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Wichita Falls, TX Water Quality Report

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Sources Of Drinking Water in Wichita Falls, Texas

Raw Water from Lakes Arrowhead and Kickapoo are pumped into the City limits and stored at a Secondary Reservoir. The Secondary Reservoir retains 75 Million gallons of water within the City limits. At the Secondary Reservoir the water is blended from the two lakes to make treatment more uniform and a small amount of presedimentation takes place. This is the feed water source for all the conventional treatment plants. Raw water from Lake Kemp (Lake Diversion) is pumped via an irrigation ditch to a reservoir northwest of Wichita Falls. This water is the feed source for the Micro-Filtration/Reverse Osmosis plant. 

The Raw Water is treated with Chlorine Dioxide in the transmission lines as it is taken to the plants. Chlorine dioxide is added to begin disinfection. It is one of the most powerful disinfectants available to eliminate waterborne pathogens. Chlorine Dioxide is also effective at removing Taste and Odors that may be present in the water. 

The City of Wichita Falls utilizes Chloramines as its primary disinfectant for the conventional plant. Chloramines are formed by the reaction of Chlorine and Ammonia. COAGULATION Ferric Sulfate and Polymer is added to the water to begin the removal of particles, known as Turbidity. These two chemicals attract the Turbidity and begin to form larger particles that are removed later in the treatment process. 

The City of Wichita Falls does Soften its drinking water. Carbonate Hardness is removed by the addition of Lime to the process stream. This is a mechanical process where the water is gently stirred to cause the particles formed in the coagulation process to come into contact with one another and form even larger particles, making them heavy. These heavier particles are known as 'floc' particles. 

Sedimentation is a physical process where the water passes into a quiescent area of the process. Because there is no stirring action, the heavy floc particles settle out of the water by gravity. The Lime Softening process is terminated by the addition of Carbon Dioxide. This chemical adjusts the pH down to a level that Softening process stops. The City of Wichita Falls Fluoridates its drinking water. This is not a required component of water treatment, but the City believes that it is necessary to help prevent dental cavities in the City's children's teeth. Is it safe to drink tap water in Wichita Falls?

Source: City of Wichita Falls

Contaminants Found in Wichita Falls' Water Supply

(Detected above health guidelines)

1,2,3-Trichloropropane 

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.

Arsenic

3rd party independent testing found that this utility exceeds health guidelines for this drinking water contaminant. Arsenic occurs naturally in soil and bedrock in parts of the United States. Commercial activities that could have left arsenic in our soil and water include, apple orchard spraying, coal ash disposal, and use of pressure treated wood. Arsenic has no smell, taste, or color when dissolved in water, even in high concentrations, so only laboratory analysis can detect its presence and concentration.  What are the risks of drinking tap water with arsenic? Cancer. Chronic exposure to arsenic is also associated with an increased risk of skin, bladder, and lung cancer. There is also evidence that long-term exposure to arsenic can increase risks for kidney and prostate cancer. Find out more about this contaminant and how to remove it here.

Bromodichloromethane

3rd party independent testing found that this utility exceeds health guidelines for this drinking water contaminant. Bromodichloromethane is one of the total trihalomethanes (TTHMs) that formed when disinfectants, such as chlorine, are used to treat tap water. What are the risks of drinking tap water with Bromodichloromethane? Cancer, Kidney & Liver Damage. Bromodichloromethane and other disinfection byproducts increase the risk of cancer and may cause problems during pregnancy.  In recent animal studies, the main effect of eating or drinking large amounts of Bromodichloromethane is injury to the liver and kidneys. Find out more about this contaminant and how to remove it here.

 

Chlorite

3rd party independent testing found that this utility exceeds health guidelines for this drinking water contaminant. Chlorite is a disinfectant byproduct of the water treatment process. Chlorite occurs when chlorine dioxide breaks down. Chlorine dioxide is added to drinking water to protect people from harmful bacteria and other microorganisms. Most people will be exposed to chlorine dioxide and its disinfection by-product, chlorite ions, when they drink water that has been treated with chlorine dioxide. What are the risks of drinking tap water with chlorite? Thyroid, Child Development, & Hormone Disruption. Animal studies have shown effects of chlorine dioxide and chlorite that are similar to those seen in people exposed to very high amounts of these chemicals. In addition, exposure to high levels of chlorine dioxide and chlorite in animals both before birth and during early development after birth may cause delays in brain development. Find out more about this contaminant and how to remove it here.

 

Chloroform

3rd party independent testing found that this 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.

Chromium (hexavalent)

3rd party independent testing found that this 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.

Dibromochloromethane

3rd party independent testing found that this utility exceeds health guidelines for this drinking water contaminant. Dibromochloromethane, one of the total trihalomethanes (TTHMs), was used in the past to make other chemicals such as fire extinguisher fluids, spray can propellants, refrigerator fluid, and pesticides. It is now only used on a small scale in laboratories. In the environment, dibromochloromethane is not found as a pure liquid, but instead, it is found either dissolved in water or evaporated into the air as a gas. What are the risks of drinking tap water with Dibromochloromethane? Liver & Kidney Damage. Animal studies indicate that long-term intake of dibromochloromethane can cause liver and kidney cancer. Find out more about this contaminant and how to remove it here.

Dichloroacetic Acid

3rd party independent testing found that this utility exceeds health guidelines for this drinking water contaminant. Dichloroacetic Acid is one of the five haloacetic acids and a member of the chloroacetic acids family. It is an essential chemical compound in medical research, especially in cancer treatment. This type of chloroacetic acid is a trace product of the process of chlorination of drinking water. Dichloroacetic Acid can get into water systems through improper disposal of waste from pharmaceutical factories. What are the risks of drinking tap water with Dichloroacetic acid? Cancer, Reproductive Issues, Child Development. Dichloroacetic Acid in drinking water may cause health problems during pregnancy, liver and kidney damage, reproductive difficulties, eyes and nerve problems, and an increased risk of getting cancer. Dichloroacetic Acid is common in municipal water since it is a trace product of the chlorination of drinking water.  Find out more about this contaminant and how to remove it here.

Total Trihalomethanes (TTHMs)

3rd party independent testing found that this 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.

Trichloroacetic Acid

3rd party independent testing found that this utility exceeds health guidelines for this drinking water contaminant. Trichloroacetic acid will get into your drinking water when naturally-occurring organic and inorganic compounds found in the water reacts with chlorine or other disinfectants used to purify drinking water. Trichloroacetic acid is one of the group of five haloacetic acids regulated by federal standards. What are the risks of drinking tap water with Trichloroacetic acid? Cancer & Pregnancy Issues. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), individuals exposed to the compound in excess of the "Maximum Contaminant Levels" during the duration of several years are prone to an increased risk of getting cancer. Long-term exposure to the chemical will increase your chances of acquiring a tumor. Oral exposure or the drinking of contaminated water may cause problems during pregnancy. It can also cause developmental issues to the fetus. Find out more about this contaminant and how to remove it here.

What are the best type of filters to remove these contaminants?

Water sources can contain contaminants that impact your long term health, the taste & smell of the water and other microbiological contaminants 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 carbon. Two dominant carbon filter choices are solid carbon blocks and granular activated carbon filters.

Filter Design

Granular activated carbon filters have loose granules of carbon that look like black grains of sand. Solid block carbon filters have blocks of compressed activated carbon that are formed with the combination of heat and pressure. 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.

Less Contact Time

Flow channels also develop between the granules in granular activated carbon filters, leading to less effective filtration as there’s less contact between the water and carbon. Solid carbon blocks are much tighter and won’t even let through microbial cysts like giardia and cryptosporidium. However, solid carbon block filters are so tight that they can often get plugged up with matter, forcing owners to replace them on a more regular basis. This is why when you are using a Brita water pitcher filter (granular carbon), the filter will keep going and going long after it has stopped removing any water contaminants. Why bother? 

Better Filtration

The solid carbon block filters like the one used in the Epic Smart Shield remove more contaminants than the granular activated carbon filters due to the larger surface area and the tighter filters, 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. Granular activated carbon filters do not do enough to reduce contaminants and they are cheap to make. They are truly not "Epic" so that is why we have passed on this 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 endocrine disruptors like volatile organic compounds. The granular activated carbon particles move around, so the filter does not have as much uniformity throughout, unlike the solid carbon blocks.

Solid carbon blocks 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. During this contact time is when contaminants adhere to the carbon and are removed from water. This happens during a process called adsorption, the other filtration method that carbon blocks use is called depth filtration where the thickness of the filter comes into play to help remove contaminants as they have to pass through this carbon walls. 

Block vs Granulated

The granular activated carbon filters are cheap and simple to make which is why most water filtration companies (Brita & Woder) choose this method for manufacturing. Solid carbon block carbon filters on the other hand take longer to make and are more expensive but with this expense, you get better contaminant removal because the water has to take a tortured path before it reaches your family's lips.

Epic Pure Pitcher

April Jones

A hiker, blogger, and water quality expert.

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  • April Jones