Northern Virginia is growing in population rapidly and as more individuals transfer into the world, a question that is asked increasingly more incessantly is – what is the quality of my drinking water?
Individuals and households are naturally concerned with their well being and drinking water is an important component of sustaining good health.
Sadly, the quality of the water in Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C. is very poor and is getting worse. Contaminants, micro organism, minerals and chemicals in faucet water are masked with heavy doses of chlorine and faucet water, in addition to being unhealthy, tastes and smells terrible.
Regulation from the Environmental Protection Company (EPA) doesn’t eradicate contamination however merely units most levels of contaminants that can enter the human physique. and trigger long term injury.
What’s the Story With Tap Water?
Tap water is municipal water that’s often pumped from a nearby river and then processed to fulfill EPA tips. The processing is usually finished by way of a waster remedy plant with heavy quantities of chlorine added to kill remaining micro organism that processing does not catch. It will be significant to note that EPA pointers are just that they set up minimum quantities of allowed contamination that will ultimately be harmful to both adults and youngsters.
In Northern Virginia and Washington D.C. the drinking water is pumped primarily out of the Potomac River and not less than one waste remedy plant.
Contaminants that may be present in this source water include:
Microbial contaminants, corresponding to viruses and micro organism, which may come from sewage treatment plants, septic programs, agricultural livestock operations, and wildlife.
Inorganic contaminants, similar to salts and metals, which can be naturally-occurring or end result from urban storm water runoff, industrial or home waste water discharges, oil and gasoline manufacturing, mining, or farming.
Contaminants also embrace pesticides and herbicides, which may come from a wide range of sources similar to agriculture, urban storm water runoff, and residential makes use of.
As well as contaminants could embody natural chemical contaminants, together with artificial and risky natural chemicals, that are by-products of industrial processes and petroleum production, and can even come from gasoline stations, urban storm water runoff and septic systems.
Radioactive contaminants, which might be naturally occurring or be the results of oil and fuel manufacturing and mining activities also affect native tap water.
What’s the source of water in Washington D.C.?
The water within the Potomac River, Anacostia River, and Rock Creek flows into the District from outside jurisdictions. For instance, the Potomac River begins in West Virginia, whereas the Anacostia River begins in Maryland. The standard of water within the District is thus affected by actions throughout the watershed.
Storm water runoff from industrial, industrial, residential and agricultural sites, level supply pollutants from wastewater remedy plants and industrial discharges, and combined sewer overflows from as far away as West Virginia and Pennsylvania all contribute to the standard of water in the District and Northern Virginia.
What About Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs)
CSOs regularly happen when pure occasions like flooding overcome the capacity of waste therapy plants and uncooked sewage is pumped again into the water supply like the Potomac River.
Throughout intervals of great rainfall, the capability of a mixed sewer could also be exceeded. When this occurs, regulators are designed to let the excess stream, which is a mixture of storm water and sanitary wastes, to be discharged on to the Anacostia River, Rock Creek, the Potomac River, or tributary waters. This excess circulation known as Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO). Launch of this excess move is necessary to forestall flooding in houses, basements, companies, and streets but it surely adds micro organism and contaminants as potential threats to faucet water.
Since a portion of the faucet water comes from sewerage therapy plants CSO’s can adversely affect the quality of our receiving waters in a quantity of ways:
CSO’s contain material which contributes to excessive micro organism levels in the receiving waters. Organic materials in CSO’s can contribute to low dissolved oxygen ranges, which can contribute to a possible for fish stress or fish kills, especially in summer months; and, debris in CSO’s reminiscent of plastic bottles, Styrofoam cups (otherwise known as “floatables”) contribute to poor aesthetics.
How Protected For Drinking is Nicely Water?
Nicely water, a well-liked various to tap water significantly in Northern Virginia is topic to the identical ground water contaminants, chemical discharge waste and organic waste as faucet water however is not topic to any regulation by any means.
Along with emitting foul sulphur odors and sediment from the water Northern Virginia properly water comprises important amounts of iron in the rock in some areas, significantly the Piedmont and Blue Ridge, leading to iron “staining.” Sulfide in floor water can also be present in elements of the Valley and Ridge the place coal or pure fuel is current produces an obnoxious odor.
Ground water that could be a supply of properly water additionally could be contaminated by human activities. Micro organism from septic systems, and nitrate from each septic systems and fertilizer applications, are amongst the most typical contaminants. Since nicely water isn’t topic to regulation, the potability and suitability for drinking, of a non-public effectively is the accountability of the homeowner and many non-public wells are contaminated.
Treating Drinking Water From Wells
The Sate of Virginia strongly recommends remedy of effectively water with chlorine to kill micro organism in nicely water and, in an effort to overcome the obnoxious smell and style of chlorine, de chlorination. Once more, this course of is not controlled by any state or Federal agency.
Two common kinds of water treatment are disinfecting and conditioning. To make sure that the availability is freed from dangerous bacteria, water is disinfected. Objectionable tastes, odors, and matter are eliminated by conditioning.
Properly Water Disinfection Strategies
Drinking water is mostly tested for coliform micro organism, which dwell in the intestines of heat-blooded animals. Coliform bacteria in a properly are usually the result of a defective septic system or contaminated floor water getting into the properly or water supply system.
Materials and instruments utilized in nicely development are incessantly contaminated withbacteria that dwell within the soil and these may be introduced into the water system whereas constructing the nicely, installing components of the piping system, or servicing any part of the water supply system. The State of Virginia strongly recommends that the water system be disinfected following development and in any case repairs.
Chlorination is used to disinfect non-public provides as a result of it destroys bacteria within an affordable contact time and gives residual safety. However,strange ranges of chlorination usually are not all the time effective in destroying Giardia cysts, which trigger a severe gastrointestinal illness. Super-excessive ranges of chlorination,boiling and filtering are the one effective strategies to destroy or remove these cysts.
Excessive chlorine concentrations can have objectionable tastes and odors, and even low chlorine concentrations react with some organic compounds to produce robust, unpleasant tastes and odors.
To eliminate these offensive tastes and to take away extreme amounts of chlorine, the water is then dechlorinated. Activated carbon filters are the commonest units used to dechlorinate water, take away objectionable chlorine tastes, and scale back corrosion of plumbing methods.
Along with removing style and odor problems, reports have shown that granular activated carbon absorption is the most effective method currently out there to take away specific natural chemicals (together with some pesticide residues), and as a method for radon elimination.
How Safe is Tap and Nicely Water for Drinking?
Municipalities, effectively house owners and even the EPA claim that tap and properly water in Northern Virginia and Washington D.C. is completely secure for drinking but one should wonder. Consider the supply of tap water in mild of sewage remedy, heavy chlorine additive and waste discharge in the Potomac River and one begins to wonder. Also consider that nicely water is topic to many of the contaminants of faucet water however is unregulated as well.
Is Drinking Bottled Water an alternative to Tap or Well?
The popularity of bottled water has grown tremendously as People search healthy lifestyles and higher tasting water. But not all bottled water is healthier than the faucet or effectively various.
As much as 25% of all bottled water in the marketplace is faucet water repacked in plastic bottles and bottled water that isn’t purified typically incorporates minerals and different contaminants which may be harmful to your health. These contaminants should not solely unhealthy and affect the taste of the water however restrict storage life for emergency provides of drinking water.
Purified water however, using a distillation and oxygenation course of, gives the water drinker the safest and best tasting different to contaminated faucet and effectively water in Northern Virginia and Washington D.C. Distillation removes the water from the contaminants in a process that insures purity and oxygenation provides a mild refreshing taste to the remaining purified water.