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.

Distrust of Tap Water Results

Throughout the United States, an increasing number of Americans show signs of distrust in tap water. About 60 million did not drink their tap water in 2018, according to a study published by Pennsylvania State University researchers. This marked a 40 percent increase when compared to 2014.

The drinking water crisis that emerged in Flint prompted the rise in consumers questioning tap water purity. Despite assurances that the water was safe, scientists proved them wrong by conducting independent tests showing astonishingly high lead levels.

Though the water crisis in Flint was broadly publicized, other cities have struggled with lead in their water systems as well. Washington, DC, Chicago, Newark, Toledo, Ohio, and Charleston, West Virginia, have all been publicly grappling with drinking water emergencies.

Erik Olson, senior director of the National Resources Defense Council, said, “The fundamental problem with drinking water is that we continue to live off the investments of our great-grandparents. Most of the drinking water to this day is still delivered through pipes that are many decades old and treated with WWI-era technology. PFAS, found in everything from fast food wrappers to fire-fighting foams, are called ‘permanent chemicals’ because they don’t break down easily and can build up in people and animals.”

Concrete and cast-iron pipes can be over 125 years old; there are more than 250,000 water pipe breaks in the United States annually. When these pipes fracture, pathogens can contaminate water headed right into homes.  

The toxic algae bloom in Lake Erie affected Toledo, and a coal processing plant leaked chemicals from a storage tank in Charleston. Despite efforts by city authorities, advanced filtration systems still (or other pricy solutions) cause residents to be wary of drinking tap water.

“Dark Waters” is a 2019 film analyzing attorney Robert Bilott’s 20-year legal fight against DuPont. The manufacturing giant was knowingly discharging PFAS chemicals in Parkersburg, West Virginia, which caused cancer and immune system problems in humans and animals, including livestock. These “forever chemicals” are at the top of many peoples’ lists regarding tap water contamination. PFAS are present in the blood of 99 percent of humans. Environmental Working Group released an interactive map that shows the levels of PFAS contamination throughout the United States. 

Are you concerned about the number or type of chemicals in your drinking water? Let Reynolds Water Conditioning purify your 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.

EPA Grants 1.2M to U-M to Study Wastewater Viruses

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has granted the University of Michigan researchers $1.2 million. The purpose of the funds is to study the efficiency of current wastewater virus removal treatments. One of the overall goals is to increase the viability of using wastewater as drinking water.

While existing technologies might be quite effective, they can be equally complex. By upgrading the water treatment facilities – particularly in drought-prone areas – reusing wastewater might be more realistic and practical.

Krista Wigginton, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, said, “In areas where water scarcity is becoming a growing concern, they may be forced to look at methods like desalination or potable reuse for their drinking water. If we make reuse rules too stringent, and we’re not giving treatment systems the proper credit for what they’re already removing from the water, we’re going to create a much more expensive project for communities.”

Wigginton will lead a three-year study to identify what aspects of water quality can be monitored in real-time. Using three methods (ozone, coagulation/flocculation/sedimentation, and biological wastewater treatment), the researchers will evaluate whether viruses are effectively removed during those processes. 

Contaminated and strained water resources combined with a rising global population are determining factors for treating and reusing wastewater as drinking water. According to the World Health Organization, half of the global population will reside in “water-stressed” areas. In the United States, countless regions are experiencing lengthy droughts that compromise water supplies.

The EPA said, “The changing climate is challenging many communities to meet their long-term water needs. Reuse of treated wastewater and stormwater for agricultural, nonpotable or even potable uses provides an alternative source of water that can be more reliable than traditional water sources.”

Wigginton said, “We may actually be better at virus removal than we already know. For some of these processes, like ultraviolet light, we already have robust models for predicting how they eliminate viruses. But for others that may not have been studied as much, we don’t have these models. We want to correct that.”

Are you interested in purifying your water? Contact Reynolds Water Conditioning Co. today to learn how we can improve your 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.

EPA Issues First PFAS Regulations

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is focused on distinguishing chances to better protect public health and the environment. Recently, the EPA unveiled the Preliminary Effluent Guidelines Program Plan 15, which aims to reduce chemicals in wastewater.

In an effort to lower toxins from specific industries, the EPA enacted three new rules or guidelines to reduce per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and other pollutants.

Radhika Fox, Assistant Administrator for Water, said, “To protect drinking water supplies, recreational waters, and aquatic ecosystems, it is essential that we utilize the latest scientific and technological breakthroughs in wastewater treatment. Importantly and for the first time, EPA is committing to limit PFAS in wastewater discharges.”

The two standards for PFAS pertain to the following industries:

  • Metal finishing industries are to remediate PFAS discharges from chromium electroplating facilities
  • Industries manufacturing organic chemicals, plastics, and synthetic fibers to clean up PFAS runoff from buildings manufacturing the chemical

Nutrient discharges from meat and poultry product industries are also to be addressed. Also included in the report was the steam electric power generating category. The EPA will consider reinforcing the already-strict limits which apply to coal power plants regarding waste streams used to produce electricity.

PFAS are man-made substances used in industrial settings to create thousands of products worldwide. Dubbed “Forever Chemicals,” these chemicals do not break down over time and are extremely persistent in the environment. Found in the blood of 99.9 percent of human beings across the globe, it’s impossible to reverse exposure to PFAS.

Present in everyday household items, food, drinking water, living organisms, workplace facilities, and much more, PFAS are found in carpet, Teflon products (cookware, Scotchguard, etc.), leather, apparel, rubber plastics, paper, packaging, and so much more. The list is seemingly endless.

PFAS is an emerging issue because it has been found to create a host of health issues in living beings, including humans. Adverse health effects include problems with the reproductive system, developmental and fetal complications, immune system impediments, autoimmune disease spikes, thyroid hormone disruption, and cancer.

To reduce PFAS from your drinking water, contact the treatment experts at Reynolds 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.

Ohio’s Chippewa Lake Celebrates Two Years Sans Algal Blooms

Ohio’s largest inland natural lake, Chippewa Lake, is commending its method of algal bloom treatment by celebrating the second anniversary of complete remediation. BlueGreen Water Technologies issued a press release explaining how their treatment halted five years of sky-high toxicity levels in the lake. The treatment product, called Lake Guard® Blue, removed the toxic algae in only 24 hours and marked the first full-scale United States implementation.

Dr. Moshe Harel, BlueGreen CSO, said, “The success of BlueGreen’s treatment in Chippewa Lake was achieved through a change of phytoplankton composition: the Lake Guard® Blue effectively removed the toxic cyanobacterial species to boost the “immune system” of the lake. By increasing the diversity of beneficial phytoplankton species and restoring the lake to a healthy ecosystem, we have prevented the resurgence of the harmful cyanobacteria.”

Professor Aaron Kaplan, Chair of BlueGreen’s Scientific Board, said, “This event is a milestone along BlueGreen’s road of achievements. The fact that Chippewa Lake remains clean while all other lakes in the region are under harmful algal bloom alert speaks for itself.”

BlueGreen was named the Global Water Awards’ “2021 Breakthrough Technology Company of the Year” by Global Water Intelligence (GWI) and operates on a global scale to identify and remedy toxic blue-green algae blooms.

Dr. Waleed Nasser, Director of Operations of BlueGreen US, said, “The significance of this milestone cannot be overstated, as recurring toxic blooms can be so devastating to communities like Chippewa Lake.”

Do you want to ensure your water is clean, pure, and refreshing? Contact the water treatment experts today at Reynolds Water Conditioning.

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.

Lasting Drought Forces Reservoirs into Record Lows

According to the United States Geological Survey, some of America’s largest reservoirs – Lake Powell, Lake Mead, and Utah’s Great Salt Lake – have reached record lows, with more decline expected in the coming months.

Lake Powell’s water level has plummeted to the lowest level since the United States Government began filling the reservoir in the 1960s. The Western drought is responsible for creating severe conditions. Lake Powell stretches from Utah to Arizona and is currently experiencing a “megadrought.”  

A 24-month study was recently released by the Federal Bureau of Reclamation, which showed that the amount of water flowing into Lake Powell had plummeted considerably in the previous six months. With water restrictions already in place, they could become more strict as the Bureau of Reclamation outlined a 79 percent chance that the lake will fall below 3,525 feet next year.

Wayne Pullan, the Upper Colorado Basin regional director for the Bureau of Reclamation, said, “This is a serious situation.”

Lake Mead is also suffering from historically low levels of water. Both Lake Mead and Lake Powell are connected through a river system that delivers water to over 40 million people. The two reservoirs are among the largest in the United States.

A dam on Lake Mead provides hydropower for many Western states; electric production from the Hoover Dam has plunged by roughly 25 percent as a direct result of the drought.

Utah’s Great Salt Lake has reached a new low due to higher temperatures and a lack of rainfall.

Ineffective water management combined with the effects of climate change has led to the droughts, which could potentially worsen soon. 

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.

Inaugural PFAS Conference Held by EWG

The first annual PFAS conference was sponsored and organized by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a non-profit, non-partisan organization that empowers people to live healthier lives in healthier environments. The event was free and shed light on PFAS: the toxic “Forever Chemicals” that run rampant through our world.

PFAS stands for man-made per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances used in industrial settings to create thousands of products worldwide. Dubbed “Forever Chemicals,” these chemicals do not break down over time and are extremely persistent in the environment. Found in the blood of 99.9 percent of human beings across the globe, it’s impossible to reverse exposure to PFAS.

Present in common household items, food, drinking water, living organisms, workplace facilities, and much more, PFAS are found in carpet, Teflon products (cookware, Scotchguard, etc.), leather, apparel, rubber plastics, paper, packaging, and so much more. The list is seemingly endless.

PFAS is an emerging issue because it has been found to create a host of health issues in living beings, including humans. Adverse health effects include problems with the reproductive system, developmental and fetal complications, immune system impediments, autoimmune disease spikes, thyroid hormone disruption, and cancer.

Conference attendees watched as policymakers, scientists, and other experts shared the latest PFAS developments. They also highlighted work being done to address the harmful health impacts of these chemicals on human health and our environment.

A recent study published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology Letters highlighted that the current approach for regulating and managing PFAS has failed to protect public health. In response, researchers recommended a new approach, which outlaws all PFAS non-essential use.

David Q. Andrews, Ph.D., co-author of the study and senior scientist at EWG, said, “The regulation of toxic PFAS chemicals using a one-chemical-at-a-time approach has completely failed to protect our public health. Decades after knowing about the harms caused by PFAS such as DuPont’s Teflon and 3M’s Scotchgard, our government has not set laws banning use, establishing drinking water limits or even classifying these chemicals as hazardous substances and requiring cleanup.”

During the conference, Dr. Elsie Sunderland, a professor of Environmental Science and Engineering in the Department of Environmental Health at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, shared that we are only measuring a small subsection of PFAS compounds, which means we are probably miscalculating human exposure by a considerable amount.

Do you want to limit your exposure to PFAS? Contact Reynolds Water Conditioning to schedule a filter installation at your home or business 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.

America’s Water Towers Are Contaminated

A recent article published by USA TODAY investigates the issues with water towers across America. This in-depth analysis is imperative, as most Americans take clean water for granted. Water towers generally serve as the most visible – and vulnerable – point in public water supplies. Openings as tiny as a few millimeters could be a factor in the difference between consuming clean or contaminated water.

Investigators are known to find dead snakes, mice, and raccoons floating in water storage tanks, along with pigeon feces and other animal excrements. Experts estimate that contaminated tap water causes tens of millions of illnesses yearly, leading to nearly 1,000 deaths throughout America; however, the number of deaths caused by water tower contamination is unknown, as this is not tracked.

USA TODAY and Indiana University’s Arnolt Center for Investigative Journalism started a joint investigation that found disparities in water tank management. As a result, the public is at risk for multiple risks, especially in the absence of federal regulations. Each state has the authority to determine how to handle inspection frequency, cleaning, and more. Surprisingly, some states appear to have no rules whatsoever. Some are only checked every three to five years due to federal law.

Enforcement of the rules can be lax; a city investigation stemmed from customer complaints found a 50-year maintenance gap in Delray Beach, Florida. According to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, water storage tanks must be inspected and cleaned every five years. The water storage tank of Delray Beach, Florida, had not been cleaned since it was built in 1972.

“Nobody could remember a time when those [water] tanks were cleaned,” said George Gretsas, Delray’s city manager at the time, after inquiring with staff members. “It’s widespread corruption within the utilities department. They regularly cover themselves up,” he added.

Some examples of water tank maintenance across the United States:

  • In 1993, 650 people were sick – seven died – from a salmonella outbreak in Gideon, Missouri. Apparently, bird droppings entered the water tank through a vent.
  • Roughly 1,300 people were sick, and one died, after a salmonella outbreak in 2008, stemming from the water storage tank in Alamosa, Colorado.
  • Two five-year-old boys died in 2002 after bathing in tap water contaminated by Naegleria fowleri, a microscopic organism that infects the brain. In an investigation, a chlorinated water storage tank in Peoria, Arizona, was found to be the culprit.

There are countless stories regarding contaminated water tanks and millions of cases of gastrointestinal or respiratory illnesses that people inadvertently got from their drinking water.

Read the full report from USA TODAY to learn more. To purify your drinking water and protect yourself and your family from contaminants, contact the experts at Reynolds 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.