Water Hazard for Western NJ Water

If you thought about it, wouldn’t you think that no arsenic in your drinking water is better than any arsenic in your drinking water?

It seems though there are different standards for arsenic in your water.

  • The EPA (federal) sets different standards for what is seen as acceptable levels of chemicals like lead and arsenic among other chemicals in your drinking water.
  • The state of New Jersey also has set a limit on what is considered by them as ‘acceptable’ levels.
  • Water Commissions in the state of New Jersey also set recommended levels for certain chemicals that they feel are manageable for account of other factors like detectability and the cost of treatment.

And they are not all the same levels.

Andrea Drinkard, a spokeswoman for EPA, said the agency distinguishes between the enforcement levels and Maximum Contaminant Limit Goals (MCLGs), as set by the Safe Drinking Water Act. For example, the MCLG for arsenic is zero because there is no level of arsenic in water that is without risk, but the EPA has set 10 micrograms per liter as the enforcement level “in accordance with SDWA requirements that EPA consider the feasibility, costs, and benefits when establishing regulations,” she said.

According to New Jersey Spotlight News, 10/2019, an advocacy group, says some substances top recommended health limits; most samples met standards set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Drinking water supplied by New Jersey utilities between 2012 and 2017 contained 107 contaminants, some of which were at levels that advocates say are harmful to human health, according to a survey published on Wednesday.


Long term exposure to arsenic from drinking water is known to cause cancer and skin lesions. It has also been associated with cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Arsenic can enter the water from natural deposits or from industrial or agricultural deposits. Warren County as well as several other counties along the Delaware River bordering on Pennsylvania are active in agricultural activities including farming.

The advocacy organization called Environmental Working Group which uses data from the state Department of Environmental Protection on drinking water quality at New Jersey’s 579 utilities, as part of its national U.S. Tap Water Database, a biennial report. The latest tally of contaminants was 26 more than in the last report, covering the years 2010-2015, as was released two years ago.

Arsenic is one of 14 contaminants that New Jersey has stricter limits than the EPA, according to the DEP’s Annual Compliance Report for 2018, which describes the different standards that water utilities are required to meet.

  • It is thought that naturally occurring arsenic dissolves out of rock formations when the ground water levels drop significantly.
  • Levels above 10ppb will increase the long term affects as well as chronic health problems.
  • “Legal does not necessarily equal safe,” the group said. “Getting a passing grade from the federal government does not mean the water meets the latest health guidelines.”

Many experts on water safety consider any amount of arsenic in the water to be too much. Unless the contaminated water levels were treated the information is likely the same.

Spring Rain is the company to call to protect your family from contaminated water. It has filtration systems, including reverse osmosis water systems to help you maintain healthy clean water for your family.


What to do About Iron in Your Well Water in the Poconos


Town or municipal water is checked regularly for contaminants including levels of bacteria as well as arsenic, iron, and manganese, copper, and among others .However, the vast majority of water systems in the Poconos are not town or municipal water, rather most people have well water, with either wells that they have paid to be dug or have inherited as a result of buying a property. These private wells are not tested on a regular basis. Nor are they required to be by law.

From the Pocono Record in 2012: Pocono record (2012):

Most aesthetic problems in water are not hazardous, they’re mostly a nuisance or can cause damage to pipes. A majority of aesthetic problems include corrosive and hard water, or water that contains iron, manganese, or hydrogen sulfate.

For water that has aesthetic problems, such as discoloration from piping, or odors from certain minerals, Sulstock adds that the most popular and easiest way to treat water is filtration systems.

Also from the Pocono Record (2016): The federal Environmental Protection Agency and a local geologist noted that well water can pose problems simply because the EPA does not have the authority to regulate private drinking water wells and thus they are not subject to EPA standards. “For private wells, there is virtually no oversight, and it is up to the private well owner to ensure the drinking water is safe. In general, the well water in the Poconos is rather pristine, but this means that the water is more likely corrosive to metal plumbing and fixtures,” Oram said. The most common problems for private wells include the presence of coliform bacteria, low pH, corrosive water and elevated levels of iron and manganese, Oram said.

High iron is another common water problem that afflicts many Pennsylvania homeowners. A 2016 report found excessive iron concentrations in 17 percent of Pennsylvania’s private water supplies.

Iron and manganese both infiltrate water systems - especially deeper wells - because water has been in contact with rock for an extended period. These two minerals often occur together in groundwater, although iron concentrations tend to be higher than their corresponding manganese levels. High iron content in water is colorless and may not be apparent at first.

Water should not contain more than 0.3 parts per million of iron. Water tainted with high levels of iron can cause skin problems and have negative impacts on your health. In rare cases, small bacteria that feed off iron can be harmful if digested.

Too much iron in the water:

  • Cause yellow, red, or brown stains on dishes, laundry, and plumbing fixtures.
  • Turn tea, coffee, and potatoes black.
  • Iron can lead to a metallic taste in food and drink.

A bad taste from drinking and cooking water is never a good sign. While normal levels of iron in drinking water will not have a negative impact on human health or well-being, excessive amounts can certainly do harm

Having your well water tested on a yearly basis is a first step to making sure your water is within healthy parameters. Spring Rain are the experts that can help you with high levels of Iron or other chemicals in your water with water filtration systems.


Chalky Residue on Your Faucets

It is limescale. Call it water scale, calcium scale or limescale, it is all the same thing. It is the crusty, chalky residue from hard water that clings to faucets, creates lines in bathtubs and streaks in toilets.

There are two types of water hardness, temporary and permanent. Temporary hardness is caused by dissolved calcium hydrogencarbonate, which is removed by boiling. Temporary hardness is the white line inside a tea pot, which can be removed by boiling a half cup of water with a half cup of vinegar and then rinsing thoroughly. Permanent hardness is caused by dissolved calcium sulfate and is not removed by boiling.

Q: How many counties on either side of the Pennsylvania/New Jersey border have hard water?

All of them.

Signs of hard water:

  • Drier skin and a feeling of soap scum on your hands.
  • Pipes clog up more.
  • Spots on glasses.
  • Iron stains in your toilet.
  • Chalky residue around faucets.

Hot-water heaters are the most common place for scale formation in a home water system. This can reduce the life of the product. Other appliances are affected as well including washing machines and dishwashers as they all use hot water which produces scale faster.

Spring Rain can help with hard water issues and solutions. A water softener or scale prep system helps to eliminate the buildup of hard water scale. What you want is a way to have your appliances last as long as possible and enjoy your showers more, as well as enjoying softer skin and healthier hair. All these things can be achieved by talking to the professionals at Spring Rain.

hard water times

Hard (Water) Times in Quakertown, PA

On a warm summer day, the idea of getting a refreshing glass of water from the faucet is amazing! If that faucet happens to be in Quakertown water supply system, you may want to think twice. In addition to having some of the hardest water in the region, Quakertown’s public water reports have shown some concerning contaminants throughout the years.

Quakertown’s Water System

In Quakertown is delivered from a network of eleven operating wells. These wells are in and around town and are part of a geologic formation known as the Brunswick formation. In the last few years news reports have emerged that some chemicals like arsenic and Pefluorononanoic acid, or PFNA, are present in uncomfortable levels, but at levels considered acceptable by local government. In fact, many concertning contaminants are unregulated altogether.

However, what the Quakertown Borough Water Department considers ‘acceptable’ and what is acceptable for your family may differ.


Water Hardness in Quakertown

Having served the Quakertown area for many years, we have observed some of the hardest water we have ever seen. If you buy property in Quakertown and don’t immediately implement a water softening or filtering system, you will find etches on your water glasses and problems with your pipes and water-utilizing appliances – especially hot water appliances such as water heaters, boilers, washing machines, dishwashers and even coffee pots. These appliances will fail and struggle often.

While water softeners are a good idea in 85% of all American homes, we believe that water softeners are 100% essential for residents of the Quakertown area. However, water softeners are not filtration systems. They use ionization to soften the water, but do not take contaminants out of the water. If you are concerned about contaminants, you will want to look at a Reverse Osmosis System.


Contaminants in Quakertown

Perfluorononanoic acid, or PFNA

This contaminant is a cousin to fluorine-based chemicals that have led to major drinking water contamination near Bucks and Montgomery County. A few of the wells in Quakertown have been found to have PFNA, which is considered an unregulated substance in Pennsylvania.

Last year New Jersey became the first state in the country to regulate the chemical, setting a limit of 13 ppt because animal studies suggest this chemical, while not carcinogenic, may lead to potential liver damage, increased liver weight, developmental delays, immunotoxicity issues, and male reproductive complications.

PFNA builds up in the blood from small concentrations in drinking water and is difficult for the body to excrete, and can remain in a person’s body for many years after exposure, increasing the risk of developing one of the harmful health effects.

As part of a regular program that searched for unregulated substances, from 2013 to 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency tested thousands of water supplies across the country for PFNA and other chemicals. The program included a sampling of the 11 groundwater wells the Quakertown Borough Water Department uses to provide drinking water for 12,800 residents.

PFNA was found in the borough’s Well 13, located near Krupp Park on the former land of the Krupp Foundry. Two tests there found PFNA at 35 and 32 parts per trillion (ppt). Again, PFNA is not regulated in drinking water by the EPA or its state equivalent, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.


Arsenic Levels in Quakertown, PA

The most recent Arsenic levels tests place Arsenic at 10 parts per billion (ppb) at 11ppb, they would be in violation. Be sure to keep an eye on your local water quality reports, as it is not unheard of for that level to exceed the allowable level, and for the well to remain open when in violation. The last time Arsenic levels exceeded allowable levels was in 2006 in Quakertown at the public water well near S. Main. Officials at the time said that this violation did not pose an immediate public health threat. However, it is important to note that arsenic is believed to cause certain types of cancer and other ailments after prolonged exposure. 

Arsenic is an odorless, tasteless element that is a naturally occurring. It is found in water, air, food, and soil. It is linked to several types of cancer including bladder, lungs, skin, kidney, and prostate. Arsenic is highly toxic in its inorganic form. Long-term exposure to arsenic from drinking-water can cause skin lesions as well as cardiovascular disease and diabetes.


Overcoming Water Contamination

Reverse Osmosis Whole-House, or Location Specific Water Filtration Systems

Spring Rain Inc, can take your worries over water quality away, leaving you and your family with healthy, refreshing water through the system of reverse osmosis. RO systems use a series of filters that pre-treat your water and then filter that water through a permeable membrane. The pore size of a reverse osmosis filter is 1000 times smaller than the standard filter size of the leading competition, which is 1 micron. These units can be installed in a variety of locations. Many choose to filter just their sink/drinking water while others prefer a whole-home solution. Learn where you can place an RO system here.


Benefits of a Reverse Osmosis System

• Clear and fresh water with no odors.

• Absorption of toxic substances inside the filter system, including sulfates, arsenic, aluminum, parasites, and viruses.

• Chemical-free water that contains very few dissolved solids and is a cut above many filters.

• Elimination of hard water stains or mineral deposits on showers, tubs, and sinks. 

reverse osmosis

DID YOU KNOW? While RO systems used to require 4 gallons to create 1 gallon of clean water, we now offer a 1:1 system!

where to put a reverse osmosis system

Where to Put a Reverse Osmosis System

You're ready for clean water, but let’s talk about where a reverse osmosis system (ROS) should be installed to get the biggest benefit for you and your family for fresh clean water.

Under the sink:

  • This is the most common place for a Reverse Osmosis System (ROS)
  • Either the kitchen sink or bathroom sink
  • Connecting an under the kitchen sink ROS to your refrigerator will allow ice cubes to be clear

Whole House Reverse Osmosis for Homes with a Well

  • If you get your drinking water from a private well, then a ROS is an excellent way to ensure that the water flowing to your tap is safe
  • A reverse osmosis system is a perfect way to remove difficult contaminants often found in well water, like nitrates

For the Main Water Supply for Homes With City Water

  • City Water is treated before it reaches your home - but some cities do better than others, and many contaminants are completely unregulated, despite being linked to a variety of health concerns. All towns are required to post their water quality reports online. Peruse your town or city's water reports to decide if a whole house reverse osmosis system would be best for your family.
  • A reverse osmosis system is a perfect way to remove difficult contaminants often found in well water, like nitrates
ros main water

For a Saltwater Aquarium:

  • Reverse osmosis allows you to strip all minerals from the water and add the amount of salt you need back in with a remineralizing filter
  • Most aquarists rely on a combination of reverse osmosis and deionization (known as RO/DI water) to ensure their fish are immersed in highly pure water to match the fish’s natural environment

For your greenhouse:

  • Where plants are misted or in small gardens, depending on the types of plants
  • When doing hydroponic farming which eliminates soil, and instead nurtures fruits and flowers with only nutrient-rich water, high-quality water is of utmost importance to hydroponic success.

In RVs:

RO systems require draining which makes it a bit tricky as drain hookups aren’t located at campsites. A ROS can though be very helpful when your RV adventuring takes you out into the wilderness. Think of times you have gone camping or RVing and had to get water from a stream or river. The ROS can remove harmful bacteria among other things.

will reverse osmosis work

Will a Reverse Osmosis Water System Work for You?

New York City water is some of the best tasting water in the world. Surprising right? Often called the champagne of tap water. Pretty impressive. Water for New York City is brought in from upstate reservoirs and tested for pathogens and lead. They also spend millions of dollars keeping it that way.

    Now what about the water in your home?
  • Are you concerned about contaminants?
  • Is there a funny or ‘off’ taste to it?
  • Are you tired of spending money on bottled water?
  • Then a reverse osmosis water system may be in your future!

How does a reverse osmosis system work?

This is a system that pushes water through a prefilter to remove chlorine and sediment, then to a membrane of small pores to remove dissolved solids from the water before passing through a post filter to a dedicated faucet. Reverse osmosis blocks contaminants from entering the less concentrated side of the membrane, leaving clean water to flow through.

Depending on the system you choose, reverse osmosis systems have various stages depending on their number of prefilters and postfilters, up to five.

All reverse osmosis water systems contain a sediment filter and a carbon filter in addition to the RO membrane. The filters are called either prefilters or postfilters depending on whether water passes through them before or after it passes through the membrane.


What can the filters remove?

  • Sediment Filters: reduces particles such as dust, rust, and dirt.
  • Carbon Filter: reduces chlorine, and other contaminants that give water a bad taste or odor.
  • Semi-permeable Membrane: removes up to 98% of total dissolved solids.

Is having a reverse osmosis system give you healthier drinking water?

Having a Reverse Osmosis (RO) water tank makes making healthy water easier to access. Your filtration system will clean the water and send it to the storage tank, when you turn on your faucet the water, which goes through another post filter is there. If you chose not to have the storage tank, it will take a bit for the water to go through the system. And really who likes to wait for a glass of water?

    A reverse osmosis water will:
  • Reduce harmful dissolved contaminants
  • Sodium reduced
  • Bad tastes and odors reduced
  • Environmentally better than bottled water

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