is sounding that drinking water contamination problems are arising all over the United States. The community water system providers and quality regulators cannot possible inspect every water faucet of every residential home and commercial business establishment in the community they service.
Okay, okay, what do you want me to do?
The EPA recommends you test the drinking water quality at every water access point every year. So, be vigilant. Most home owners and retail establishments where water is available haven’t checked their water since the time the place was built. Testing is not difficult. There are very affordable choices available for in-home and laboratory water testing for city water and well-water.
Once you know your test results and you are concerned about the results, contact us and we will work with to determine the best course of action for making sure you can get continuous pure drinking water at an affordable cost. Whether it’s a whole-house water filtration system, water softener, an under-the-counter reverse osmosis system, an on-the-counter system, or a mineral replenishment water system, we can help you find the best solution for your particular situation.
A Call Out To Retail Businesses
Are you serving contaminant free water to your customers? We also provide commercial water treatment and water purification systems. We can find the right water filtration system to meet your water service capacity specifications.
Call Fort Myers Water Solutions today at 239-208-0099 or visit our website at http://ftmyerswater.com to get started with a free quote.
The news about contaminated drinking water is popping up all around the United States. It started with lead contamination in Flint, Michigan, but now we're hearing more and more cases all over the entire U.S. Just looking through this morning's news feed, there articles about lead in the water in Detroit, Michigan; arsenic in Texas water; U.S. Air Force contaminating drinking water of communities close to bases where de-icing agents are used frequently, and rising coastal waters in South Florida putting additional pressure on public drinking utilities. Cities around the country are now taking a much closer look at their own drinking water in the wake of all these contamination instances and heightened awareness of their communities.
Public utilities companies are very much modern day unsung heroes. Despite the constant pressure of aging infrastructure, declining maintenance budgets, continuous community development and expansion projects, industrial production waste, natural resource extraction (like fracking) and environmental impacts; public utilities continue to provide the most reliable source of safe drinking water. So much so most of us take their efforts for granted.
In fact, for those of us not on wells, if something is not right with the water and we suspect contamination - smells bad or has visible particles - the first call we make is to the public utilities customer service line.
But, in reading about the case where the Air Force is taking full responsibility for contaminating the aquafir in New Hampshire, the federal government is taking action to "clean up" the water. Air Force Secretary Deborah James is quoted to say, "We are going to clean the water, and we are also working with the CDC on the matter of developing a plan for health monitoring." They pledge to clean up the entire aquafir. However, they go on to imply that the contamination may go beyond the water supply and that individual residents are responsible to ensur their water is safe at that point. Here's another article extract, "Residents have been urged to use filters in their homes if their water tests high for contaminants.
'Residents with private wells contaminated by PFOS and PFOA above the EPA’s Provisional Health Advisory levels should find an alternate source of drinking water or install point-of-use treatment devices to filter their tap water. Filters containing activated carbon or reverse osmosis membranes have been shown to be effective at reducing PFCs in water supplies,' according to the New Hampshire health department."
The message here is this - do not sit back and watch the news passively expecting someone else, government or otherwise, to be making sure the drinking water in your home or business is safe.
1. Get you water tested periodically (EPA recommends an annual test). Here's where you can go to do that -Affordable Water Testing.
2. Determine the best option for your situation to ensure you're protected. At Fort Myers Water we work with commercial and residential clients to find the most effective and affordable water treatment solutions to meet your exact needs.
Don't wait another day. Take action now to protect your family, you co-workers, your customers.
Since the first water pipe was installed in the late nineteenth century (some accounts say it was in 1886) the water delivery system infrastructure has continued to age. The term “infrastructure”refers to United States system of roads, bridges, utilities (e.g., water, wastewater, gas, electric) and other public works. Drinking water infrastructure includes the physical components that make up a water utility’s source of supply, treatment, storage, transmission and distribution systems.
The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) 2009 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure gave an overall grade of “D” to our nation’s infrastructure. In the drinking water category, the grade was a “D-“, which was a decline from the “D” received in 2001.
The water utility’s distribution system includes the collection of the underground pipes used to deliver water to customers. The United States drinking water infrastructure consists of more than 700,000 miles of pipe — more than four times longer than the National Highway System.
According to recent statistics compiled by the U.S. Geological Survey, the U.S. uses 408 billion gallons of water each day for all uses (water supply, irrigation, power generation, industry). To supply water to their communities, many cities continue to rely on pipe that has reached, or is approaching, the end of its useful life.
In a recent article entitled, "EPA Wants States to Double-Check Drinking Water Procedures", the federal government is asking that each State test for the location of lead water pipes and make that information publically available.
Public utilities do a good job testing the water going into the water delivery system frequently to ensure the highest quality of pure clean drinking water. But, public utilities cannot possibly systematically check all the underground pipes to determine each consumer has a contamination free delivery of drinking water.
In fact, there is a demarcation point where the public utility's responsibility ends and the homeowner's responsibility begins. If there is a contamination source coming from within your foundation or internal water pipes, who is testing that path?
The Evironmental Protection Agency recommends that homeowners get a water test done annually. We all tend to take access to safe pure drinking water in our homes for granted. However, this is one home maintenance action everyone should be taking to ensure health and safety.
There are water treatment methods that specialize in water filtration systems that can provide you with a fresh, clean, and safe supply of water. Whether you need the water for bathing, cleaning, or cooking, water is a very important part of our everyday lives. However, the quality of our water supply seems to be declining in many areas of the U.S. Many older homes and building containing high levels of minerals and lead eventually result in deposits of contamination.