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Harrisburg, PA Water Quality Report

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Sources Of Drinking Water in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Where does Harrisburg get its water from? The place where your drinking water comes from is called the source. Your primary source of drinking water comes from the DeHart Dam and Reservoir, located 20 miles northeast of Harrisburg in the pristine Clarks Valley. The area of land draining to the source is called a watershed. The watershed draining to the DeHart Reservoir is almost entirely made up of forest, the best type of land use for drinking water. The Susquehanna River is your secondary source and can be utilized in case of severe drought or emergency. As part of Capital Region Water’s ongoing efforts to be proactive and ensure reliable service, Capital Region Water temporarily pumped and treated water from the Susquehanna River. Does Harrisburg put fluoride in the water? Yes. Is Harrisburg's water safe to drink? 

Source: City of Harrisburg

Contaminants Found in Harrisburg'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.

Dibromochloromethane

Dibromochloromethane, one of the total trihalomethanes (TTHMs), is formed when chlorine or other disinfectants are used to treat drinking water.

Radiological contaminants 

Radiological contaminants leach into water from certain minerals and from mining. This utility detected Uranium.

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. 

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 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 radiological contaminants in excess of health guidelines

Birth defects: Drinking water contamination with radioactive substances increases the risk of cancer and may harm fetal development.

Health risks of dibromochloromethane  in excess of health guidelines

Cancer & Birth Defects: Dibromochloromethane and other disinfection byproducts increase the risk of cancer and may cause problems during pregnancy.

Health risks of Fluoride in excess of health guidelines

No drinking standard exists for fluoride but has been banned in Europe. 

Contaminant Levels in Harrisburg, PA Compared to Other Regions

Bromodichloromethane

- Health Guideline: 0.06 ppb

 - State: 3.92 ppb

 - Harrisburg, PA: 5.83 ppb

 - National: 4.38 ppb

Chloroform

 - Health Guideline: 1.0 ppb

 - State: 10.4 ppb

 - National: 11.4 ppb

 - Harrisburg, PA: 31.3 ppb

Chromium (hexavalent)

 - Health Guideline: 0.02 ppb

 - Harrisburg, PA: 0.216 ppb

 - State: 0.150 ppb

 - National: 0.782 ppb

Dibromochloromethane  

 - Health Guideline: 0.7 ppb

 - State: 2.28 ppb

 - National: 6.00 ppb

 - Harrisburg, PA: 0.669 ppb

Total Trihalomethanes (TTHMs)

 - Health Guideline: 0.8 ppb

 - State: 17.7 ppb

 - National: 23.4 ppb

 - Harrisburg, PA: 37.8 ppb 

Fluoride

 - Legal Limit: 4 ppb

 - State: 0.0927 ppb

 - National: 0.440 ppb

 - Harrisburg, PA: 0.810 ppb

Radiological contaminants  

No drinking standard exist regarding this contaminant but it cannot be good. This utility detected Uranium in the drinking water. 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.

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April Jones

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

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