Long Island, NY Water Quality Report
Sources Of Drinking Water in Long Island, New York
Where does Long Island, New York get its water from? Residents of Nassau and Suffolk counties draw drinking water from a sole source, a system of aquifers beneath the surface of the island. The protection, maintenance and long-term sustainability of the aquifers are vital concerns of the Nassau Suffolk Water Commissioners’ Association.
The largest of Long Island’s aquifers. Consisting of sand deposits alternating with clay, it attains a maximum thickness of approximately 1,100 feet and is the source of water for most of Nassau County and about half of Suffolk County. The formation can be seen in the coastal bluffs of the north shore and plunges under the land surface to the south. The sand and gravel of the Magothy aquifer was deposited in the upper Cretaceous Period, about 50-80 million years ago. The Magothy aquifer supplies more than 90% of the water used in Nassau County and about 50% of the water used in Suffolk County. Is Suffolk county water safe to drink? Does Suffolk county add fluoride to the water? No, not that we detected.
Source: Suffolk & Nassau County, New York
Contaminants Found in Long Island's Water Supply
(Detected above health guidelines)
3rd party independent testing found that this utility exceeds health guidelines for this drinking water contaminant. 1,2,3-Trichloropropane, also known as TCP, is an organic "Man Made" chemical found in some groundwater supplies. The TCP contamination in our water is believed to have come from soil fumigants. Soil fumigants in use today no longer contain TCP. What are the risks of drinking tap water with 1,2,3-Trichloropropane? Unknown. Exposure to high levels of 1,2,3-trichloropropane for a short time causes eye and throat irritation. Animals exposed died after breathing air containing 1,2,3-trichloropropane at levels higher than we have in the environment. When rats breathed it at levels lower than those that irritated humans, they developed eye, nose, and lung irritation, and liver and kidney disease. The main health effect in both animals and people is damage to the respiratory system. When animals swallowed 1,2,3-trichloropropane at high levels, they died from liver and kidney damage. When exposed to moderate levels that did not cause death, the animals had minor liver and kidney damage, blood disorders, and stomach irritation. Find out more about this contaminant and how to remove it here.
3rd party independent testing found that this water utility exceeds health guidelines for this drinking water contaminant. Chloroform, is a total trihalomethanes (TTHMs) which is formed when disinfectants are used to treat tap water. Most of the chloroform found in the environment comes from industry. Chloroform enters the environment from chemical companies and paper mills, It is also found in waste water from sewage treatment plants and drinking water to which chlorine has been added. Chlorine is added to most drinking water and many waste waters to destroy bacteria. Small amounts of chloroform are formed as an unwanted product during the process of adding chlorine to water. What are the risks of drinking tap water with chloroform? Cancer, central nervous system (brain), liver, and kidneys. Cancer of the liver and kidneys developed in rats and mice that ate food or drank water that had large amounts of chloroform in it for a long time. We do not know whether liver and kidney cancer would develop in people after long-term exposure to chloroform in drinking water. Based on animal studies, the Department of Health and Human Services has determined that chloroform may reasonably be anticipated to be a carcinogen (a substance that causes cancer). Find out more about this contaminant and how to remove it here.
3rd party independent testing found that this water utility exceeds health guidelines for this drinking water contaminant. 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. What are the risks of drinking tap water with Chromium (hexavalent)? Cancer. A 2008 study by the National Toxicology Program, part of the National Institutes of Health, found that chromium-6 in drinking water caused cancer in laboratory rats and mice. That study and other research led scientists at the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment to conclude that chromium-6 can cause cancer in people. Find out more about this contaminant and how to remove it here.
3rd party independent testing found that this water utility exceeds health guidelines for this drinking water contaminant. 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. What are the risks of drinking tap water with Radiological contaminants? Cancer. Over and over again, regardless of the source, long-term exposure or brief exposure in high doses, leads to cancer. Cancers of the bone, liver, stomach, lungs, skin, kidneys, thyroid gland, and most other tissues are common, and medical science is still discovering other maladies that may be cancer-related. Find out more about this contaminant and how to remove it here.
Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs)
3rd party independent testing found that this water utility exceeds health guidelines for this drinking water contaminant. Total Trihalomethanes (TTHMs) are the result of a reaction between the chlorine used for disinfecting tap water and natural organic matter in the water. At elevated levels, TTHMs have been associated with negative health effects such as cancer and adverse reproductive outcomes. Now a study by government and academic researchers adds to previous evidence that dermal absorption and inhalation of TTHMs associated with everyday tap water use can result in significantly higher blood TTHM concentrations than simply drinking the water does. What are the risks of drinking tap water with Total Trihalomethanes (TTHMs)? Cancer. Studies from around the world, including the United States & Europe have found that drinking tap water that carries Total Trihalomethanes increases the risk of developing cancer. In animal studies, all trihalomethanes cause liver, kidney and intestinal tumors. Find out more about this contaminant and how to remove it here.
What are the best types of filters to remove these contaminants?
Unfortunately, our tap water can contain tiny microscopic particles that impact your long term health, the taste & smell of the water and microbiological organisms that can actually make people sick shortly after drinking. Fortunately, there are water filtration products that remove many of the impurities from water. These filters often use activated carbon. Activated carbon is a form of carbon processed to have small, low-volume pores that increase the surface area available for adsorption of contaminants or chemical reactions with the contaminants causing them to adhere to the carbon. Two dominant carbon filter choices are solid activated carbon blocks and granular activated carbon filters (GAC).
Granular activated carbon filters (GAC) have loose granules of carbon that look like black grains of sand. These black grains of carbon, are dumped into a container and the water is forced to travel through the container to reach the other side, passing by all of the grains of carbon. Solid block carbon filters, on the other hand, are blocks of compressed activated carbon that are formed with the combination of heat and pressure. These filters force the water to try to find a way through the solid wall and thousands of layers of carbon until the reach a channel which leads the water out of the filter. Both filters are made from carbon that’s ground into small particulate sizes. Solid carbon blocks are ground even further into a fine mesh 7 to 19 times smaller than the granular activated carbon filters.
Flow Channels & Contact Time
As water continually passes through Granular Activated Carbon filters, flow channels begin to develop that allow the water to flow around the carbon. Flow channels also develop between the granules of carbon themselves, leading to less effective filtration as there is less and less contact time between the water and the carbon. Solid carbon blocks, on the other hand, are much tighter and won’t even let microbial cysts like giardia and cryptosporidium (7 to 10 Microns in size) pass through the filter without getting caught in the millions of layers of carbon. Because solid carbon block filters are compressed under pressure, they have millions and millions of different sized pores that cause the water to take a long slow path to get through the filter, increasing the contact time that the contaminated water has with the carbon looking for a way through.
During this contact time is when contaminants like lead, adhere to the carbon and are removed from water. This happens during a process called adsorption, the other filtration method that solid carbon blocks use is called depth filtration. This is where the thickness of the carbon block filter comes into play to help remove contaminants as they have to pass through these thick carbon walls. The downside of solid carbon block filters, is that they are often so tight that they can often get plugged up with organic & non-organic matter, forcing owners to replace them on a more regular basis. This is why when you are using a Brita water pitcher filter (granular activated carbon), the filter will keep going and going long after it has stopped removing any water contaminants. A good 5 micron sediment filter in front of your carbon block filter is a good way to extend the life of the carbon block and make it more efficient.
Carbon Block vs Granulated Activated Carbon
The granular activated carbon filters are cheap and simple to manufacture, which is why most water filtration companies choose this method for manufacturing. Solid Carbon Block Filters on the other hand take longer to manufacture and are more expensive to make but with this expense, you will get superior contaminant removal because the water must take a tortured path through millions of layers of compressed carbon before it reaches your drinking glass.
The solid carbon block filters, like the one used in the Epic Smart Shield & Epic Water Filter pitchers, remove more contaminants than the granular activated carbon filters due to the larger surface area and the thickness of the carbon walls, this is why Epic Water Filters has standardized on the solid carbon block design for our water pitchers and our under the sink water filter. Unfortunately, granular activated carbon filters do not do enough to reduce contaminants, this is why they are not used when there is a chance of bacteria or cysts in the water. They are truly not "Epic" so that is why we have passed on the GAC filter design and let our competitors like Woder, Brita, Pur, and Invigorated Water use these loose packed carbon filters for sub-par contaminant removal.
With solid carbon block filters the contaminants are in contact with more carbon for a longer period and therefore have more time to remove stubborn contaminants like lead (Epic Pure Pitcher 99.9% removal), fluoride (Epic Pure Pitcher 97.8% removal), and PFCs (Epic Pure Pitcher 99.8% removal). Carbon blocks can remove chlorine more effectively, eliminate undesirable odors, and removal of endocrine disruptors like volatile organic compounds. Granular activated carbon filters, on the other hand, have small particles that move around under the pressure of water so they do not have as much uniformity throughout and therefore less contact time with the water and less contaminant removal.
What about Reverse Osmosis?
RO filter systems do remove a lot of contaminants. The downside of RO is that it is expensive and wastes a lot of water. Each RO system wastes an average of 5 to 6 gallons for every gallon it produces of drinking water. Also RO systems remove trace minerals and other beneficial substances found in water that your body needs (calcium, manganese, iron and other important nutrients). This is why RO water is considered by many in the natural health world to be dead water and it is said that demineralized water is detrimental to general health due to vitamin and mineral depletion. The other main downside of RO systems is that after your water passes through the filter process, it sits inside of steel drum that is lined with a butyl rubber bladder which is made from polyisobutylene. The filtered water sits in this butyl rubber bladder until it is used. All rubber and plastic containers leach into water at some level. Carbon block filters do not have these issues.
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