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Asheville, North Carolina Water Quality Report

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Sources Of Drinking Water in Asheville, North Carolina

Where does Asheville get its water from? Asheville's primary source of water is located in Black Mountain in eastern Buncombe County where the water flows from pure mountain springs and streams into lakes known as the North Fork and Bee Tree Reservoirs. They are located in Black Mountain and Swannanoa, respectively. These pristine lakes are surrounded by 20,000 acres of highly protected mountain forests owned by the City of Asheville. Is Asheville's water safe to drink?

Source: City of  Asheville, NC

Contaminants Found in Asheville's Water Supply

(Detected above health guidelines)

Bromodichloromethane

Bromodichloromethane, one of the total trihalomethanes (TTHMs), is formed when chlorine or other disinfectants are used to treat drinking water. Bromodichloromethane and other disinfection byproducts increase the risk of cancer and may cause problems during pregnancy.

Chloroform

Chloroform, one of the total trihalomethanes (TTHMs), is formed when chlorine or other disinfectants are used to treat drinking water. Chloroform and other disinfection byproducts increase the risk of cancer and may cause problems during pregnancy.

Chromium (Hexavalent)

Chromium (hexavalent) is a carcinogen that commonly contaminates American drinking water. Chromium (hexavalent) in drinking water may be due to industrial pollution or natural occurrences in mineral deposits and groundwater.

 

Hormones

This utility detected 4-Androstene-3,17-dione & Testosterone. Hormones in drinking water come from human and animal wastewater discharged into drinking water sources. Conventional drinking water treatment does not remove hormones.

Dichloroacetic acid

Dichloroacetic acid, one of the group of five haloacetic acids regulated by federal standards, is formed when chlorine or other disinfectants are used to treat drinking water. Haloacetic acids and other disinfection byproducts increase the risk of cancer and may cause problems during pregnancy.

Total Trihalomethanes (TTHMs)

Trihalomethanes are cancer-causing contaminants that form during water treatment with chlorine and other disinfectants. The total trihalomethanes group includes four chemicals: chloroform, bromodichloromethane, dibromochloromethane and bromoform.

Trichloroacetic Acid

Trichloroacetic acid, one of the group of five haloacetic acids regulated by federal standards, is formed when chlorine or other disinfectants are used to treat drinking water. Haloacetic acids and other disinfection byproducts increase the risk of cancer and may cause problems during pregnancy. 

Fluoride

Fluoride occurs naturally in surface and groundwater and is also added to drinking water by many water systems. The fluoride that is added to water is not the naturally occurring kind, the main chemicals used to fluoridate drinking water are known as “silicofluorides” (i.e., hydrofluorosilicic acid and sodium fluorosilicate). Silicofluorides are not pharmaceutical-grade fluoride products; they are unprocessed industrial by-products of the phosphate fertilizer industry (Gross!). Since these silicofluorides undergo no purification procedures, they can contain elevated levels of arsenic — moreso than any other water treatment chemical. In addition, recent research suggests that the addition of silicofluorides to water is a risk factor for elevated lead exposure, particularly among residents who live in homes with old pipes.

Potential Health Effects of Consuming These Contaminants

Health risks of Bromodichloromethane in excess of health guideline

Cancer: The health guideline of 0.4 ppb for bromodichloromethane was defined by the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment as a one-in-a-million lifetime risk of cancer. Values greater than one-in-a-million cancer risk level can result in increased cancer cases above one in a million people.

Health risks of Chloroform in excess of health guideline

Cancer: The health guideline of 1 ppb for chloroform was defined by the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment as a one-in-a-million lifetime risk of cancer. Values greater than one-in-a-million cancer risk level can result in increased cancer cases above one in a million people.

Health risks of Chromium (Hexavalent) in excess of health guideline

Cancer: The health guideline of 0.02 ppb for chromium (hexavalent) was defined by the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment as a public health goal, the level of a drinking water contaminant that does not pose a significant health risk. This health guideline protects against cancer.

Health risks of Hormones in excess of health guideline

Endocrine Disruption: This utility detected 4-Androstene-3,17-dione & Testosterone. Hormones in drinking water come from human and animal wastewater discharged into drinking water sources. Conventional drinking water treatment does not remove hormones.

Health risks of Dichloroacetic acid in excess of health guideline

Cancer: The health guideline of 0.7 ppb for dichloroacetic acid was defined by the Environmental Protection Agency as a one-in-a-million lifetime risk of cancer. Values greater than one-in-a-million cancer risk level can result in increased cancer cases above one in a million people.

Health risks of Trihalomethanes in excess of health guideline

Cancer: The health guideline of 0.8 ppb for trihalomethanes was defined by the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment as a draft public health goal, the level of drinking water contaminant that does not pose a significant health risk. This health guideline protects against cancer.

Health risks of Trichloroacetic acid in excess of health guideline

Cancer: The health guideline of 0.5 ppb for trichloroacetic acid was defined by the Environmental Protection Agency as a one-in-a-million lifetime risk of cancer. Values greater than one-in-a-million cancer risk level can result in increased cancer cases above one in a million people.

Contaminant Levels in Asheville, NC Compared to Other Regions

Bromodichloromethane

- Health Guideline: 0.06 ppb

 - State: 5.83 ppb

 - Asheville, NC: 2.50 ppb

 - National: 4.38 ppb

Chloroform

 - Health Guideline: 1.0 ppb

 - State: 18.3 ppb

 - National: 11.4 ppb

 - Asheville, NC: 29.3 ppb

Chromium (hexavalent)

 - Health Guideline: 0.02 ppb

 - Asheville, NC: 0.0313 ppb

 - State: 0.0757 ppb

 - National: 0.782 ppb

Dichloroacetic acid

 - Health Guideline: 0.7 ppb

 - State: 8.05 ppb

 - National: 6.00 ppb

 - Asheville, NC: 14.6 ppb

Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs)

 - Health Guideline: 0.8 ppb

 - State: 28.4 ppb

 - National: 23.4 ppb

 - Asheville, NC: 31.7 ppb

Trichloroacetic acid

 - Health Guideline: 0.5 ppb

 - State: 7.03 ppb

 - National: 4.93 ppb

 - Asheville, NC: 16.2 ppb

 

Hormones

No drinking water standards exist for these contaminants which cannot be good (Yikes). This utility detected 4-Androstene-3,17-dione & Testosterone.

Fluoride

 - Legal Limit: 4 ppb

 - State: 0.305 ppb

 - National: 0.440 ppb 

 - Asheville, NC: 0.600 ppb

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April Jones

A Colorado based hiker, blogger, and water quality expert...

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