Michigan’s Underground Storage Tanks are Raising Concern

Legacy tanks typically store fuel and other hazardous chemicals underground. These tanks generally receive a little-to-no maintenance and were buried before strict regulations were established.

Experts are concerned about the chemicals leaching into municipal drinking water.  A recent fuel leak in Flat Rock was suspected to be caused by a pair of underground steel tanks. The fuel spread to the Huron River by a tributary, as spotted by a fisherman.

After a swift cleanup and containment efforts (such as closing the park), the Flat Rock tanks are a microcosm for a much more significant issue throughout the entire state. Over 8,000 underground storage tanks are potentially leaking, according to the state of Michigan.

Jill Greenberg, an employee of the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy, said, “Of the 24,000 contaminated sites, 8,000 are leaky underground storage tanks. If there’s a property transaction and the owner knows about contamination, they are legally required to disclose it.”

Companies that are no longer in business are notorious for abandoning tanks as far back as 100 years ago. Greenberg suggested a need for heavier funding to address the unregistered sites, such as those in Flat Rock. However, state leaders anticipate a budget of $163 million to locate and remedy the tanks that have slipped through time.

The overwhelming feeling at the state and federal levels is that these storage tanks pose an urgent crisis that cannot continue to be ignored. Some representatives believe infrastructure dollars should be used toward the tanks.

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) said, “EGLE inherited an outdated it system that heavily relied on paper records. We are in the process of upgrading our system and that will allow us to categorize, cross reference and track the contaminated properties we know about.”

United States Representative Debbie Dingell said the tanks in Flat Rock were 100 years old and said, “Nobody had a record of them. I’m sure there’s situations like that all over the state.”

The State of Michigan’s Office of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs is working in conjunction with EGLE to address the tanks. Unfortunately, holding current property owners accountable is fruitless, since many of the tanks were abandoned decades ago. Regardless, regulations should be established now to minimize surprises in the future.

Are you worried about chemicals in your water? Contact the water purification experts at Reynolds Water Conditioning today.

Reynolds Water Conditioning was established in 1931 and is Michigan’s oldest water conditioning treatment company. Still owned and operated by the Reynolds family, we take pride in providing the highest quality products at a cost-effective price. If your tap water lacks the quality you deserve, contact us today at www.reynoldswater.com or call 800-572-9575.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Dealing with Michigan Water Quality Issues

One of the most attractive aspects of Michigan is the five Great Lakes and its abundant interior waterways. While freshwater is plentiful in our area, environmental issues constantly threaten its health. Read on to learn of some recent examples. 

The Flint Water Crisis

The water crisis that began in Flint, Michigan, in 2014 reminds us of what happens when pollution gets out of control, and no one intervenes to stop it. Water for drinking and household use from the Flint River contained lead, bacteria, and chemicals that caused illness, developmental delays in children, and death. Yet, even after the lessons learned from Flint, there are still threats to Michigan’s water supply.

Microplastics

We hear so much about plastic pollution in the ocean, but plastic also pollutes the Great Lakes and Michigan’s inner lakes, rivers, and streams. Microplastics are plastic pieces less than 5 mm long and form when larger plastics break down over time. Microplastic’s tiny size makes them a danger to fish and other aquatic life that may swallow them.

Humans take in microplastics when they eat fish contaminated with the substance. Microplastics can slip through water filtration systems, posing an additional danger to humans and animals. In addition, clothing can shed plastic during laundering, adding microplastics to the water supply.

Lake Erie Algae Bloom

Runoff from manure and fertilizers creates Lake Erie algae bloom. The algae can pollute water, making it toxic to fish. It also pollutes drinking water and prevents people from enjoying water recreation.

PFAs

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAs), known as forever chemicals, have threatened Michigan’s water supply for decades. PFAs are found in food packaging, household products, the workplace, fish, and humans due to constant exposure. PFA’s pose several health risks, including liver damage, thyroid disease, and hypertension during pregnancy.

Septic Systems

In rural and suburban areas, failing septic systems can pollute groundwater with bacteria such as E. coli. Illegal septic systems that discharge wastewater into streams and creeks also contribute to a contaminated water supply.

No one wants contaminated water for drinking, cooking, or bathing. Water treatment products and systems can remove undesirable substances from your water, making it safer for drinking and household use. Take control by learning what you can do to prevent exposure to polluted water.

Reynolds Water Conditioning was established in 1931 and is Michigan’s oldest water conditioning treatment company. Still owned and operated by the Reynolds family, we take pride in providing the highest quality products at a cost-effective price. If your tap water lacks the quality you deserve, contact us today at www.reynoldswater.com or call 800-572-9575.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Toxic Chemicals Taint Metro Detroit Drinking Water

Flint and Benton Harbor have become notorious for their toxic drinking water, but they aren’t the only Michigan communities with bad water. According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), millions of people throughout Metro Detroit are innocently consuming contaminated tap water with toxins linked to cancer, brain damage, liver disease, reproductive issues, nervous system problems, and more.

EWG is an independent nonprofit that advocates for a chemical-free world; the organization has been a pioneer in clean water, exposing the toxic truth throughout the United States. Through the past two years, 56 new contaminants have been found in drinking water, including PFAS, synthetic chemicals, pesticides, radioactive materials, and water disinfectant byproducts. 

A searchable database on the EWG website analyzes water quality for every ZIP code throughout America. The database was compiled from tap water quality reports. EWG is adamant that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s drinking water regulations are out of date, and levels permitted by the agency are dangerous to those who consume them.

Sydney Evans, an EWG science analyst, said, “Most people don’t realize how many contaminants are in their drinking water. That should be concerning to people. Most people think their water is perfectly safe and pure because it’s treated, but that’s not true.”

EWG used current, peer-reviewed research to compile their own drinking water safety standards, and the water supplies servicing the metro Detroit community far surpass the limits. Some of the toxic carcinogens found in drinking water throughout our state include hexavalent chromium, PFAS, radium, nitrate, haloacetic acids, and total trihalomethanes.

EWG president Ken Cook said, “The EPA [Environmental Protection Agency] has become very good at constantly reassuring the public that all is well with the water coming out of their taps. That message is music to the ears of the polluters who’ve fouled source waters and water utilities wary of treatment and infrastructure costs. But it’s just not true – and the EPA’s own scientists know it.”

The Safe Water Drinking Act, set in 1976, put the EPA at the helm of overseeing water quality; however, the federal agency has not set a new tap water standard in almost 20 years, and some standards are over forty decades old. No new contaminants have been added to its regulated list since 2000.

Throughout the 39 communities in Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb counties, ten or more contaminants exceeded EWG guidelines. In numerous communities throughout metro Detroit, three contaminants exceeded EWG limits by more than 100 times.

With outdated regulations, utilities can legally provide unsafe levels of toxic chemicals while assuring the public they are following the law.

Are you concerned about the unsafe levels of toxins in your drinking water? Contact the water purification experts at Reynolds Water conditioning today.

Reynolds Water Conditioning was established in 1931 and is Michigan’s oldest water conditioning treatment company. Still owned and operated by the Reynolds family, we take pride in providing the highest quality products at a cost-effective price. If your tap water lacks the quality you deserve, contact us today at www.reynoldswater.com or call 800-572-9575.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Contaminated Water Detected by Smartphone Screens

Billions of smartphones and tablets worldwide could be used to sense toxins in water and soil by way of the touchscreen technology used in everyday practice without any modifications. The report was published in the journal Sensors and Actuators B.

Researchers at the University of Cambridge have successfully shown how a regular touchscreen can identify contaminants by dropping liquid samples on the screen. Since touchscreen sensitivity is comparable to lab-based equipment, it can be used in unsterilized environments.

For now, this novel accomplishment is a proof of concept, but it can be expanded for various applications such as biosensing or medical diagnostics. Smartphones interpret electrical fields when a finger disrupts the electrical field running through a touchscreen.

Dr. Ronan Daly from Cambridge’s Institute of Manufacturing, who co-led the research, said, “We wanted to know if we could interact with the technology in a different way, without having to fundamentally change the screen. Instead of interpreting a signal from your finger, what if we could get a touchscreen to read electrolytes, since these ions also interact with the electric fields?”

During trials, researchers pipetted several liquids onto smartphone screens. Depending on the concentration of ions and their charge, the measurements were recorded from each droplet.

The new technology could be used to detect arsenic contamination in drinking water. Arsenic is a common contaminant found in groundwater but is filtered out by most municipal water systems. Arsenic water contamination is a substantial problem in parts of the world without water treatment.

“In theory, you could add a drop of water to your phone before you drink it, in order to check that it’s safe. For example, if we could get the sensitivity to a point where the touchscreen could detect heavy metals, it could be used to test for things like lead in drinking water. We also hope in the future to deliver sensors for home health monitoring,” said Daly.

Reynolds Water Conditioning was established in 1931 and is Michigan’s oldest water conditioning treatment company. Still owned and operated by the Reynolds family, we take pride in providing the highest quality products at a cost-effective price. If your tap water lacks the quality you deserve, contact us today at www.reynoldswater.com or call 800-572-9575.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

PFAS Will Soon Be Regulated by EPA

Polyfluoroalkyl and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are commonly known as “forever chemicals” due to their inability to break down naturally through time. These toxic chemicals have been found in water supplies in communities statewide. It is in the blood of 99.9 percent of all inhabitants on Earth.

Until now, there have not been any stringent standards for PFAS. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will soon regulate these human-made toxins that pose severe and life-threatening health risks for millions of people. In 2016, a recommended (yet unenforceable) health advisory limit was set at 70 parts per trillion for PFAS in drinking water. Now, scientists are saying those levels are unsafe for human health. With the new standards set by the EPA, local water utility companies will encounter consequences if they do not follow them.

PFAS can be found in much more than water; they have been used for decades in Teflon pans, fire retardants, cosmetics, dental floss, food packaging, clothing, cleaning supplies, and much more. With the new regulations, manufacturers will be required to provide specific data about the chemicals they use to create their products.

By 2023, the Defense Department will complete preliminary evaluations of possible PFAS contamination in roughly 700 different installations. The Food and Drug Administration, as well as the Agriculture and Health and Human Services departments, are both researching the health effects of PFAS.

EPA Administrator Michael Regan said, “This is a really bold set of actions for a big problem. This strategy really lays out a series of concrete and ambitious actions to protect people. There are concrete steps that we are taking that move this issue forward in a very aggressive way.”

PFAS can lead to infertility risks, thyroid disease, cancer, developmental problems in children, and much more. A 2016 study by scientists at Harvard University found that drinking water supplies for more than six million Americans had highly unsafe levels of PFAS.

The study’s lead author, Xindi Hu, said, “Virtually all Americans are exposed to these chemicals. They never break down. Once they are released into the environment, they are there.”

Robert Bilott, an environmental attorney whose story was made famous by the movie “Dark Waters,” when he successfully sued DuPont on behalf of plaintiffs exposed to PFAS in Ohio and West Virginia, said, “I do believe that in this term, we will make significant progress on this issue. I hate to be cynical, but I’ve been seeing this for 20 years. It’s massively overdue. It’s decades overdue. This is a huge public health threat, and it’s something that has just gone on way too long.”

More than likely, you have PFAS in your drinking water. Contact the water purification experts at Reynolds today – we can ensure your water is clean, pure, and safe from chemicals.

Reynolds Water Conditioning was established in 1931 and is Michigan’s oldest water conditioning treatment company. Still owned and operated by the Reynolds family, we take pride in providing the highest quality products at a cost-effective price. If your tap water lacks the quality you deserve, contact us today at www.reynoldswater.com or call 800-572-9575.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Yale Study Finds Lower Birth Weight in Flint Children Following Water Crisis

The Yale School of Public Health found that babies born to mothers who were exposed to contaminated water from the Flint River had lower birth weights, according to research published in the Journal of Population Economics.

Flint officials switched the drinking water to the Flint River in April 2014 in an effort to save money. It was later determined that the river had unsafe levels of lead, bacteria, and other contaminants, which had leached into the water, and thereby, the affecting residents of Flint.

Yale professor Xi Chen said, “Our study shows that the impact {of the Flint water crisis} is evident as early as the beginning of life, and it could be long-lasting for decades to come. It has much larger effects towards minority groups.”

The relationship between the Flint water crisis and lower birthweights will help researchers understand the long-term economic and social effects of water pollution. Since birth weight is the most critical factor in predicting long-term development like school performance or job placement and salary.

Compared to the national average, babies born in Flint were born over one ounce lighter, with a 15.5 percent frequency. Researchers found that mothers from majority groups with higher educations and incomes tended to purchase bottled water after the crisis, avoiding their exposure to lead contamination.

Those mothers who were at more of a disadvantage or in minority groups with lower education levels were more susceptible to giving birth to children with lower birth weight.

Chen said, “They [disadvantaged mothers] had very little room for adaptation because buying the [bottled] water needed knowledge and also the money.”

The people who suffered from the Flint water crisis experienced both long- and short-term consequences. Health disparities in early life stages might lead to more significant gaps in health and well-being throughout their lifetimes. About 1500 babies were born in the Flint area in 2014.

To ensure your water is free from lead and other contaminants, contact the water purification experts at Reynolds Water today.

Reynolds Water Conditioning was established in 1931 and is Michigan’s oldest water conditioning treatment company. Still owned and operated by the Reynolds family, we take pride in providing the highest quality products at a cost-effective price. If your tap water lacks the quality you deserve, contact us today at www.reynoldswater.com or call 800-572-9575.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Drinking Water Shouldn’t Reek of Chlorine

When appropriately applied, chlorine added to drinking water should not result in any type of odor reminiscent of a pool party. When chlorine can be smelled in water, there are exceedingly high levels of toxic chemical compounds reacting together.

Typically, drinking water comes from natural sources such as lakes, rivers, and streams. It can also be recycled in water treatment plants throughout cities to remove leaves, dirt, fish, and other organic waste.

One of the primary treatment methods used to remove the organic matter is chlorine, which is super-effective at killing harmful organisms (bacteria, parasites, viruses, etc.) Cholera, dysentery, and chronic diarrhea outbreaks were common before water chlorination treatment. Unfortunately, using chlorine to disinfect water isn’t foolproof.

The amount of chlorine needed for water disinfection varies and teeters on a thin line between too much and not enough. If the water smells like chlorine, the water utility in charge of disinfecting might be trying to meet the EPA’s standards by creating “chlorine burnout,” to flush the system. When chlorine levels are high, chloroform can result, which causes chemically-induced asthma and pneumonia.

Chloramine is another chemical treatment companies use to disinfect water, mixed with ammonia. Studies show that more than one in five Americans ingest chloramine in drinking water. While chlorine evaporates quickly, chloramine is more stable and will last longer in the water. Chloramine also causes deterioration of municipal infrastructure because of water chemistry. With lead pipe water systems, the reaction between lead and chloramine can leak lead into the drinking water, faucets, and showerheads.

If you smell chlorine in your drinking water, contact the purification experts at Reynolds Water today.

Reynolds Water Conditioning was established in 1931 and is Michigan’s oldest water conditioning treatment company. Still owned and operated by the Reynolds family, we take pride in providing the highest quality products at a cost-effective price. If your tap water lacks the quality you deserve, contact us today at www.reynoldswater.com or call 800-572-9575.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Michigan Creates Drinking Water Panel

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) recently created a Corrosion Control Advisory Panel aimed at drinking water remediation. EGLE also implemented new standards earlier in the year, including the Lead and Copper Rule (LCR), which helps detect lead in drinking water.

There are seven drinking water professionals on the Corrosion Control Advisory Panel:

  • Elin Betanzo, PE, president and founder, Safe Water Engineering, LLC
  • David Cornwell, CEO, Cornwell Engineering Group, Inc.
  • Darren Lytle, environmental engineer, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Drinking Water Management Branch CESER Water Infrastructure Division
  • Susan Masten, professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Michigan State University
  • Desmond Murray, associate professor of chemistry, Andrews University
  • Terese Olson, associate professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Michigan
  • Andrea Porter, environmental engineer, Groundwater & Drinking Water Branch, EPA, Region V

The panel’s purpose is to provide suggestions on strategies to comply with LCR corrosion protection requirements, give input regarding the corrosion protection methods, advise which actions would be most effective to ensure public protection, evaluate studies to make recommendations, and identify systems of measurement to assess corrosion control.

Michigan is ramping up its effort to diminish lead exposure in drinking water by repairing damaged and aging infrastructure throughout the state. The new Corrosion Control Advisory Panel will report to EGLE’s Drinking Water and Environmental Health Division (DWEHD), which regulates 2,685 public drinking water systems through the LCR.

The LCR requires drinking water systems to offer corrosion control when the federal level for copper or lead is exceeded. The purpose of the corrosion control is to limit heavy metals into drinking water, thereby protecting Michigan residents from harm. A statewide effort is already in the works to remove all lead service lines.

Are you concerned about what’s in your drinking water? Contact the purification experts at Reynolds Water Conditioning today.

Reynolds Water Conditioning was established in 1931 and is Michigan’s oldest water conditioning treatment company. Still owned and operated by the Reynolds family, we take pride in providing the highest quality products at a cost-effective price. If your tap water lacks the quality you deserve, contact us today at www.reynoldswater.com or call 800-572-9575.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Ozone Proves to be Useful to Disinfect Water

The standards of water disinfection are currently chlorine and ultraviolet light when pertaining to city water. A project called MIKROOZON backed by Schleswig-Holstein, CONDIAS, and the European Union aims to create a tiny ozone generator for people to use in water dispensers or appliances such as fridges or dishwashers.

There are several advantages when it comes to ozone being used for water disinfection, including a positive environmental impact, a short retention time, and tasteless quality. Ozone is an excellent choice when it comes to combatting germs, thanks to its high oxidation potential. The cell membrane in common pathogens is easily broken down by ozone.

Ozone water disinfection is the standard in Germany to clean swimming pools, drinking water, and wastewater. However, ozone is not typically implemented to purify water in small appliances such as ice machines, water dispensers, and showers.

Norman Laske, a researcher at Fraunhofer ISIT, said, “The ozone generator is very compact and can be integrated in systems and appliances that require regular disinfection. You simply connect it up to the water line, and it will produce the right amount of ozonized water whenever required.”

Only a couple of centimeters in size, the ozone generator can generate pure, clean water through electrolysis.

Volker Holinder, CEO of CONDIAS GmbH, said, “Each partner has contributed years of experience from their own area of specialization. This has created a product that can now be manufactured on an industrial scale. The spread of the coronavirus has underlined the importance of disinfection. The use of chemical disinfectants is often problematic, because they leave harmful residues. Our system uses electrolytically generated ozone to eliminate germs. It therefore does not produce any residues from disinfectants.”

Do you have dirty water? Contact the water purification experts at Reynolds Water today.

Reynolds Water Conditioning was established in 1931 and is Michigan’s oldest water conditioning treatment company. Still owned and operated by the Reynolds family, we take pride in providing the highest quality products at a cost-effective price. If your tap water lacks the quality you deserve, contact us today at www.reynoldswater.com or call 800-572-9575.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Signs of Dehydration

Water is an essential aspect of our lives; we drink, bathe, cleanse, and use water daily. The chemistry of life is based on water; over 60 percent of the human body is made up of water.

In the human body, water is necessary for vital functions, including:

  • Manufacturing hormones
  • Creating saliva
  • Keeping mucus membranes moist
  • Allowing the body’s cells to grow and reproduce
  • Regulating body temperature
  • Acting as a shock absorber for the spinal cord and brain
  • Flushing body waste
  • Maintaining a sufficient electrolyte balance
  • Lubricating joints
  • Digesting food
  • Delivering oxygen and nutrients throughout the body
  • Running most body parts

Despite being made up of so much water, the human body can only produce about eight percent of the water necessary for survival, meaning 92 percent has to be ingested through food and beverages. Moreover, we lose an average of three liters of water every day by sweating, breathing, and using the restroom. Therefore, we need to constantly replenish our water supply throughout the day.

There are various recommendations for water intake, ranging from 68 to 91 fluid ounces per day for women and 85 to 125 fluid ounces for adult males. A hydration calculator by Hydration for Health takes different factors into account to ensure your water intake is accurate.

Unfortunately, many people throughout the United States fall below the recommended daily intake. Sugary beverages (pop, fruit juice, energy drinks, coffee, tea, alcohol, etc.) are all diuretics, which deplete water from the body.

Consequently, symptoms of dehydration are rampant throughout the country, and most people do not even realize it. Signs of dehydration include:

  • Brain fog
  • Mood swings
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Sleepiness
  • Lack of energy
  • Headaches
  • Constipation

Effects of dehydration can persist despite replenishing water, so it’s important to stay adequately hydrated at all times.

To improve the water quality in your home or business, contact the experts at Reynolds Water today.

Reynolds Water Conditioning was established in 1931 and is Michigan’s oldest water conditioning treatment company. Still owned and operated by the Reynolds family, we take pride in providing the highest quality products at a cost-effective price. If your tap water lacks the quality you deserve, contact us today at www.reynoldswater.com or call 800-572-9575.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.