These topics focus on the issues that are in the news or have recently gotten news coverage.

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How do Hurricanes affect our Drinking Water?

Hurricanes affect our Drinking Water?

Hurricanes create danger and destruction on multiple levels, and the impact on drinking water is one that potential victims should especially be prepared for. Common disasters hurricane victims are forced to deal with include power outages, destroyed homes, and flooding. Special precautions are needed for each of these circumstances. Since hydration is a life-sustaining necessity, ensuring a supply of safe drinking water is essential.

How do Hurricanes affect our Drinking Water?

What about hurricane rain?

Conditions in a hurricane can be compared to sailing on the ocean. There can be rain water everywhere, but even the rain should be considered unsafe to drink. Hurricane water is prone to contain contaminants and should therefore not be considered safe for drinking. The following are a few conditions that can impact the quality of hurricane rainwater:

  • While gathering strength over the ocean, a hurricane churns up salt water that is undrinkable.
  • The salt water rain from a hurricane can cause corrosive damage.
  • The chemicals in hurricane water are similar to acid rain, which means that atmospheric pollution that can harm the environment is in the rainwater.
  • Particularly in rural areas, private wells and karsts can rapidly become contaminated by chemicals in fertilizers and other substances, when flooding and heavy rains in a hurricane cause high volumes of runoff from fields. A karst is an area in which irregular limestone has eroded and produced underground streams, fissures, caverns, and sinkholes.

Hazards of polluted floodwater and drinking water

Contaminated water is a health risk that can be serious to those most vulnerable, including infants, children, the elderly, and anyone with a weakened immune system. According to FEMA, the contaminants in water following a major flooding event can cause diseases such as cholera, hepatitis, and dysentery. Drinking water can be contaminated after heavy inland flooding has occurred, and wastewater utilities can also be affected.

Tap water can be contaminated during a hurricane when pipes break as a result of things like uprooted trees and washouts. Sewage spills can affect utilities, as well. Good water pressure is a good sign, but water is more likely to be contaminated when there is a lack of pressure. The low water pressure provides evidence that the water has probably become contaminated as a result of unsanitary storm water infiltrating water lines.

Case studies

Superstorm Hurricane Sandy that severely impacted multiple states in 2012 caused massive water damage. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), more than 690 wastewater and drinking water utilities in Washington D.C. plus 11 states were negatively impacted in Hurricane Sandy’s destructive wake.

After 2016 Category 4 storm Hurricane Matthew devastated Haiti, thousands of people suffered from a cholera outbreak connected to a lack of potable water.

Water and hurricane survival

After a hurricane, it is essential to keep in mind that any water could be contaminated, including tap water. Once you realize the hazards associated with hurricane-tainted water, it’s best to ask the right questions from credible sources upfront, such as how to make tap water safe to drink. For businesses, using a purified water cooler is a great step to take to ensure your employees have healthy, safe and pure drinking water available at all times.

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Chloramines in Your Drinking Water: Safe or Harmful?

Chloramines may be something you’ve never heard of before but they’ve been in your drinking water for a while. For some cities, it’s been nearly 100 years.

Let’s back up a moment. What are chloramines and why should you be interested in them? You probably know what chlorine is and how it has been used to help disinfect drinking water before it enters your home.

Chloramines are a combination of chlorine and ammonia and that mix has caused a number of consumer concerns. One of them is that ammonia itself is a food source for bacteria which means the germs are growing and not being depleted. The next is that chloramines are corrosive and can damage copper piping.[1]

Chloramines – the plural is used because it can come in many forms depending on the pH and mineral content of the water – have been the backup disinfectant to chlorine for a long time in major cities like Cleveland, OH, Springfield, IL, and Lansing, MI. A 1998 survey done by the Environmental Protection Agency [EPA] reported that as many as 68 million Americans – that’s 1 in 5 – had been drinking water disinfected with chloramines.[2]


Why the Switch?

There is one really important reason why chloramines were added as a back up to chlorine: Chlorine dissipates quickly and the result could be that germs remain in the drinking water.

But there’s an even bigger concern about chloramines and that’s what they can do to your health. Research is currently underway to provide better answers as to why the use of chloramines to disinfect your water is risky business.

Risky Business

Exposure to chloramines in your drinking water can cause skin rashes and itching. It also doesn’t kill the pathogens that live in your water.

That may be okay for a healthy person but it isn’t for someone who has an autoimmune disease or children and the elderly.[3]

Here’s a way to find out whether your water treatment plant is using chloramines as its disinfectant: Ask for a consumer confidence report. In this report, you will see what the contaminant levels are over a certain period of time and see how that compares to the safe levels the EPA describes.[4]

If you find that your water contains chloramines, removal is the next step.

The Chloramine Removal Process

There are two good ways to remove chloramine from your water: An activated charcoal filter or use of a reverse osmosis system.


There are two types you should consider and each of them comes in either a rigid block containing activated carbon and a binder or a shell with granulated activated carbon or GAC:

  • Charred and activated coconut
  • Wood

The carbon absorbs the chloramine but there is a caveat: Once the carbon filter wears out, you must replace it.

Reverse Osmosis

Reverse osmosis systems are a great choice for your workplace to provide clean, fresh drinking water for your employees and guests. One of the most important things to consider when choosing a reverse osmosis system is to make sure the chloramines are removed using a chloramine filter before the water gets to the reverse osmosis membrane.

PWT products utilize both GAC filter and Reverse Osmosis. It even includes a 4th coconut fiber filter for added filtering & taste benefits.

Make sure to see the certifications provided by any point of use water filtration system before buying the product. They should carry the WQA gold seal as well as ISO 9001 and 14001.





U.S. Water Concerns: Issues with Pipes, Sewers. & Groundwater

U.S. Water Concerns: Issues with Pipes, Sewers. & Groundwater You’ve likely heard all about the water crisis in Flint, Michigan that started in 2014. The city was having issues with its budget, so to save money; the state switched the city’s surface water supply from Lake Huron to the Flint River. Residents were surprised by […]

Think PFO’s Don’t Affect You? Officials Call for Drastic Action Amid ‘Water Quality Crisis’ in Newburgh

Think PFO’s Don’t Affect You? Officials Call for Drastic Action Amid ‘Water Quality Crisis’ in Newburgh

PFOS, the chemical found in the water, has been linked to cancer, thyroid problems and other serious health issues State leaders in New York are calling for drastic action to keep drinking water safe in response to what they call a “water quality crisis,” especially in Newburgh and surrounding […]

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Anyone interested in having their blood tested should call the Water Quality Hotline at 800-801-8092.

Police shot and killed a man in Prospect Heights on Wednesday morning, about six hours after another man was shot and killed by an officer in Brooklyn, the NYPD said.

Bottled Water Costs 2000 Times As Much As Tap Water

Via Wikimedia Commons It’s consumer confidence Friday. Preliminary results from the University of Michigan’s July consumer confidence survey indicated that confidence dipped slightly in July , defying consensus expectations for an increase to new five-year highs. Against that backdrop, ConvergEx Group Chief Market Strategist Nick Colas highlights a few […]

Three Reasons Why Drinking Untreated Water is Unsafe

Drinking Untreated Water The vast majority of people do not have access to safe drinking water. The global intake of water is doubling every twenty years. The consumption of water is increasing twice the rate of the population. According to an estimate, by 2025 at least 3 billion people […]

Lead levels: 43 % of drinking water fountains and taps in Surrey schools need flushing

Drinking Water Fountains and Taps in Surrey Schools

About four per cent of water sources the board tested were found to have unsafe levels of lead even after two minutes of flushing. (CBC) The Surrey school board says it is taking action to remedy unsafe lead levels found in drinking water at some of its schools. In […]

N.Y. governor signs law mandating lead testing in schools

N.Y. governor signs law mandating lead testing in schools

(Photo: Peter Carr/The Journal News) ALBANY — Schools in New York will have to test drinking water for lead contamination . Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation into law Tuesday that will require the state’s nearly 700 districts to conduct the testing, and he separately ordered the state Health Department […]