Category Archives: Water News

Chicago fails to warn citizens about lead in tap water

Two years ago, federal researchers found high levels of lead in homes where water mains had been replaced or new meters had been installed. Residents were not warned about the threats these construction projects pose, but Mayor Rahm Emanuel plans for more construction projects across Chicago.

Men work on outdated infrastructure. Image courtesy of Chicago Tribune.
Men work on outdated infrastructure. Image courtesy of Chicago Tribune.

According to the Chicago Tribune, researchers at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency found that alarming levels of  brain-damaging metal can flow out of household faucets for years after construction work disrupts service lines that connect buildings to the city’s water system. Nearly 80 percent of the properties in Chicago are hooked up to service lines made of lead.

The study also found the city’s testing protocols are very likely to miss high concentrations of lead in drinking water.

The city has issued letters alerting residents about the construction projects. These letters do not mention the hazards these construction projects pose or the harms that may be done to them by lead. The letters simply advise residents to flush faucets and house taps for several minutes after work has been completed to remove contaminants.

The EPA says this suggestion is “grossly inadequate”.

Besides the threat of new construction projects taking place across the city, Chicago is using corrosion-fighting chemicals to form a protective coating inside outdated pipes.

Instead of alerting citizens that they could be exposed to a deadly neuro-toxin, according to the tribune, city officials have repeatedly assured elected officials that their water is safe and there is nothing to worry about.

Thomas Powers, commissioner of the Chicago Department of Water Management, wrote in a October 2013 letter to aldermen in response to the EPA study. “Chicago water is absolutely safe to drink and meets or exceeds all standards set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Illinois EPA.”

Protect yourself by purchasing an NSF certified water filter or by installing devices in your home that are capable of removing lead. For more information, visit Angel Water’s webpage

Saving Flint, Michigan from lead

Flint, Michigan is facing a serious crisis. Their water is contaminated with lead and irreversible damage has occurred to the brains and bodies of children, according to a letter from Michael Moore.

The conscious decision to cut the old mining town off from Detroit’s water supply and replace it with contaminated water from the Flint River was made by Gov. Rick Snyder. Because of his choice, Flint residents have been ingesting contaminated water since April 2014.

Ripple effects of childhood lead poisoning.
Ripple effects of childhood lead poisoning.

Contaminating water for a time-span of two years would have never occurred in an affluent neighborhood or major city. As a penny-pinching vulture, Rick Snyder and politicians like him relied on the ambivalence, disengagement and socioeconomic status of Flint’s residents.

Much support has been given to Flint and for that, residents are truly grateful. According to a letter from Michael Moore, the Detroit Lions donated 100,000 bottles of water while celebrities like Puff Daddy and Mark Wahlberg donated over 1,000,000 each.

People want to help Flint, but the truth is they can’t. There’s no doctor, prescription or monetary donation that can restore the brains and bodies of innocent people.

Lead poisoning is a serious thing and the people who have suffered its wrath will live a life sentence of low cognitive function, higher disease rates and unnecessary pain. These health complications will most likely limit Flint residents from better job opportunities, higher education and basic human rights.

But instead of flooding their community with plastic water bottles, consider signing a petition against the politicians who caused this catastrophe and make a bigger impact on the future. Over 456,785 U.S. citizens have already expressed their sentiment through signatures and believe the politicians who made this choice should be held accountable.

If this crisis impacted you or family, would you remain calm or would you take action? Would you demand change or would you wait for someone to step in and do it for you? If you believe the citizens of Flint, Michigan have been harmed get involved, so that this does not happen to you.

Exposing Chicago to toxic lead

What happens when an entire generation is exposed to toxic lead?

Multiple studies have linked lead exposure in early childhood to violent crime later in life. With the water main construction projects in Chicago disturbing lead pipes and the epidemic of contaminated water in Flint, MI, lead contamination is not a thing of the past but rather, a serious issue of present times.

Lead contamination in Chicago impacted low-income neighborhoods.
Lead contamination in Chicago impacted low-income neighborhoods.

“It creates a social context where kids are at a clear disadvantage,” said Robert J. Sampson, a Harvard University researcher who has been studying Chicago for more than two decades.

In an investigative report from 2013, reporter Kevin Drum highlights economic and social trends that may be linked to the crime epidemics and unwanted pregnancies of the 1980’s and 90’s. The trend affected major cities like New York, Dallas, New Orleans and Los Angeles.

Drum analyzed financial disparity, drug addictions, incarceration rates and race, but only one thing remained consistent: the presence of tetraethyl lead.

Lead Contamination in present times

According to the Chicago Tribune, children in the neighborhoods of Austin, Englewood and Lawndale are subject to higher rates of lead contamination than those living in more affluent areas of Chicago.

Since consumption of lead in early childhood is linked to brain damage, poor attention span and inability to regulate emotions, researchers believe consumption of lead is also linked to violent crime later in life.

“People in neighborhoods like Englewood have faced multiple assaults over a different period of time- job losses, segregation, housing discrimination,” said Sampson. “When I see astounding levels of lead poisoning in these communities, it makes complete sense that it is part of the cycle of deprivation.”

Combating Lead Contamination

Combating lead contamination at home is possible with the help of Reverse Osmosis. A reverse osmosis water filtration system can remove any unwanted chemicals or toxins from your water while simultaneously providing optimum hydration.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chicago residents exposed to lead contamination

According to a new federal study, the clean-up efforts of Chicago’s water supply are revealing dangerously high levels of lead. Contamination has appeared in homes where pipes were disturbed by street work. These attempts to modernize outdated infrastructure may pose a health risk.

The health threat comes from lead service lines that were installed during the 1980s to connect water mains with homes. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), whenever water main replacements, meter installations and street work occur, lead may contaminate the water supply.

Lead contamination is liked to Chicago's water supply.
Lead contamination is liked to Chicago’s water supply.

Exposure to lead may cause:
• Brain damage in young children
• Lower IQ
• Learning disabilities
• Aggression
• Criminal behavior later in life
• Legionaries disease
• Seizure

Lead contamination may still occur in the water supply even years after the construction has ceased. Most people are unaware about the contamination because the municipal water supplier is not required to inform residents that work is being done and it may impact their well-being.

Any amount of lead in the water supply represents a serious danger to consumers since the EPA and Centers for Disease Control both say there is no safe level of exposure. According to the Chicago Tribune, lead has been phased out of gasoline, removed from paint and banned in children’s toys.

The problem of outdated infrastructure plagues more than just the city of Chicago. In New Jersey, 205,607 children were last year and 837 of those children tested positive for lead. Flint, MI is also facing a lead contamination crisis as the majority of residents have come in contact with contaminated water amount of residents do not have clean water.

“We owe it to the people to tell them that their water might not be safe to drink,” said Marc Edwards, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Virginia Tech University.

Q&A with Janet Agnoletti from BACOG

Since 2001 the Barrington Area Council of Governments (BACOG) has been researching and exploring ground water. This interview with Janet Agnoletti talks about how the Barrington area can protect their groundwater and the importance of water testing.

Janet Agnoletti of BACOG
Janet Agnoletti of BACOG

What is the purpose of BACOG?

BACOG focuses on regional planning, legislative work,   management of development and land use, and the protection of environmental resources. The importance of groundwater was unexplored when I started as an executive director back in 2000.

Our education goes to help people understand where their water comes from and how it’s part of a bigger aquifer system.

Where does the  Barrington area’s groundwater come from?

It comes from an interconnected system of shallow aquifers located underground. The  Barrington area water does not come from a river, a stream or a lake below ground. Groundwater flows through soil materials that were left by the last glaciers that were here. That helps contribute to the good water quality we have.

What’s the best piece of advice you would give someone who wants to protect and maintain their well?

In all the Barrington communities there are 35,000 people within 80 square miles, nearly all of whom use water from shallow aquifers. Out of that there are 8 municipal wells, 6 of them in shallow aquifers, as well as a handful of deep aquifer wells used for irrigation or other purposes.

The best piece of advice I would give to private well owners is to test for nitrates and bacteria once a year. The homeowner is responsible for the quality of their water even if there is no legal requirement. Some people are aware of it but they don’t test regularly.

Anytime you open the well column or have plumbing work done, make sure to test your water. That activity may introduce bacteria into the well column.

What-is-groundwater

What are some water problems that impact the Barrington area?

Our aquifers are loaded with iron. It won’t hurt you but it stains fixtures and is aesthetically unappealing.

Where can residents test their water?

Residents can test their water through Angel Water and BACOG water testing events. For more information on water testing visit angelwater.com.

Should I filter my water?

Should you filter your water? The New York Times says yes.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates the water that comes out of your tap, but that doesn’t mean consumers know what’s in it. According to The New York Times, regulations are often pushed to the limits, making a water filter the safest choice for anyone who uses a faucet.

According to Paul Pesanto, a research analyst with the Environmental Working Group, there are guidelines to what can be put into your water but those guidelines are not closely regulated.

Your water filter from Angel Water will remove contaminants, bacteria and hardness.
Your water filter from Angel Water will remove contaminants, bacteria and hardness.

What’s in your water?
The best way to protect yourself from harmful contaminants is to learn what’s in your water. The first way to do this is to check out what kind of water problems plague your region. Having your water tested on a yearly basis can help prevent illness

Other things that might be in your water include arsenic, hormones, E. coli, nitrates, antibiotics, barium, radon, salt, chlorine, pesticides, herbicides, chromium, hardness and copper.

Why is filtering water important?
According to allaboutwater.org, there are more than 2,100 known drinking water contaminants that may be present in tap water. These contaminants have been linked to respiratory illness, cognitive and behavioral disorders and cancer.

This picture shows the microscopic organisms that get trapped in your water filter.
This picture shows the microscopic organisms that get trapped in your water filter.

According to the New York Times a water filter will also protect you from like lead from old water pipes, pesticide runoff in rural areas and byproducts of chemicals like chlorine that are used to treat drinking water.

Using the right filter
At Angel Water, our filters are NSF certified making them the most reliable and safe water filter on the market. Our filters are capable of removing antibiotics, hormones and pesticides that may be a byproduct of surface runoff water.

What does NSF mean?
Choosing a product certified by NSF lets you know the company complies with strict standards and procedures imposed by NSF. From extensive product testing and material analyses to unannounced plant inspections, every aspect of a product’s development is thoroughly evaluated before it can earn our certification.

Lead poisoning linked to outdated infrastructure

When residents of Flint, Michigan wondered if their water was contaminated, they were right. High levels of toxicity and lead poisoning were linked to a switch from the Detroit water supplier to an alternative water supplier. The city is back on the Detroit water system, but a water crisis still remains.

According to Robert Puentes, director of the Metropolitan Infrastructure Initiative at the Brookings Institution, one of the main causes of lead poisoning is aging infrastructure. This problem not only applies to Flint, Michigan, but major cities everywhere.

These pipes show what happens when infrastructure related to a city's water supply is not maintained.
These pipes show what happens when infrastructure related to a city’s water supply is not maintained.

“We do a good job building new stuff, we don’t do a good job taking care of what’s on the ground,” said Puentes in an interview with NPR.

According to Puentes, some of these systems were built a hundred years ago. Some of the pipes are made out of wood. Some of them were built the times when metropolitan areas were expanding and decentralizing.

Outdated infrastructure causes the United States to lose about 2 trillion gallons of water each year. This water waste is caused by leaks that are left unchecked in the current system.

While the toxic water in Flint has been linked to lead poisoning, Puentes states that Chicago has a 10-year plan to update water infrastructure and prevent contamination.
One way to ensure that your water is free of any contaminants is to invest in a water filtration system through Angel Water Inc. Our systems are designed to remove contaminants like lead, fluoride and sodium while reinfusing it with necessary minerals.

Recycling Sea Projects Reduce Plastic Waste

Seabin Waste Collector Collects Ocean Plastic

As a new water filtration system, the Seabin marine waste collector makes it possible to remove plastic from our waterways. Designed to float in marinas, inland waterways, residential lakes and harbors, the water-based rubbish bin is like a vacuum for the sea.

The creators of The Seabin check out their invention before throwing it into the harbor.
The creators of The Seabin check out their invention before throwing it into the harbor.

The Seabin is situated on the surface and is plumbed into a shore-based water pump on the dock. The water gets sucked into the bin, bringing floating debris and floating liquids with it. The water then flows out through the bottom of the bin and up into the pump on the dock. The catch bag is made from natural fiber, but there is also an option of installing an oil and water separator. Each Seabin can be operated by one person and, thanks to its small size, can be fitted to yachts.

Ocean Cleanup by Boyan Slat

Boyan Slat, a 19-year-old from the Netherlands has created an Ocean Cleanup Array could remove 7,250,000 tons of plastic waste from the world’s oceans. The device consists of a n network of floating booms and processing platforms that could be dispatched to garbage patches around the world.

While the device has been disputed by ocean scientists, The Ocean Cleanup will deploy a 2000 meter array off Tsushima island, which lies between Japan and South Korea. The system is set to start functioning in 2016 and will work to remove plastic until 2018.

This picture shows what The Ocean Cleanup will look like in 2016.
This picture shows what The Ocean Cleanup will look like in 2016.

Why is Removing Plastic Important?

Removing plastic from our ocean is essential to the Barrington community, if we wish to continue drinking water. It’s true that we offer reverse osmosis systems that are designed to remove contaminants like lead, fluoride and E. coli. However, if we don’t recognize the way plastic is destroying our water ways the real problem will never be solved.

Lead and Drinking Water in Private Wells

After an increase in cases of lead poisoning in children who live in Flint, Michigan, a state of emergency has been declared. Although these cases cause serious concern, there is a solution to prevent lead from creeping in to your water supply.

What is Lead?
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), lead is bluish-gray metal found in small amounts on the earth’s outer layer. Lead can be found in all parts of our environment. Much of it comes from human activities including burning fossil fuels, mining, and manufacturing.

Lead Exposure2

How does lead infiltrate your water supply?
The biggest culprit in contaminating the water supply is lead pipes. Other sources of contamination include lead solder used to join copper pipes, brass in faucets, coolers, and valves. Brass generally contains low lead levels, however the lead can still dissolve into the water.

How does Angel Water remove lead from the water supply?
There are numerous ways to remove lead from your water supply and there are many factors to consider when doing so. One of the first things to think about is if your water supply comes from city water or well water.

Once that is assessed, Angel Water will decide if lead can be removed from your system by flushing it. If your water is severely contaminated, installing a reverse osmosis system can remove lead from your water supply.

Why should I be concerned?
An article from the Huffington Post emphasizes how the long-term consequences of lead poisoning can harm children on a physical and psychological level. Some of those problems include:

• Kidney dysfunction
• High blood pressure
• Behavioral disorders

Is there lead in my drinking water?
One of the most effective ways to find out if there is lead in your drinking water is to schedule a water test with Angel Water Inc. We can be contacted at 847-382-7800 or through our Facebook Page.

Our water tests are performed by trained professionals and will help you identify what’s in your water. Once we know what’s in your water, we can help remove any contaminants or impurities.

Alkaline Water: Fact or Fiction

The facts and fiction behind alkaline water

Whether it’s reverse osmosis or straight from the tap, water is an essential part of life. But what does it mean when the water you’re  drinking is alkaline water? Some experts have disputed the benefits of being alkalized but others have experienced its health effects.

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What is alkaline water?

When you turn on the tap and water flows from it, it’s filled with dissolved solids like dust, salt and minerals. These impurities influence the pH of the water and also the quality. Pure water, or water without impurities has a pH level close to 7. Reverse osmosis water has a pH level close to 5.

Alkaline water is different from tap water and reverse osmosis water because it retains a pH above 7. Because of the alkalinity in this water, some people believe the body will become less acidic while creating an internal environment that fights disease.

Possible Benefits of Alkaline Water

Gut health: The negative charge in ionized water could protect your immune system and improve the environment of your stomach and intestinal lining.

Boosts athletic performance: If a body’s environment is acidic, fatigue will set in. That’s why athletes and professional athletes will opt for alkalized water. It can help boost performance and decrease the effects of dehydration.

Cleansing properties: Drinking alkaline water can help remove fecal matter from the colon. This helps decrease the constipation, bloating or other issues related to digestion.

Problems associated with Alkaline Water

Health experts and doctors are skeptical of alkaline water because the human body is already designed to manage its own pH. Each organ system can regulate itself and adding alkaline water can disrupt the fragile balance.

If the body’s pH is already out of balance, identifying the underlying cause is essential. Adding alkaline water can cause serious harm if imbalances are left unchecked.

Angel Water Inc.
214 South Hager Ave., Barrington, IL 60010
Tel: (847) 382-7800