29 Michigan Water Systems Awarded Protection Grants

Fresh, clean water is something many Michiganders might take for granted. Over 10 million people throughout the state rely on clean drinking water through the Great Lakes, so protecting it is crucial to ensure safe, healthy water is available for future generations. 

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) recently granted more than $436,000 to 29 public water systems throughout the state. The money awarded will also help fund programs to protect clean water sources and educate the public about the origins of their water and how to keep it clean.

Ranging from $1,675 to $70,000, the grants include updated plans for ten wellhead protection areas. Applicants must match 50 percent of the funds for the projects, develop a water protection team, and show long-term commitment to their source water protection programs. 

Sara Pearson, a source water unit supervisor with ELGE’s Drinking Water and Environmental Health Division (DWEHD) said, “EGLE is on the job every day working with Michigan’s 1,381 community water systems to deliver safe water to residents. But the first and most crucial step in the process is to ensure that the lakes, rivers, or groundwater wells that deliver that water are free of contaminants. These grants will help communities keep those water sources safe and reliable.”

September 25 through October 1 was Source Water Protection Week, as announced by the American Water Works Association. The grants were revealed in conjunction with this special week. 

To discover where your drinking water originates, search the Drinking Water Toolkit. 

Need further assistance with clean water? You’ve come to the right place; Reynolds Water has the equipment you need for clean, pure water for your home or office.

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 800-572-9575.Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems: https://www.cpsmi.com/

Flint Water Still Tainted with Toxic Lead

Just as we thought it was over, the Flint lead water crisis continues. During testing over the first half of this year, the level of lead in the city’s tap water has increased. State environmental officials attribute the spike to additional testing of businesses known to have lead in their service lines. 

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) recently shared the results of Flint’s Lead and Copper Rule testing, saying samples taken from 61 homes and businesses showed 90 percent registered lead readings of lead at or below 10 parts per billion (ppb).

The federal action level is currently set at 15 ppb, so the Flint results are lower than the 90th percentile. The most recent testing is the second consecutive water sampling period that showed an increase in samples higher than 15 ppb. The first half of 2022 registered at 10 ppb, while during the first six months of 2021, it was 3 ppb; the last half of 2021, 7 ppb. 

In Michigan, the threshold for lead will increase from 12 ppb to 15 ppb starting in 2025. Currently, all public water systems are required to test tap water for lead and copper. If levels are found above 15 ppb in the system’s 90th percentile, actions must be taken to remediate the metals.

As for Flint, city officials have acknowledged that the water testing system was deeply flawed before the crisis of 2016. Federal regulations required the water to be tested in homes with lead service lines, but Flint failed to focus on these situations. 

EGLE attributes the latest heightened test results to Flint’s increasing Tier 2 non-residential sites. Fewer homes have lead service lines, thanks to the city’s program to replace lead and galvanized steel water service lines in response to the crisis. More than 95 percent of Flint homes no longer have lead and/or copper in their service lines. 

However, this has now triggered the addition of non-residential testing sites. Kris Donaldson, EGLE’s clean drinking water public advocate, said, “As Flint nears completion of its lead service line replacement program, we are seeing clear evidence that the focus will need to shift to interior plumbing and continued education on how to reduce lead exposures in the home as outlined on the state’s MI Lead Safe website.” 

After the Flint water crisis, Michigan adopted the country’s toughest lead rules for drinking water in 2018. Now, all public water systems are required to replace an average of five percent of lead service lines every year for the next 20 years. 

Test and Remove Lead from your home or business’s drinking water with Reynold’s Water Conditioning equipment!  

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 800-572-9575.

Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems: https://www.cpsmi.com/ 

Milford Drinking Water Endangered by Underground Contamination

A treatment system is swiftly being constructed in the Village of Milford to counteract underground contamination seeping into the drinking water system from a former automotive supplier (Kelsey-Hayes) plant. The toxic plume is threatening the community of roughly 6,500 people by exposing them to vinyl chloride. 

According to the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy, an unsafe level of the dangerous chemical was detected in a monitoring well in May, located only 150 feet from Milford’s drinking water intake system. 

Though the toxin has not officially been detected in the public water supply, it “Represents an imminent and substantial endangerment to the public health, safety, welfare, or the environment,” according to the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE). 

Milford Village Manager Christian Wuerth said, “It’s not a good thing. When you get something like this and it hits close, it’s obviously a concern. I live here, my family’s here, I’ve got friends here. The concern is for everyone in the community and making sure we’ve got clean drinking water.” 

In 1989, the village found a chemical called cis-1,2- dichloroethane, a toxic organic compound, in water found below a vacant downtown parcel once owned by Kelsey-Hayes, according to Kevin Wojciechowski, project manager of EGLE’s remediation and redevelopment sector. 

Kelsey-Hayes closed its doors and demolished its manufacturing plant in 2001. In 2015, ZF Active Safety US acquired the business after taking over TRW Automotive. According to Wojciechowski, ZF is now responsible for the cleanup of the Milford property.

Tony Sapienza, a ZF spokesman, said, “ZF is fully committed to continuing our longstanding working relationship with EGLE and the Village of Milford to ensure that these ongoing activities at the site address impacts from the former industrial operations and that they meet the timelines specified in the administrative order.” 

Wojciechowski said, “This is something that EGLE and the village and others have been dealing with, unfortunately, for a long time. The vinyl chloride is something new that’s come about, but we’ve had a long issue out here of dealing with these issues in the village.”

Don’t let contaminated, toxic water affect you or your family. Contact Reynolds Water today to schedule a consultation and ensure your drinking and shower water is pure and pristine.

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 800-572-9575.

Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems: https://www.cpsmi.com/

Novel Technology Can Remediate Forever Chemicals in Water

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances called PFAS are virtually indestructible and infiltrate the bodies of more than 200 million Americans in all 50 states. These cancer-causing carcinogens are present in drinking water across the country.

These man-made chemicals are tough and durable and have been widely used for their ability to repel oil and water in firefighting foams, cosmetics, non-stick cookware (Teflon), anti-static spray, and more. You can’t see, taste, or smell PFAS, so it’s impossible to know whether your water is contaminated unless you test for it. 

Since PFAS do not break down over time in the environment, they can easily contaminate soil and drinking water. Over time, these chemicals make their way into the food chain, with 99.9 percent of people worldwide having PFAS in their bloodstream.

PFAS have been around for more than 60 years, and remediation has yet to be discovered…until now.  Battelle, a scientific nonprofit, has developed a new technology that can finally eliminate PFAS. Using water oxidation, supercritical chemical bonds can be broken down in just seconds.

Amy Dindal, PFAS program manager for Battelle said, “The [PFAS] threat is real. ‘Supercritical water’ means that you increase the temperature and increase the pressure and you get it into a special state, where the oxidation will occur more naturally. So in this special state, it breaks the [carbon–fluorine] bond.”

Battelle claims it has successfully utilized the process to destroy PFAS in drinking water and has started partnering with the waste management company Heritage Crystal-Clean for further testing.

Brian Recatto, CEO of Heritage Crystal-Clean, said, “I absolutely think it’s an answer that nobody has had before. We’re hoping to have a scalable version of the plant within six- to eight months.”

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 team at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

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.

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.

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.