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Farmington Hills, Michigan Water Quality Report

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Sources Of Drinking Water in Farmington Hills, Michigan 

Where does Farmington Hills get its water from? All of the water in public water mains in Farmington Hills comes from the Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA). The GLWA has a 40 year lease with the City of Detroit for management and control of the regional water and sewer system assets. The water system that take water from the Detroit River and Lake Huron and treat it to make it safe to drink. The water is then distributed in large watermains throughout the metropolitan Detroit area.

The Great Lakes Water Authority supplies City of Detroit residents and three million suburban residents through wholesale arrangements with 127 communities. The GLWA is comprised of six board members:  two from the City of Detroit, one each from Wayne, Oakland and Macomb Counties, plus one representing the State of Michigan.

Services provided by the GLWA are regulated by both the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as well as the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and various other regulatory agencies.

GLWA’s water supply system is one of the largest in the nation in terms of water produced and population served. The system has been the sole provider of all water service in the City of Detroit since commencement of water supply as a public service in the mid nineteenth century. In addition the system began providing wholesale service to surrounding municipalities in 1940.

The water supply system draws fresh water from the Great Lakes system which is naturally available with Lake Huron to the north, the Detroit River to the south and Lake St. Clair to the east. GLWA’s water network consists of 790 miles of transmission lines in the service area. GLWA’s five water treatment plants pump 650 million to 1.3 billion gallons of water per day.  Does Farmington Hills add fluoride to their water? Yes, fluoride (A known neurotoxin) is also added to the water to prevent tooth decay. Is Farmington Hills' water safe to drink?

Source: City of Farmington Hills, MI

Contaminants Found in Farmington Hills' Water Supply

(Detected above health guidelines)

Chromium (hexavalent)

The movie Erin Brockovich alerted the public to the great suffering the little town of Hinkley, California experienced due to hexavalent chromium in their drinking water. Today, Hinkley is little more than a ghost town thanks to continued water contamination, health concerns, and plummeting property values. 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.

Nitrate

Nitrate is a compound that is formed naturally when nitrogen combines with oxygen or ozone. Nitrate, a fertilizer chemical, frequently contaminates drinking water due to agricultural and urban runoff, and discharges from municipal wastewater treatment plants and septic tanks. 

Radiological contaminants  

Radiological contamination of water is due to the presence of radionuclides, which are defined as atoms with unstable nuclei. In an effort to become more stable, a radionuclide emits energy in the form of rays or high-speed particles. This is called ionizing radiation because it displaces electrons, which creates ions. The three major types of ionizing radiation are alpha particles, beta particles and gamma rays. Radiological contaminants leach into water from certain minerals and from mining. This utility detected Radium, combined (-226 & -228).

Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs)

Trihalomethanes are a group of four chemicals—chloroform, bromodichloromethane, dibromochloromethane, and bromoform—formed, along with other disinfection by-products, when chlorine or other disinfectants used to control microbial contaminants in drinking water react with naturally occurring organic and inorganic matter in water. Trihalomethanes are cancer-causing contaminants.

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 Chromium (hexavalent) above health recommendations 

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 Nitrate above health recommendations

Cancer:  The health guideline of 0.14 ppm for nitrate was defined in a peer-reviewed scientific study by EWG and corresponds to one-in-one-million annual cancer risk level.  Excessive nitrate in water can cause oxygen deprivation in infants and increase the risk of cancer.

Health risks of Radiological contaminants above health recommendations

Birth defects:  Depending on the stage of fetal development drinking water contamination with radioactive substances increases the risk of cancer and may harm fetal development.

Health risks of Fluoride above health recommendations

Unknown:  A growing body of evidence reasonably indicates that fluoridated water, in addition to other sources of daily fluoride exposure, can cause or contribute to a range of serious effects, including arthritis, damage to the developing brain, reduced thyroidfunction, and possibly osteosarcoma (bone cancer) in adolescent males.

Health risks of Trihalomethanes above health recommendations 

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.

Contaminant Levels in Farmington Hills, MI Compared to Other Regions

Chromium (hexavalent)

 - Health Guideline: 0.02 ppb

 - Farmington Hills, MI: 0.131 ppb

 - National: 0.782 ppb

Nitrate

 - Health Guideline: 0.14 ppb

 - National: 1.01 ppb

 - Farmington Hills, MI: 0.430 ppb

Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs)

 - Health Guideline: 0.8 ppb

 - National: 23.4 ppb

 - Farmington Hills, MI: 32.9 ppb

Radiological contaminants  

No information available about this contaminant but it cannot be good. This utility detected Radium, combined (-226 & -228) & Uranium. Radiological contaminants leach into water from certain minerals and from mining. Drinking water contamination with radioactive substances increases the risk of cancer and may harm fetal development.

Fluoride

 - Legal Limit: 4 ppb

 - National: 0.440 ppb

 - Farmington Hills, MI: 0.540 ppb

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April Jones

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

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