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Miami Water Quality Report

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Sources of Miami Dade, Florida Drinking Water

Miami-Dade’s source of water is groundwater from wells. The wells withdraw primarily from the Biscayne Aquifer with a limited number of wells withdrawing from the Floridan Aquifer.
In 2017, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) performed a Source Water Assessment on our system. The assessment was conducted to provide information about any potential sources of contamination in the vicinity of our wells. There are 67 potential sources of contamination identified for this system with low to high susceptibility levels. The assessment results are available on the FDEP Source Water Assessment and Protection Program website at http://www.dep.state.fl.us/swapp. 

Source: http://www.miamidade.gov/waterreport/pdf/water-quality-2017.pdf

 

A list of contaminants in Miami's Water Supply 

(Detected above health guidelines)

 

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. Read more about chromium (hexavalent).

Perfluorinated chemicals 

This utility detected Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) & Perfluoroheptanoic acid (PFHPA).

Perfluorinated chemicals are a group of synthetic compounds used in hundreds of products from nonstick pans to stain-repellent clothing, wire coatings and firefighting foam. These chemicals have been linked to endocrine disruption, accelerated puberty, liver and immune system damage, thyroid changes, and cancer risk.

Radiological contaminants cancer

This utility detected Radium, combined (-226 & -228), Radium-226 & 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.

Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs) cancer

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.

Source: https://www.ewg.org/tapwater/system.php?pws=FL4130871

Potential health effects of consuming these contaminants

 

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 Perfluorinated chemicals

 Cancer: The health guideline of 1 ppt for PFOS was defined by EWG based on studies by Phillipe Grandjean of Harvard University and many other independent researchers who found reduced effectiveness of vaccines and adverse impacts on mammary gland development from exposure to PFOA and PFOS, the two PFCs most widely detected in drinking water. This health guideline applies to the entire class of PFCs detected in water.

Health risks of Radiological contaminants

Radium is a radioactive element that causes bone cancer and other cancers. It can occur naturally in groundwater, and oil and gas extraction activities such as hydraulic fracturing can elevate concentrations.

Uranium is a known human carcinogen. The federal legal limit for uranium is set at 30 micrograms per liter (corresponding to parts per billion), but utilities can also report uranium in picocuries per liter (pCi/L), which is a measure of radioactivity in water. EWG translated all uranium results to pCi/L using a conversion factor developed by the EPA. With this conversion approach, the limit of 30 ppb corresponds to 20 pCi/L. Drinking water with this much uranium would cause more than 4.6 cancer cases in a population of 100,000. California set a public health goal for uranium of 0.43 pCi/L.

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.

Source: https://www.ewg.org/tapwater/system.php?pws=FL4130871

Contaminant Levels in Miami's Water Supply

Chromium (hexavalent):

Health Guideline: 0.02 ppb

  • Miami Dade Water: 0.0857 ppb
  • State: 0.155 ppb
  • National: 0.782 ppb 

Perfluorinated chemicals 

Health Guideline: N/A

Radiological contaminants 

Health Guideline: N/A

Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs):

Health Guidelines: 0.8 ppb

  • State: 23.2 ppb
  • National: 23.4 ppb
  • Miami Dade: 43.5 ppb

Source: https://www.ewg.org/tapwater/system.php?pws=FL4130871

Epic Pure Pitchers

Erica Schmidt
A Melbourne, Australia based water quality expert
      

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