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Water's Good

California’s Water Quality Below Regulation for Nearly 400,000 Residents

Posted On 02/09/2023 By iSpring Water Systems
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Key Points

1)    Many rural Californians’ drinking water contains dangerous chemicals that can cause severe illness.

2)    Using reverse osmosis, nearly all contaminants can be removed from drinking water.

3)    iSpring offers both residential and small business solutions to ensure drinking water is free of harmful contaminants.

Water Contaminants in Drinking Water

When turning on the faucet, concerns about toxins in your drinking water are likely not at the forefront of your mind. However, with arsenic, nitrate, and other chemicals found in over 370,000 Californians’ drinking water, attention to the quality of water Californians are consuming must be considered.  

Although there are state and federal standards for the quality of drinking water, many of California’s residents are not being provided with toxin-free drinking water that meets these standards.

It has been shown that

1. of the affected Californians, at least one of the contaminants examined is at or above regulatory standards.

2. about 10 percent of California’s public drinking water systems do not meet the state’s standards and many water systems fall short of the federal standards.

3. water contamination is disproportionately affecting Californians living in rural, agricultural areas, many of which are communities of color.

Agricultural Impact

Much of the poor water quality in agricultural areas is attributed to agrarian sources such as fertilizer runoff, animal farming, and overpumping groundwater during droughts, which leads to nitrate contamination and increased arsenic levels.  Additionally, it is estimated over 1.3 million Californians in these communities rely on unregulated wells as their source of drinking water. With these wells being unregulated, the community is responsible for having them tested and maintained, leaving them vulnerable to poor water quality if regular maintenance is not given.

Effects of Contaminants

While small amounts of toxins can be found in most drinking water, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) works to ensure standards are in place to protect human health. However, as seen in California, this standard is not always met, and consumption of the three most common contaminants: arsenic, nitrate, and hexavalent chromium (also known as chromium-6) can increase the risk of cancer and other illnesses. 

Although arsenic is naturally occurring, prolonged, low-level exposure can have lasting effects such as

1. diabetes

2. cardiovascular and respiratory disease

3. reduced intelligence in children   

4. skin problems

5. stomach pain

6. nausea

7. diarrhea and vomiting

8. numbness in hands and fee

9. partial paralysis

10. blindness        

11. cancer of the bladder, lungs, skin, kidney, nasal passages, liver, and prostate

Additionally, prolonged exposure or exposure to large doses can be fatal.

Like arsenic, hexavalent chromium naturally occurs in water supplies. However, there is no federal regulatory standard for hexavalent chromium alone and the long-term risks of consuming high levels of hexavalent chromium are still unknown. The EPA is reviewing data from a 2008 National Toxicology Program long-term animal study, which suggests that hexavalent chromium may be a human carcinogen if ingested. There is also debate over whether hexavalent chromium impacts a fetus more profoundly. 

As with the other contaminants, exposure to nitrates can be dangerous, especially for pregnant women and infants. Nitrate-contaminated water can cause birth defects if consumed by pregnant women and can cause blue baby syndrome in infants younger than six months. However, pregnant and infants are not the only ones negatively affected by nitrates. Exposure can also cause thyroid disease and increase the risk for certain kinds of cancer, which can affect anyone. 

Reducing over-exposure to these harmful toxins is crucial to preserving one’s health. 

Identifying Water Quality

While the Community Water Center has provided a tool for California’s residents to check their area’s groundwater quality and has provided them with educational resources regarding water supply management, these resources only go so far.

If water quality concerns such as color, odor, or taste arise, seeking a professional water test is recommended. 

Combating Water Contaminants with Reverse Osmosis 

Reverse osmosis (RO) is a process where water passes through a special membrane, filtering out the majority of toxins present. If dangerous contamination is discovered, the water supply, using reverse osmosis, can be up to 95% effective at removing the most common form of arsenic. Reverse osmosis has also been shown to remove up to 90 percent of dangerous nitrates and other harmful substances, including hexavalent chromium and lead.

In addition, to reverse osmosis being highly effective for removing water contaminants, it is also one of the most cost-efficient ways to treat water. 

Home Treatment Systems

While several home treatment systems use reverse osmosis to provide clients with clean drinking water, iSpring Water Systems offers the same quality as other leading brands for a fraction of the cost. iSpring Water Systems also provides various state-of-the-art products to meet customers’ various needs. 

Not only do iSpring Water Systems remove up to 99% of over 1,000 water contaminants, we also have products designed to restore the natural alkalinity and mineral balance of water for residential use. Two of these products are the RCC7AK and RO500AK-BN. Both restore healthy minerals and produce balanced alkalinity, giving the water a better taste. 

Our RCC7AK is an under-sink NSF/ANSI 58 certified reverse osmosis water filtration system that uses six-stage filters including an alkaline remineralization layered filtration to produce up to 75 gallons of clean, pure, and healthy drinking water per day. This system uses a pressurized tank to ensure a stable water flow and can be connected directly to the refrigerator’s water supply. 

Our RO500AK-BN is the next-generation, tankless reverse osmosis filtration system that functions six times more efficiently than traditional RO systems providing a faster water flow and a higher pure-to-waste ratio saving water waste. This industry-leading pure-to-waste ratio contributes to reduced water bills and less water going down the drain. This system can also produce up to 500 gallons of filtered water per day. 

An ideal system to purify a high volume of water at home or at a small business is our CRO1000. This commercial-grade, tankless system uses a four-stage water filtration and is able to maintain on-demand clean, filtered water up to 1000 gallons per day.  

Whatever your residential or small business needs, iSpring is dedicated to providing our customers with high-quality water purification systems, including reverse osmosis systems, whole-house water filtration systems, ultrafiltration systems, under-sink filter systems, and countertop water filters. View the complete line of products and visit our knowledge base for product buying guides and tips in order to choose the right solution for your home or business.  

Not only are we committed to providing our customers with top-of-the-line products you feel confident purchasing, we are also devoted to providing high-level customer service you can trust. Whether you have questions about our products, installation, maintenance, or troubleshooting, we are here for you every step of the way and allow you to contact us however it is most convenient. Chat with us, call us, or email us. Our knowledgeable technicians will respond as quickly as possible to ensure your questions are answered precisely and efficiently. 

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