Over 300,000 residents around Charleston, West Virginia, were told on Thursday January, 9, 2014, that the water coming out of their sinks was unsafe for cooking, bathing, drinking, and even washing their dishes and clothes. Many business and restaurants were closed by the Health Department because they were not able to use tap water for washing hands or for dishwashers. The only thing that residents of nine West Virginia counties were advised to use their tap water for is flushing toilets and fire suppression.
The water was deemed unsafe because a chemical storage facility, Freedom Industries, had leaked almost 8,000 gallons of 4-methylcyclohexane methanol or MCHM into the river. This toxic spill was located just up stream from the West Virginia American Water Company’s water treatment plant. As a result, Earl Ray Tomblin the state’s Governor issued a State of Emergency order to assist residents in getting access to clean water and to obtain federal help.
MCHM is used to clean coal during the manufacturing and refining process. The chemical smells very similar to licorice. When exposed to MCHM, humans can experience nausea, vomiting, burning skin, itching eyes, and rashes. According to news reports, 169 people have been treated for symptoms related to the water spill and 10 people have been hospitalized. Unfortunately, the EPA does not regulate this chemical’s presence in water, and has not suggested a filtration method for homeowners to use.
After four days of flushing the pipe systems and testing, the water company has slowly begun to release areas from the “Do Not Use” order. As of January 13, the area allowed to use tap water is very small, but is expected to grow throughout the coming days. Residents of West Virginia can look up their address on this interactive map to see if their water is safe.
While many were shoveling snow this weekend, a new Federal law went into effect that you may not know about. Lead exposure can cause serious and long-term health problems. It can harm infants’ and children’s mental and physical development and has also been show to raise pregnant mothers’ reisk of miscarriage and early birth. In recognition of this dangerous contaminant, the Federal Government has passed a law stating that it is now illegal to install, sell, or manufacture pipes and fittings intended for use with potable water that contain more than .25% lead by weight. This law is an extension of previous state-wide laws in California, Vermont, and Louisiana. The federal law applies to resellers, contractors, manufacturers, dealers, and many others across the country.
Excluded from the law are those pipes, fittings, and faucets that do not come in contact with potable water. Agricultural water uses, industrial cooling towers, and toilets would be some of these exclusions. What is included in this law may be surprising, though. Many would automatically assume that sink taps and drinking fountains are included in this law. But did you know that bathroom sink fixtures, under the counter water filtration systems, and even hot water dispensers are also included in this law?
For several years since the law passed, many manufacturers have been working on designing and producing lead-free pipes, fittings, and fixtures. As a result, Fresh Water Systems has been phasing out items that contain more than .25% lead. When you purchase anything from Fresh Water Systesm from small John Guest fittings to large whole house filtration systems, you can rest easy that your purchase is not only compliant with the new law but will also be safe for your business or home.
For more information on the Federal Lead-Free compliance law visit Fresh Water Systems.com
If you need help selecting the right products for your next water project, give one of our Certified Water Specialists a call at 1-877-335-3339.
Today is New Year’s Day. 2013 has ended, and a new year has just begun. If you are like many other people, you are probably thinking about making some resolutions for this year. Maybe you want to loose weight, save money, or start a new job.
So why not start small? Here are four small resolutions that you can actually keep. Do these and you will be on your way to bigger, more substantial goals.
1. Drink more filtered water. Boston College released a study showing that 2/3 of American adults do not drink enough water. As a result, these thirsty people are more likely to suffer from headaches, fatigue, and other health problems. So, make a resolution to drink more filtered water. Carrying a water bottle is a great way to accomplish this goal. Have the watter bottle with you whereever you go so that it can easily be refilled and on hand when you need it.
2. Replace two sodas a week with filtered water. This is an easy and attainable resolution that will help you accomplish two bigger goals: drinking more water and saving money. Most sodas at restaurants or gas stations cost at least $1.50, if not more. By giving up two of these drinks a week, at the end of the year you will see a savings of at least $156. You will also be healthier by having consumed less calories (at least 14,000 less!).
3. Spend less time in front of electronic screens. Studies have shown that children who spend more time in front of electronic screens are more likely to become obese, lose sleep, and experience attention problems. This includes watching TV, playing video games, and spending time on the computer. If kiddos experience these problems, it stands to reason that adults will too. To help yourself avoid some of these effects, put down your iphone or tablet. Get up, look away from your screen and take a break. While you are taking a break, maybe you can do the next resolution:
4. Take a walk. This short video can show the tremendous benefits to taking a walk for thirty minutes a day. Taking the time to walk just thirty minutes a day can lower depression, boost energy, and help you sleep better!