residential water treatment

Long Term 1 Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule (4)

The Pennsylvania DEP Long Term 1 Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule (LT1 ESWTR)

LT1ESWTR was the first small system regulation that provides protection against the disease-causing organism Cryptosporidium. In Pennsylvania, the LT1ESWTR is expected to provide additional protection to over 600,000 customers. This rule will applies to about 265 public water systems using surface water or ground water under the direct influence of surface water that each serve less than 10,000 people. Early provisions of this rule took affect in the summer of 2002, but the main provisions becameeffective in 2005.

PA DEP Radionuclide Rule for Public Water (1)

The Pennsylvania DEP Radionuclide Rule for Public Water

Regulations for radionuclides in drinking water first became effective in 1976. The revised Radionuclides Rule required implementation for some systems starting in 2005. The rule was revised to improve public health protection by requiring monitoring at all entry points to a drinking water distribution system, to create a new standard for uranium, to change monitoring frequencies, and to create new monitoring requirements for radium-226 and radium-228.

disinfectants

The Pennsylvania DEP Rules for Stage 2 Disinfectants

The Stage 2 Disinfectants and Disinfection Byproducts Rule is a new federal regulation (NOTE: Stage 1 is a final federal regulation and was published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin on July 21, 2001). The US Environmental Protection Agency created Stage 2 to supplement existing regulations by requiring drinking water suppliers to meet disinfection byproduct maximum contaminant levels at each monitoring site in the distribution system. This rule seeks to better identify monitoring sites where customers are exposed to high levels of disinfection byproducts. This regulation will reduce byproduct exp

Pennsylvania DEP Rules for Groundwater

The Pennsylvania DEP Rules for Groundwater

The Groundwater Rule (GWR) requirements became effective December 1, 2009. The GWR applies to all public water systems that serve groundwater. The rule also applies to any system that combines surface and groundwater if the groundwater is provided to consumers without treatment under the surface water treatment rule. In addition, systems purchasing groundwater from another system are required to comply with certain requirements of the rule.

DEP Lead Copper Rules for Water

The Pennsylvania DEP Lead & Copper Rules for Water

The Lead and Copper Rule was created to protect public health by minimizing lead (Pb) and copper (Cu) levels in drinking water, primarily by reducing water corrosivity. Pb and Cu enter drinking water mainly from corrosion of Pb and Cu containing plumbing materials. The rule establishes an action level (AL) of 0.015 mg/L for lead and 1.3 mg/L for copper based on the 90th percentile level of tap water samples.

natural water substances

Naturally Occurring Substances in Drinking Water

The quality of drinking water has improved in the Lehigh Valley and surrounding areas over the years as better water systems are put in place.  However, there are still chemicals and microorganisms that occur naturally that pose a health risk.

Arsenic – Arsenic occurs naturally in the earth's crust. Arsenic in drinking water comes from water traveling through natural rock formations. The water can dissolve arsenic and carry it into underground aquifers, streams, or rivers that may become drinking water supplies.

Long-term exposure to low levels of inorganic arsenic in drinking water is known to cause health problems including:

  • Cancer
  • Thickening and discoloration of the skin
  • Issues with blood vessels, high blood pressure, and heart disease
  • Nerve issues including numbness and/or pain.

Nitrate – Nitrate is a form of nitrogen that occurs naturally in the environment as well as introduced from human and animal sources. This is the nutrient most often used for lawn and garden care and crop production to increase productivity. Sources including feedlots, animal enclosures, septic systems, and waste treatment systems are additional sources of nitrogen that are carried in waste. It occurs naturally in the soil in organic matter from decaying plant and animal residues.  It is highly soluble and easily moves with water through layers of soil. Unless tested for, nitrate in water is undetectable as it is colorless, odorless, and tasteless.  

While research has been limited, due to the complexity and cost of this type of research, studies have shown a relationship with long-term ingestion of elevated nitrate.

  • Increased incidence of certain cancers
  • Increased birth defects.
  • Private drinking water should be tested annually to monitor changes in nitrate concentration as pregnant women, children, the elderly are found to be the populations most susceptible to nitrate health effects.

Microorganisms – Many bacteria can be found in drinking water; coliform bacteria are one of the most common water contamination problems in private water systems in Pennsylvania and throughout the United States. Coliform, E. Coli is found in about 15% of private wells.

Either because of poor construction or poor maintenance for septic systems, homeowners can be the cause of contamination of their own wells. When a well is placed too close to a septic system or a septic system is placed where it can drain into a waterway or groundwater, problems can arise.

There is no maximum acceptable concentration of Coliform or E. Coli in drinking water.  If any is detected, you cannot drink the water. This is another contaminate with has no taste and must be tested for.

While most coliform bacteria are not harmful, E coli can make you sick with the following symptoms: (Those with compromised immune systems may suffer more severe effects)

  • Upset stomach
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Diarrhea

The professionals at Spring Rain can help and advise you on the best filtration systems to reduce and remove harmful contaminants from your drinking water.

Chemicals in water

5 Chemicals Commonly Found in Drinking Water

Everyone loves cold water pouring out of their faucets on a hot summer day, as well as hot water flowing out of the showerhead.  What is coming out of that faucet, though can be concerning?  There is any number of less than healthy man-made chemicals that can reduce the pleasure of freshwater.

Pharmaceuticals: Prescription drugs can get into the water supply when people choose to flush unused medications down the toilet or sink.   

Vinyl chloride: This is a cancer-causing material used in making PVC plastic products, as some pipes.  It can leach from older PVC piping and it has been found in the drinking water of some communities.

Chemical additives to water: Not all chemicals in water are monitored or regulated, like the common perchlorate and PFOA/PFOS which are chemical cousins of Teflon. These chemicals are found in many of Americans’ tapwater supplies. There has been a push to get PFOA/PFOS regulated in New Jersey.

Lead: Lead is a heavy metal that leaches from lead pipes and plumbing fixtures, as when the water flowing through them is corrosive; water with a pH value below 7.0 is considered acidic.  Lead can cause neurological and behavioral problems in children and adverse health effects in adults.  While more often an issue in towns and cities with older systems, what is often forgotten is that new brass features and faucets can still have a high amount of lead.

Nitrates: These are a widespread contaminant also known as fertilizer. Runoff from farms or factory farms can go into both surface and groundwater and wind up in drinking water.  The EPA (EPA.GOV) set a limit of 10 parts per million for nitrates, which can be harmful to pregnant women and infants.

Getting your water tested yearly can keep you on top of the quality of your water.  From historic Jim Thorpe to Stroudsburg keeping your water fresh, refreshing, and free of additives, Spring Rain can help you decide which filtrations system is best for you! Call them today!

Contaminated Water

Contaminants in Your Drinking Water

Fertilizers and Pesticides

Water is a moving target, depending on the water's intended or designated uses. For a water quality problem to exist, the water must be impaired for one or more uses, such as the fresh drinking water supply, fishing, recreation, wildlife habitat, livestock, or irrigation. Whether you live in towns like Jim Thorpe, Stroudsburg, or Tannersville there is a concern for your drinking water. Living in the Poconos, the water is used for many purposes, including fishing, irrigation for fields, livestock, recreational pursuits, and of course the water that flows from your faucets.

Fertilizers and pesticides can impinge (negatively affect) drinking water as a result of either being use too close to private wells as well as affecting the groundwater.

Pesticides can get into groundwater by:

  • Running off into surface water
  • Leaching through the soil
  • Falling into improperly built wells.

If you have a farm or large garden, make sure that no fertilizer or pesticides are released near any body of water including lakes as pesticides in bodies of water can kill fish. Fertilizers that seep into the groundwater which moves downhill just like surface water can contaminate a well in its path.  At issue is that while you know what is occurring on your property, do you know what the surrounding neighbors do on theirs.

It isn’t that fertilizer will reach down into your well to seep into the water, the bigger concern is if the good casings are compromised, and it would allow fertilizer to seep in. Fertilizer that gets into the water can contaminate water with an overabundance of phosphates and nitrates, which make it unsafe for consumption. Fertilizers can seep into waterways or groundwater and can then affect the water used by towns.

The great part about living in the Poconos is the same thing that risks its water supply, most people want to make it a better experience and so explore more.

Ideally, sprayed pesticides will fall directly on the plant, but the soil is the second-best landing place. When pesticides land on the soil, microbes and chemical reactions can break them down.  The best place for both pesticides and fertilizer is where it was meant to be placed, on plants.  For owners of private wells, there is no oversight, and it is up to the private well owner to ensure the well water is safe.

While public drinking water systems use often specific pesticides like chlorine to kill bacteria, viruses, and other organisms, there are point-of-use devices like charcoal filters and reverse-osmosis treatments that are used to remove or minimize pesticides in drinking water.

Let the experts at Spring Rain help you with the best options at filtering your drinking water to protect it and your family.

Scale Removal

What is Scale and How to Remove It?

In several areas in the Lehigh Valley and more importantly in areas of Allentown, Bethlehem and Easton that have very hard water. And that often cause scale and scale buildup. The problem with the buildup of scale in your pipes, is that it means your water heater is working harder to heat and pump water through your home. Not only that, but if there is scale in your pipes, there is more than likely scale within your water heater, which can build up between the heating elements and the water. This makes the heater work harder to heat to an expected temperature which over time will increase energy bills. Scaling occurs when water has high levels of minerals like calcium carbonate, which will build-up on surfaces, like pipes or showerhead.

Scale buildup can ruin your shower's water pressure, and your pipes. Instead of a steady flow of water, it often will come out in spurts and dribbles. It is important to maintain your home pipe systems and appliances like the washing machine, and dishwasher as well as the boiler or hot water heater.  The reality is saving your pipe system turns expensive when scale buildup affects all your pipes.  This isn’t covered under the home’s warranty as the extensive scale is evidence of not doing proper maintenance on the home’s plumbing systems.  

That costs you, as a homeowner, money as more energy is needed to get appliances to the right temperature.

Hard water is a quality of water that contains dissolved compounds of calcium and magnesium and, sometimes, other metallic elements.

Evidence of scale:

  • Decreased pressure as water has less room to flow in pipes.
  • Yellowing of clothes.
  • Rings in the bathtubs or sink.
  • Spots on your glasses when taken from the dishwasher.
  • White, chalky buildup in your showerhead or faucets.

Water hardness means that soap is harder to lather because of the development of an insoluble curd-like soap precipitate in the water.  It makes for more work to be done to remove soap curd on bathtubs, sinks, and shower stalls.  Evaporated water leaves behind calcium and magnesium salts which are primarily responsible for most scaling in pipes and water heaters and cause numerous problems in laundry, kitchen, and bath. Hardness is usually expressed in grains per gallon as calcium carbonate equivalent. The harder the water, the more scale backs up the home’s water systems from heating, showering, and cleaning.

The experts at Spring Rain have products and systems, including water softners, that can help reduce or eliminate scale from your pipes!  Calling them is the first step in improving the care of your pipes and water systems, which will also help with your energy bills.

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