Last year Arizona got quite a scare when the Arizona Republic published a report on Phoenix water issues (and other cities in the vicinity) that were potentially dangerous. High levels of chromium-6, a chemical that causes several health issues, including stomach cancer, were found in the drinking water. This is the same chemical that was made famous by Erin Brockovich, the world-renown environmental activist. Over 200 million people in the United States consume water that contains potentially hazardous levels of the carcinogen.
When the tests were taken in 2016, the average water sample in Phoenix had the highest toxin levels (7.9 parts per billion) compared to water utilities nationwide. This is approximately 400 times the levels of chromium-6 that scientists in California established as a healthy goal. This number is an average, so it doesn’t exactly represent the precise levels of chromium-6 that is in the water that people drink in any given location. That said, chromium-6 levels in the Phoenix drinking water is about 20 times California’s goal on average.
The EPA is considering implementing tighter limitations for chromium-6 in the drinking water. However, nationwide cleanup costs may be an obstacle. Per the California Department of Public Health, it could end up costing the state approximately $20 million a year just to meet the legal standard.
High-Quality Water is Important
Clean, high-quality water is a vital nutrient, the foundation of fluids in all living things, and a necessity to sustain life. Water needs to be clean, and free of toxins and microbes to prevent disease.
Our bodies are 70% water, meaning that high-quality water is almost twice as important as food when it comes to helping our bodies to perform their normal processes. As a matter of fact, muscles are approximately 75% water, and blood is 93% water. When water is contaminated, it can be deadly with side effects that can take years to notice or have an immediate effect. Side effects related to drinking contaminated water include vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, other gastrointestinal illnesses, and cancer.
Phoenix Water Issues and the EPA Regulations
The Phoenix Water Services Department is required by the EPA to publish a Water Quality Report (also referred to as the Consumer Confidence Report). This report is published every year in May and includes crucial information about Phoenix water conditions for the previous year.
Does Reverse Osmosis (RO) Help?
A reverse osmosis (RO) unit can help but only if you use the right filter. Reverse Osmosis units are available in different styles, typically containing one or more activated carbon filters. Per the EPA’s list of regulated pollutants, filter carbon is considered the best solution for the vast majority.
Basically, carbon filters are unrivaled when it comes to removing chlorine, organic chemical, herbicides, and pesticides. Reverse Osmosis units and the carbon filters also help improve the odor and taste of water.
If you need a reverse osmosis installed or updated in your home, learn more about our systems, and give us a call today.