Another ‘Forever Chemical’ Called 1,4 Dioxane Found in Ann Arbor

Popular in the second half of the 20th century, 1,4-dioxane was used in pharmaceutical ingredients, filters, metal degreasers, and more. In toxicity studies, laboratory rodents given the chemical in their drinking water developed liver cancer. The United States National Toxicology Program classifies 1,4,-dioxane as a human carcinogen. The United States Environmental Protection Agency also deemed the synthetic chemical a likely carcinogen.

In the United States, production of 1,4-dioxane has diminished, though certain companies import it from Germany to supply customers. Even as the use of 1,4 dioxane declines, the chemical is not disappearing. Water monitoring data collected from 2010 to 2015 shows that more than seven million people in the United States in 27 different states had utility-supplied tap water with detectible levels of 1,4-dioxane according to the Environmental Working Group (EWG).

There is currently no federal limit on 1,4 dioxane in drinking water, and removing it is challenging. When released into the air, the chemical poses a cancer risk. However, it doesn’t float through the air often or evaporate easily. It dissolves completely in water, even at high concentrations, making it difficult to remove.

Traditional groundwater treatments filter water through granulated activated carbon to remove chlorine and other contaminants. This technology is not applicable to 1,4-dioxane. Many communities have water tainted with worrisome levels of 1,4-dioxane. After leaking out of landfills or as a result of unregulated industrial practices, 1,4-dioxane may infiltrate public aquifers.

In Ann Arbor, between 1966 and 1986, 1,4-dioxane was filtered into groundwater through lagoons that held wastewater from the manufacture of medical and industrial filtration equipment at Gelman Sciences, which has since closed. There is currently litigation regarding the underground plume of 1,4-dioxane headed for the Huron River, Ann Arbor’s main source of drinking water.

Cleaning products, laundry detergents, and shampoos still contain 1,4-dioxane as an unintentional impurity from surfactants, typically rinsed down the drain.

To learn more about the chemicals that might be in your water or gain solutions to these issues, contact the water 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.

Erin Brockovich Claims the US is in an Unimaginable Water Crisis

In 2000, Erin Brockovich became the subject of an Academy-award winning feature film, which depicted her role in a lawsuit against Pacific Gas & Electric. Portrayed by Julia Roberts, Brockovich is known for almost single-handedly bringing down the California-based power company accused of polluting a city’s water supply. Through the years, she has continued to raise awareness concerning pollution and other environmental threats.

In an opinion article for The Guardian, Brockovich wrote, “We are in a water crisis beyond anything you can imagine. Pollution and toxins are everywhere, stemming from the hazardous wastes of industry and agriculture. We’ve got more than 40,000 chemicals on the market today with only a few hundred regulated. We’ve had industrial byproducts discarded into the ground and into our water supply for years. This crisis affects everyone – rich or poor, black or white, Republican or Democrat. Communities everywhere think they are safe when they are not.”

“These issues start with tiny seeds of deception that add up over months and years to become major problems. Our resources are exhausted. Corruption is rampant. Officials are trying to cover their tracks. People are not putting the pieces together when it comes to the severity of this crisis. I’ve got senators and doctors calling me, asking me what to do,” Brockovich stated.

Brockovich stressed the importance of not succumbing to despair. No single person or entity can correct the issues solo; communities must work in tandem to remedy this issue.  In response to the countless calls and community outreach she has experienced, Brockovich created the Community Healthbook to allow individuals and community groups to “report and view health-related concerns and community environmental issues by geographic area and health-related topic.”

For more information or to read the entire article, check out The Guardian. Want to know what’s in your water? Call the water purification experts at Reynolds Water Conditioning Co. at 800-572-9575. We test water quality and purification, install filters, and much more.

Reynolds Water Conditioning Co. 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 offering 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.

State of Michigan to Pay Victims of Flint Water Crisis $600M

Flint residents affected by the toxic lead water crisis will be eligible to receive payments from a $600 million preliminary settlement. A court-monitored victim compensation fund will allow Flint water crisis victims to receive hundreds of millions of dollars in payments. The parties involved in the settlement include the state of Michigan, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, and all individual state defendants, including former governor Rick Snyder.

Almost 80 percent of the settlement fund will be divvied out to children who were under 18 when the crisis began in April 2014. The effects of lead are especially poignant in children, as the mineral impacts brain development. An earmarked $12-million fund will be created in escrow to offer special education and other services for children who suffer chronic health/behavioral impacts as a direct result of lead poisoning. Another $35 million will be placed in a trust for “forgotten children” who cannot file claims within the required time frame and will be eligible to do so when they reach adult age.

“The residents of Flint were victims of horrendous decisions by the state, its employees, and other defendants that have resulted in tragic and devastating consequences,” said Florida attorney Ted Leopold. He was appointed by a federal judge along with Royal Oak attorney Michael Pitt, to lead a class-action litigation combining scores of individual lawsuits. “While we can never undo the damage that occurred to the citizens and community of Flint, we are pleased that today we were able to secure a measure of justice for the Flint community,’ Leopold stated.

As for the US Environmental Protection Agency and other private organizations involved in the shift of Flint’s drinking water source from (safe) Lake Huron to the (toxic) Flint River, litigation will continue.

Concerned about toxins, minerals, and/or contaminants in your drinking water? The experts at Reynolds Water Conditioning are committed to solving your water needs. We offer several services to ensure your water is the best it has ever been…chemical-free. For more information about the Flint Water Crisis, read the full Detroit Free Press article.

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.

Rust from Irrigation Systems: Causes, Treatments, & Prevention

If you have an irrigation system, you probably have rust spots appearing on the side of your home, on patio furniture, paved ways, landscaping, and other areas. The iron within your water causes these reddish-brown spots, particularly for those who have well water. Rust can also form in a standard municipal water system but in considerably fewer amounts. In this article, we discuss how you can treat and prevent rust from forming around your property. 

Removing Rust & Iron Stains  

Before tackling the main problem – removing the rust from your water supply – you should remove the stains that have built up over time that have formed around your property. You can do this with many cleaners, but Magica is a renowned product for removing spotty rust stains and is safe for any surface, including concrete, wood, fabric, and metal. Even after you remove these stains, they will come back, and you will need to find a more permanent solution to tackle the root of the issue by fixing the iron levels in your water supply.

Your water must be oxidized and then filtered out to remove the iron, and you can only do this with a filter that uses manganese dioxide or a form of catalytic media that will react with the iron. Depending on your water’s characteristics, you may need to use an oxidizer like chlorine, oxygen, or hydrogen peroxide. Removing rust is important as it is aesthetically unpleasant and does damage to your plants and surfaces, sometimes killing vegetation entirely.

The Reynolds Irrigation Stain Control System

The Reynolds Irrigation Stain Control System is a preventative maintenance process that prevents rust from forming on all surfaces of your home, including your white linens and the bathtub. This system has an RC solution; a clear blue concentrated non-toxic neutral phosphate that will prevent mineral and iron stains. The solution is 100% bio-degradable and is injected into the irrigation stream as it enters your water supply. 

The feed system includes a solution tank, industrial-grade flow switch, and a high-performance solid-state injection pump, which is adjustable so solutions can be appropriately proportioned for any water quality. This product is one of the best treatments for preventing rust formation occurring with your irrigation system. 

Reynolds Water Conditioning Co. was established in 1931 and is Michigan’s oldest water conditioning treatment company. Still owned and operated by the Reynolds family, Reynolds Water Conditioning takes pride in offering the highest quality products at a cost-effective price. https://www.reynoldswater.com | 1-800-572-9575

5 Trends That Will Affect the Water Industry in the Next Decade

The water industry is posed to have several new changes that happen within the next decade due to rapid urbanization, climate change, consumer demands, and emerging digital technologies. Complex business challenges will arise, and companies can turn these changes into opportunities that could benefit both businesses and consumers and the environment. Below, are five trends that will have an impact on the water industry within the next decade:

1. Extreme Weather

It is anticipated that we will have more extreme weather in the next decade than ever recorded before. Most of the climate change is attributed to water, and these changes will influence agricultural production, rises in sea levels, and wildfires leading to droughts and floods. 

Hard engineering structures such as dikes, seawalls, and levees can be built to protect coastal communities against severe flooding. The use of intricate water modeling technologies can help determine current vulnerabilities and offer better solutions to address these coastal challenges.

2. Agricultural Changes

The UN has projected that the world’s population will reach more than nine billion by 2050 and making sure that there is enough food for everyone will be essential. It is estimated that global food production needs to be increased by at least 70% to maintain enough food. To keep up with these demands, there needs to be enough arable land for crop production and more efficient irrigation technology to handle the requests. Precision farming systems, coupled with emerging technologies to improve agricultural production, will help in using less water for more crops. 

3. Reusing Wastewater

Wastewater is made up of many valuable elements such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and other resources that can be used for energy and be reused instead of letting them be discarded back into the environment. The current water consumption model is liner in nature, meaning that water is extracted from a source, checked for quality, consumed, treated, and discharged in a receiving body of water. In the next decade, we will see the emergence of a more circular model, one of which focuses on reusing wastewater and utilizing its properties we are currently discarding. To do this, we will need to rethink and redesign the current infrastructure. 

4. Customer-Led Revolution

Digital technologies are used by consumers nearly every moment of the day, empowering them more than ever. People expect more personalized products and services to improve every aspect of their life, which will only increase as time goes on. Businesses must accept that the new paradigm of the empowered customer adapts their mindsets to service this expectation. Technologies for smart water softeners, filtration systems, and other consumer products will give homeowners more control over bills, utilization, and overall maintenance. The water industry will be challenged to examine how to work with businesses, consumers, and technologies to achieve the desired goals for all. 

5. Smart Network and Technologies

As we progress into a more tech-driven world, smart water network solutions will increase in use and improve the reliability of physical water operations by gathering and analyzing data more effectively. The Internet of Things (IoT) is a term coined to describe all devices connected to the internet and speak with each other, sending data, automatic process, and analytics. IoT will help better manage the water industry infrastructure and reduce non-revenue water losses; it will also support essential changes to how utility companies operate and function. This will allow the opportunity to improve productivity and ROI, all while enhancing customer experience and expectations. 

Reynolds Water Conditioning Co. was established in 1931 and is Michigan’s oldest water conditioning treatment company. Reynolds Water is delighted to provide the highest quality products at a cost-effective price. www.reynoldswater.com

The Benefits of Reverse Osmosis

Most homeowners choose a reverse osmosis system for their water filtration needs. Reverse osmosis works by forcing water across several layers of a semi-permeable membrane to catch contaminants. Particles that are caught are then flushed out of the system. This is a process in which dissolved inorganic solids (such as salts) are removed from a solution (such as water).

Key Benefits of a Reverse Osmosis System:

  • Improves Taste. When water is filtered with reverse osmosis (RO), it removes contaminants that could alter the taste and odor. Another benefit is texture and softness. Your water should look, taste, and feel refreshing. 
  • Saves Money. With a RO system, you can stop purchasing cases of bottled water and discontinue water delivery. This will save you a lot of money and cost you only pennies per gallon for better tasting water.
  • Helps the Environment. Drinking water from your own kitchen facet cuts down on plastic bottles that can end up in landfills. For every six bottles of water purchased, Americans on average, only recycle one of them.   
  • Easy Maintenance. The simplicity of RO systems cannot be underestimated. Surprisingly, these systems are straightforward to clean, fix, and service. There are very few moving parts; thus, identifying and replacing parts is relativity easy.
  • Removes Impurities. Reverse osmosis removes a plethora of pollutants from water. The common contaminants that a RO can eliminate are nitrates, pesticides, sulfates, fluoride, bacteria, pharmaceuticals, arsenic, and much more. The carbon filter within the RO system will also remove chlorine and chloramines. 

Reverse osmosis is an effective and affordable way to improve the health, taste, odor, and overall quality of your water. Read more about reverse osmosis here

Tips on Keeping Your Water Softener Running Efficiently

There are plenty of things that can go wrong with your water softener over time, and regular maintenance is a must if you want to ensure that your unit works consistently. Below are a few common issues with water softeners and some tips that will help you make your softener work more efficiently and last longer.

Avoid Salt Bridges and Salt Mushing: 

A salt bridge occurs when a hard crust forms in the brine tank and creates a space between the water and the salt. This prevents the salt from dissolving into the water to make the brine. You may notice an issue if your salt tank appears full, but your water seems hard. The best way to tell if you have a salt bridge is to take the end of a broom handle and press against the top of the salt wall. If the top of the salt collapses inwards, then you have a salt bridge.

Salt Mushing:

This is the more serious of the two issues and happens when dissolved salt recrystallizes to form sludge at the bottom of the tank. The thick layer of salt at the bottom keeps the water softener from properly cycling through the regeneration process and leaves the water hard and blocking the rest of the tank filtration. Salt mushing is probably the cause of hard water if you already tested for bridging. 

Be Selective with Your Salt Choice:

There are three basic types of water softener salts available for softeners: rock, solar, and evaporated. Rock salt, the least expensive of the three, contains higher levels of insoluble minerals or impurities and can muddy your tank over time, decreasing the softening elements. The second option is solar salt, which is more soluble than rock salt, is obtained by the evaporation of seawater, and is found in both pellet and crystal form. The last option is evaporated salt and is obtained through a combination of mining and evaporation and is the purest form of salt at 99.99% sodium chloride. 

By periodically checking your water softener, you can keep it running smoothly with little to no hard water occurring. Read more on other tips to ensure you have a fully functional water softener system here

Water Quality Association Executive Lists Life Sustaining Businesses Essential for Covid-19 Pandemic

Paul Undesser, WAQ Executive Director, announced Shelter-in-Place Directives for the COVID-19 pandemic on March 20, 2020. Undesser announced that certain water treatment businesses are deemed “essential” for sustaining life per the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). 

The types of companies listed are; water treatment professionals, manufacturers, deliveries, and service providers point-of-use and point-of-entry (POU/POE) water treatment products and services. Due to the critical products and services these companies provide within the water drinking and purification industries, they provide crucial roles in life-sustaining activities.

The DHS issued advisory guidance to state, local, and tribal officials on March 19 regarding the assigning of essential workers who are critical to maintaining important operations and public works. The DHS labeled those within the plumbing, electrical, extermination, and other service providers “essential” who provide services that are necessary to maintaining safety, sanitation, and essential operations of residences. More on this announcement can be found here.

The Use of Water Softeners Continue Rising Worldwide

According to this article, a global survey was conducted showing an increase in the use of water softeners to create safe drinking water worldwide. Additionally, there has been a rise in awareness for utilizing water softeners for balancing the proper amounts of magnesium and calcium safe for drinking levels.

If a person drinks soft water with higher levels of magnesium or calcium, it can lead to increased health problems. Experts are also advising people to stay clear of water softener systems that use sodium instead of magnesium and calcium. 

Water softener systems that use magnesium and calcium can not only offer health advantages but also save you money when compared to other softener systems.

Coronavirus Sparks Concern on Bottled Water Shortage

The U.S Environmental Protection Agency is in the process of reassuring residents that water from their tap is safe to consume. However, hundreds of people are crowding local grocery stores throughout the country to stock up on bottled water supplies due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Government officials have stated that conventional water treatment and disinfection removes any viruses, including the COVID-19, and no extra measures like boiling water will be necessary. In this article, the Salt Lake City Department of Public Utilities offers information on their website to advise customers and answer questions that the public may have regarding this matter. It is always a best practice to have a four-day supply of water for emergency precautions; however, the department has downplayed the need to stockpile water for the coronavirus outbreak.