The Cleanest Water in Volusia County
By: LM Loeb
I have been writing about the state of drinking water across America for a while now and I am sad to say that most of the water utilities I have addressed have between 6 and 10 contaminants in their supply; contaminants found in concentrations above the health guidelines set out by scientists that have taken into account the most recent research.
So when I was asked to write a piece about the drinking water in Daytona Beach in the County of Volusia, I was pleasantly surprised to find that it contained no more than 3 contaminants that were above those said guidelines.
Contaminants in the Daytona Beach Water Supply
The 3 contaminants that I am talking about are chlorate, total trihalomethanes and chromium.
Chlorate is found in drinking water due to the disinfection process. It affects the human thyroid. The thyroid gland is responsible for the two hormones that ensure that the cells in our body function properly. This is why chlorate does the most damage to pregnant women and young kids.
The levels of chlorate found in the water in Daytona Beach were 587.3 parts per billion (ppb). The national average is 114.9 ppb and the state average is 293.8 ppb. That may not sound like much, but the health guideline level for chlorate is 210 ppb. If you do the math, chlorate in the water supply of Daytona Beach is almost three times the safe level.
As is the case with many chemicals found in American water supplies, total trihalomethanes are also present because of the purification process. There are 4 chemicals included in the total trihalomethanes group: bromodichloromethane, chloroform, bromoform and dibromochloromethane. In high enough levels, all of them can cause cancer.
The health guideline for total trihalomethanes is 0.8 ppb. The Florida state average is 23.2 ppb, the national average is 23.6. At 60.7 ppb, Daytona Beach is worryingly close to the legal limit set at 80 ppb.
You may well be scratching your head wondering what chromium-6 is, but if you have ever seen the movie Erin Brockovich then you’ll know. You may remember that in the movie Ms Brockovich discovers that something is causing high rates of cancer in the local population. That something was chromium-6.
By the way, if you haven’t seen the movie, I highly recommend you do. Frankly, it’s shocking. Also, I think it’s worth mentioning that not everything beginning with chromium is dangerous. Chromium-3 is essential for life and is found in many different types of food - so don’t get confused.
Chromium-6 is toxic and can cause cancer of the mouth, stomach and intestines. It can also do damage to your liver and kidneys and can cause other stomach problems apart from cancer.
Which Water Filter Is the Best?
That is the $64,000 question as they say. There are many water filters that will reduce dozens, if not hundreds of contaminants. But while some will remove almost all traces, others will not do such a good job (some improvement is better than nothing, some might say).
If you want to be completely safe, BOS whole house water filters are definitely the way to go. A whole house water filter purifies the water before or right after it enters your home. This will allow you to drink from every tap absolutely carefree. Other benefits are
- Cost effectiveness
- Less exposure to contaminants when showering or bathing
- Cleaner clothes
- Cleaner indoor air
- Increased lifespan of plumbing and appliances
Most Recent Testing on Chromium-6
In 2010, scientists ran an investigation into chromium-6 in drinking water in America, which suggested that over 200 million residents were at risk from higher than safe levels in their water supply.
In response to the report, between the years 2013 and 2015 the EPA took over 60,000 water samples from around the country and found that over 75% of them contained chromium-6. While the amount of the contaminant varied from region to region, it was found that every U.S. water system supplying more than a million people have chromium-6 levels that may be harmful. I’m afraid to say that Daytona Beach is up there with the worst offenders.
Before you start making plans to move, which would be pointless considering the prevalence of chromium-6 all over the country, there is a much easier way of dealing with the situation. As with many contaminants that can be found in water supplies across America, the best and safest way to remove chromium-6 is by using your own RO water filter (RO is short for reverse osmosis). It’s the best long term solution. Your family will be safe and it will add value to your home, so if you ever decide to sell you can add a few hundred up to a few thousand dollars onto the asking price.
In case you are thinking that drinking bottled water is a good solution, do yourself a favor and stop. Most bottled water is plain tap water. Boiling your water won’t work either (not that that would be a sensible long term solution).