Is it Safe to Drink Tap Water?

It is no secret that drinking water is essential to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Unfortunately, not all water is safe for consumption. More and more Americans are becoming aware of the potential dangers of drinking tap water. However, many people are still in the dark or simply choose to ignore the negative effects that tap water can have on their health and overall wellbeing. Despite stringent government regulations, countless contaminants could be lurking in your unfiltered tap water. These contaminants often go undetected and end up in a drinking glass. While the United States has higher quality tap water than most other countries, it is still not perfect and there are many potential dangers to consuming unfiltered water.

The Possible Dangers of Unfiltered Water

Lead

Lead can enter your tap water through corroded service pipes and faucets. Tap water contaminated with lead is most common in homes built before 1986. The health effects of lead consumption can be seriously detrimental, especially in children. Lead exposure can result in learning disabilities, damage to the nervous system, impaired hearing, and more.

Chlorine

Chlorine is widely used as a way of killing microorganisms and disinfecting drinking water. However, the chemical has been linked to many forms of cancer. When chlorine interacts with organic compounds in water, trihalomethanes form, which can damage or destroy important cells in the body.

Arsenic

Arsenic is another contaminant found in tap water that can do serious damage to your health. The chemical can enter water through natural or human activities. The consumption of arsenic can have cancerous effects on the skin, kidneys, lungs, liver and more.

Fluoride

The addition of fluoride to public drinking water was widely debated. The intended purpose behind water fluoridation was to decrease the rate of cavities and tooth decay. However, recent research has shown that the chemical does a lot more harm than good. Fluoride can actually damage children’s teeth and lead to bone disease.

Play it Safe with a Filter

When it comes to tap water, it is better to be safe than sorry. The water softening and filtration products and services at American Water can eliminate the potential dangers found in tap water. Our staff is prepared to help you find the right water system that will fit your needs, as well as your budget. Contact us today at (512) 388-0022.



What to do during a water outage

You never know when your water will get cut off. Water outages could last for several hours or days and occur when there’s ongoing street work in the area or the pressure in the water line is too low. Here are some tips to help you make it through water outage:

  • Buy water – Always stock up on water in your 72-hour emergency kit to ensure you have enough safe drinking water during the outage. You can also fill your bath tub with water that can be used when flushing your toilet.
  • Shut down your heating system – Turning the water heater off will prevent it from overheating or catching fire when the line runs dry.
  • As much as possible, limit usage of any household appliance that requires water.

If you or someone you know is experiencing water problems, our team of water softener and clean water specialists can help you. We at American Water are knowledgeable about different water systems and can provide solutions to your concerns. Get in touch with us at (512) 388-0022 to learn more about your options.



Water outage in Hays County

The West Travis County Public Utility Agency (WTCPUA) conducted an emergency repair on a 16” transmission main break in Hays County. Water service was interrupted for several hours because of the December 4th issue, which was reportedly caused by a broken air release valve. Because of this, consumers living in the affected areas should expect the water pressure to drop to 20 psi. WTCPUA urges consumers to boil the water prior to consumption to avoid harmful bacteria and microbes that may become present at a low water pressure. Residents may opt to purchase bottled waters or get water from other safe public drinking water systems.

WTCPUA will issue the cancellation of the notice once the repair is finished. Some of the areas affected in the interruption include:

  • Village of Bear Creek
  • Bear Creek Estate
  • Hills of Texas
  • Friendship Ranch
  • Fox Run
  • Reunion Ranch

For all your drinking water concerns, feel free to get in touch with our water softener and clean water specialists at American Water. Contact us at (512) 388-0022 to learn more about which home water system suits your needs.



EPA, UT simulate water models over flooding concerns

Once again, following a season of flooding in central Texas, concerns regarding the water quality of the area arose. Citing these fears, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded the Cockrell School of Engineering at the University of Texas a $3.9 million grant.

An associate professor from UT that’s been included in the program, Dr. Ben Hodges, claims that the grant money will be put towards creating water infrastructure models, meant to study where flooding collects and flows. Alongside UT and EPA cooperation, other partners and participants include the Urban Watersheds Research Institute, a nonprofit that works in improving water standards from their base in Denver; Texas Tech University; Brigham Young University; and North Carolina State University.

It is Dr. Hodges’ hope that, through community involvement and support, the models will become self-sustaining after the end of the program or when involvement from the original team dissolves. Furthermore, when the grant money runs out, the study contributors will be turning to funding from private firms and businesses.

For your drinking water concerns, at American Water, the Austin water softener and filter experts can help you choose the water system that meets your every need. Contact them today at (512) 388-0022 to learn more about which home water system is right for you.



Austin Gives Green Light to $500,000 Wastewater Repair Project

Austin Water Utility recently authorized an emergency repair project that would allow $488,000 to go towards repairing the Southland lift station that was damaged during a flood in August. The flood caused a surge of runoff water to infiltrate the station’s dry well through vents, damaging the electrical and motor controls and overflowing sanitary sewer water. As a result, 50,000 gallons of sewage spilled into a South Austin tributary.

While the spill did not affect the city’s water supply, any amount of spillage near Austin’s local waterways could present a health hazard. Currently, the project is being executed on an emergency basis. It is speculated to take about seven months, during which repairs should prevent the lift station from overflowing in the future.

Lift stations are particularly vulnerable during floods and this is not the first time the Southland station has overflowed. Reports in 2014 confirmed a similar incident that caused a 47,000-gallon spillage into the same tributary.

Clean, sanitary water is one of the most basic necessities of life. The clean water specialists at American Water can help you determine which water filtration system best fits your needs and can ensure that your water source is not contaminated. Call (512) 388-0022 today to learn more about our services.



Legionella bacteria made one American Airlines worker ill

In a statement from American Airlines spokespeople, the company has reportedly found that the source of Legionnaires’ disease, which affected one employee, was based in the water supply from four maintenance hangars in Texas.

On Friday, October 7, the employees of the airline received a letter confirming that low levels of the Legionella bacteria had been detected in eight of the shower heads, several faucets, and some fountains at the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport hangars.

One worker did face illness with symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea suggesting it was from the bacteria. Fortunately, the employee avoided the potentially deadlier symptoms, which include pneumonia. The spokesman of American Airlines, Matt Miller, told reporters that the airline had been in collaboration with authorities and purifying their water supplies.

For your water filter and softeners needs, American Water offers Austin water softener and filter expertise that meets every need of a home or industrial water system. Call them at (512) 388-0022 to learn more about their full line of Kinetico’s innovative water filtration systems.



Report contends Texas Railroad Commission’s practices are flawed

According to a report released in August by environmental advocacy group Clean Water Action, over the past three decades, the state of Texas has allowed the drilling of oil and natural gas injection wells in some areas near drinking water sources. Texas claims that these effort pose “little to no risk” to the subterranean reserves.

Texas is being accused of failing to comply with EPA standards that require safeguards near aquifers. The state has allowed thousands of injection wells to be built while almost completely ignoring these federal guidelines. Clean Water Action has pointed out that the Texas Railroad Commission has no idea how many of these wells exist.

A spokesperson for the Railroad Commission said that the commission will use grant funding to verify that permits issued to oil companies do not present a danger to underground water supplies and that it prioritizes water safety.

The Clean Water Action report says the problem is potentially quite serious due to the sheer number of injection wells that have been in operation since 1982. The report concludes that Texas “routinely prioritized the concerns of the oil and gas industry over the long term drinking water needs of Texas residents.”

Even if the Railroad Commission is right and there is no danger of water being contaminated by injection well waste, a water filtration system is still a good investment. At American Water, our Austin water softener and filter experts can help you choose the water system that meets your every need, so call us today at (512) 388-0022.



AISD quells parents’ fears of lead in water fountains

Parents of Austin Independent School District students have been told that their childrens’ drinking fountains have been cleared of suspicion of lead through recent tests. The district released a report in March that said they had not, up until that point, been testing their water for lead, inciting the fearful reaction from parents.

One fountain at Zavala Elementary School was found to have higher levels of lead than acceptable, but the district quickly removed the fountain and did more extensive testing at that school. Their results found that no other tested school or fountain at Zavala had lead content above what is safe.

Though lead testing is not required in the area, AISD has many schools that are over 50 years old, making them more likely to have lead fixtures that would contaminate the water, leading to concerns.

Paul Turner, AISD’s executive director of facilities, stated that the response to parent worries was done simply out of an abundance of caution rather than any serious concerns.

When it comes to your drinking water, there is no way to be too safe. For all of your concerns, contact the American Water at (512) 388-0022.



Warning issued to South Austin neighborhood to boil water before consumption

Austin Water issued a “Boil Water Alert” to a neighborhood in the southeast Austin area, Texas Oaks South, located between the Slaughter Creek and the Mary Moore Searight Metropolitan Park.

A break in the main water supply pipeline to the neighborhood prompted the notice. Instructions pertaining to the alert included that all neighborhood occupants need to bring their water to a full boil for a couple minutes and allow it to cool before use, which will kill any dangerous bacteria present. Alternatively, residents can purchase bottled water for use.

Texas Oaks South occupants are warned that there will be either no water or very low water pressure over an eight-12 hour period and lab tests are required before the notice will be lifted. Officials will issue another announcement when the water is safe again.

At American Water, our Austin water softener and filter experts can help you choose the water system that meets your every need while fitting your budget, so call us today at (512) 388-0022.



Water Quality Concerns with Rio 2016 Olympics

The current controversy surrounding the summer 2016 Olympics hosted by Brazil involving the water quality in the surrounding areas has raised many concerns this year. These water quality concerns have even led many professional athletes to decline their Olympic invitations for health reasons.

The water on the beaches of Rio and the Guanabara Bay are reported to be heavily contaminated by raw sewage and other wastes. Many grotesque pictures have been posted on social media to further spread the issues around the water quality, as people around the world have begun criticizing Brazil for its lack of health standards. The Associated Press recently released a study on the water quality and concluded that swimmers need only consume three teaspoons of the contaminated water before contracting a virus.

Even though the water quality standards in America are generally much higher, our water is still not completely contaminant free. With the help of a Whole House Filtration System provided by American Water, you can enjoy clean, filtered water throughout the entirety of your home. Contact us today at (512) 388-0022 to learn more about our products.



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