Category: bacteria in potable water


WORMS IN TAP WATER!
Worms are ok in water if you’re fishing, but Thursday morning, the 30th of July, I woke to see a news story about worms in drinking water. I live in Fort Worth but the story was getting wide coverage from CBS Houston. I had to know more about this! I went to work and told Ryan, our director of media & video production, to pack a bag because we were headed to Houston. We went to the heart of the story, Woodland Acres, which is a subdivision in Old River-Winfree about 25 miles east of Baytown, Texas, to see the worms for ourselves. We met several residents who were still had worms coming out of their tap water. Read more on our new page www.WORMSINDRINKINGWATER.COM

The EPA is considering requiring ALL POTABLE WATER STORAGE TANKS in the U.S.A. TO BE INSPECTED AND CLEANED.

Ron Perrin Water Technologies Owner

Ron Perrin in Washington D.C. on 10-14-14 to attend EPA meeting

Washington D.C. 10-14-14

Washington D.C. 10-14-14

 

On October 15th 2014, the EPA held a public meeting in regards to Distribution System Storage Facility Inspection and Cleaning. I attended that meeting in person to express my opinion on this issue. During the meeting a couple of surprising things were revealed. Many were under the impression that water tanks and towers were already being inspected during Sanitary Surveys performed by state regulators, when in fact most, if not all, state agencies do not allow their employees to climb to the top of water tanks and towers.  The few states that climbed the towers in the past did not do an internal inspection of the facility.


A survey had been sent to state regulators to get their opinion on this issue. About half thought a regulation would be a good idea, the other half thought a paper on guidance would be sufficient. I went away from the meeting more convinced than ever that there should be a national regulation requiring all potable water storage tanks to be inspected and cleaned on a regular schedule.


The webinar is over but the EPA is still taking comments until the end of 2014. If you would like to make a comment on this issue, please send an e-mail to:  SFIWebinar@cadmusgroup.com.  Or take the poll below and I will send in the results at the end of the year. This is a chance to let your opinion be known!

My customers tell me they need less chlorine to meet water quality standards after I remove the sediment from their water storage tanks and towers. Sediment enters the tank one particle at a time and eventually accumulates enough for bacteria, protozoa and even viruses to use it as a habitat to grow and become a serious health problem. If proper inspections are not done to determine sediment levels, corrective action is seldom, if ever, taken. My opinion is that potable water storage facilities should be inspected inside and out every year, and a cleaning program to ensure tanks and towers are cleaned every 3 to 5 years should be in place on all tanks. What do you think? Take THE POLL BELOW and also visit http://www.tankdiver.us.

10-14-14 Washington D.C. Mall

10-14-14 Washington D.C. Mall

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is important!  Please SHARE OUR POLL!

 

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Topic: Distribution System Storage Facility Inspection and Cleaning

Background: The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water announces a public meeting and webinar on distribution system storage facility inspection and cleaning. The purpose of the meeting and webinar is to gather input and information from the public and stakeholders on the appropriate frequency of distribution system water storage facility inspection and cleaning, current practices, and the risk management approaches that can be taken to assure that inspection, cleaning and corrective action occur as necessary to help maintain facility integrity and finished water quality. The presenters and panelists will provide background information concerning storage facility inspection and cleaning, existing state programs and available guidance documents. For additional background information, please refer to the Federal Register notice published on Thursday, September 4, 2014 (79 FR 52647).

Public Comments: This meeting is open to the public. EPA encourages public input and will allocate time on the agenda for public comment. To ensure adequate time for public involvement, individuals or organizations interested in making a statement should mention their interest when they register. All presentation materials and statements should be emailed to SFIWebinar@cadmusgroup.com by October 8, 2014, so that the information can be incorporated into the webinar as appropriate. Only one person should present a statement on behalf of a group or organization, and statements will be limited to five minutes. Availability to make public comments will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis in the time available. Additional comments from attendees who did not pre-register to make comments will be taken if time permits. Comments, written statements, data or information can also be sent to SFIWebinar@cadmusgroup.com after the public meeting and webinar.

 

  1. Background

In the Federal Register notice for the proposed Revisions to the Total Coliform Rule (75 FR

40926, July 14, 2010), the EPA requested comment on the value and cost of periodic distribution

system storage tank inspection and cleaning. The EPA received comments regarding unsanitary

conditions and contamination that can be found in storage facilities, which are not routinely

inspected and cleaned, including breaches and accumulation of sediment, animals, insects and

other contaminants. Some commenters suggested the need for a Federal regulation requiring

systematic inspection and cleaning because the existing practices are not successful in all cases.

Others suggested that regular sanitary surveys conducted by States and the adherence to existing

industry guidance could resolve such issues. The comments can be reviewed in the docket for the

rule at http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=EPA-HQ-OW-2008-0878-0283. This

meeting and webinar and the subsequent opportunity to submit comments are intended to collect

more data and information about the frequency of distribution system water storage facility

Page of 4

inspection and cleaning and the need for more or better risk management approaches.

Dated: August 25, 2014.

Eric Burneson,

Acting Director,

Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water.

BILLING CODE 6560-50-P

[FR Doc. 2014-21073 Filed 09/03/2014 at 8:45 am; Publication Date: 09/04/2014]

August 2013, the death of a 4-year-old boy staying near Violet, Louisiana, was linked to the Naegleria fowleri amoeba. The child had been playing on a slip and slide connected to the St. Bernard Parish’s water system that was later found to be contaminated with the amoeba.

According to NBC NEWS Sept. 16, 2013 –

Deadly brain amoeba infects US tap water for the first time”

Naegleria fowleri infects people when water containing the amoeba enters the body through the nose. This typically occurs when people go swimming or diving in warm freshwater places, like lakes and rivers. The Naegleria fowleri amoeba then travels up the nose to the brain where it destroys the brain tissue. It has now attacked a potable water system in the United States. Despite the “First Time” Headline given to this recent incident by NBC NEWS, the amoeba has been seen here before, showing up in an untreated geothermal well used for drinking water in Arizona.

After the death in August, the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH) asked the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for assistance due to the fact that they could not find a lab in the continental United States to test for the amoeba.

Only because of the related death, the CDC was able to test the water system for the amoeba. They also tested DeSoto Parish Waterworks District No. 1 because it was the site of one of two 2011 Naegleria fowleri-related deaths in Louisiana.

The (CDC) confirmed the presence of the rare Naegleria fowleri amoeba in five locations in DeSoto Parish Waterworks District No. one. Now we can see, this once rare amoeba is making its way into our public water systems.

One of the reasons Naegleria fowleri has not been found in other United States water systems is that it is simply not tested for. The Naegleria fowleri amoeba is a single-celled organism, a naturally occurring parasite that is found in freshwater and can only grow in a water system if the water is untreated or is venerable due to depleted chlorine. Free chlorine or chloramine residuals of 0.5 mg/L or higher will control the amoeba. St. Bernard Parish has flushed its water system with extra chlorine (known as a chlorine burn) to kill the amoeba. The DHH and local officials are now monitoring the chlorine levels on a regular basis.

The CDC web page on Naegleria fowleri has a link to “Amoeba Response Guidelines”  from Australia. It turns out that Australia has had more experience with Naegleria fowleri than anyone. During the 1970s and ‘80s Australia had multiple deaths linked to swimming or having nasal exposure linked to contaminated drinking water.

More commonly linked to swimming, in the U.S. between 1963 and 2012 there were 128 known cases according to the CDC. Most of the cases were in Texas and Florida, having 31 and 33 respectively. In addition to the four-year-old, in 2013 a 12 year-old boy in LeBelle, Florida died about three weeks after contracting the infection, and a 12 year- old girl was infected near Benton, Arkansas in July. She survived and was released from the hospital on September 11th, 2013.

For more information on Naegleria fowleri amoeba in drinking water see:

http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/naegleria/public-water-systems.html

NOTE: You cannot be infected with Naegleria fowleri by drinking contaminated water. In very rare instances, Naegleria infections may also occur when contaminated water from other sources (such as inadequately chlorinated swimming pool water or contaminated tap water) enters the nose. (For example: when people submerge their heads or cleanse their noses during religious practices, and when people irrigate their sinuses (nose) using contaminated tap water.)

– Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 

http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/naegleria/general.html

Myth vs. Fact: DHH Dispels Rumors about Naegleria Fowleri Aomeba, Drinking Water in Louisiana

http://www.dhh.louisiana.gov/index.cfm/newsroom/detail/2870

End

With countless billions of bacteria in the world certain strains of E. coli are among the worst threats to public water supplies.

In general the term “E. coli” refers to a group of bacteria that were discovered in 1885 by Dr. Theodor Escherich. Originally the bacteria was called “Bacterium coli” and found responsible for diarrhea in infants.  Snce then over 700 sterotypes of E. coli have been discovered.  Most forms do not cause disease in humans and some are even beneficial.

About.com has a very informative web site on “E. coli” they reported the following:

“The E. coli that are responsible for the numerous reports of contaminated foods and beverages are those that produce Shiga toxin, so called because the toxin is virtually identical to that produced byShigella dysenteria type 1. [4]  The best-known and also most notorious E. coli bacteria that produce Shiga toxin is E. coliO157:H7. [1, 4] Shiga toxin–producing E. coli (STEC) cause approximately 100,000 illnesses, 3,000 hospitalizations, and 90 deaths annually in the United States.  [39, 54]  Most reported STEC infections in the United States are caused by E. coli O157:H7, with an estimated 73,000 cases occurring each year. [39] A study published in 2005 estimated the annual cost of E. coli O157:H7 illnesses to be $405 million (in 2003 dollars), which included $370 million for premature deaths, $30 million for medical care, and $5 million for lost productivity.”

Source: http://www.about-ecoli.com/

I have found a few post from 2009 Officials in Hollis, Oklahoma were distributing bottled water after positive tests in the public water system.   Baytown, Texas and Janesville, Wisconsin were also put on boiled water orders after positive test for E. coli.

More recently the city of Kingston, Ga. found out a drinking well contaminated with E. coli is the cause of residents in the area getting sick, according to CBS Atlanta News, Jan 22, 2013.

“We’ve always had problems,” resident Amanda Silvers said.

Silver recently found out from a friend that the city’s water was contaminated and has since stopped washing her dishes.

She is also only drinking bottled water, noted the article.

“It kind of makes you queasy at your stomach, like ugh, it’s just a disgusting thought,” Silvers said.

Bernice Gentry, another area resident, has been stocking up on paper plates and bottled water as well.

“I thought, ‘Oh gosh, that’s why we’ve all been sick since way before Christmas,’” Gentry said.

Read the entire article here.

I am currently looking for new cases of  PUBLIC WATER UTILITY contamination.

If you read about more recent water contamination from E-coli or any other contaminate please let me by adding a comment with a link if possible and I will keep this blog updated.

Thanks,  Ron Perrin

The New York Times has A series about the worsening pollution in American waters and regulators’ response.  I found a lot of great information reading this series.

What is in your water?

Working with the Environmental working group the New York Times has published an interactive site to allow you to better understand what is in the water we drink.  Find your utility here New York Times Water Data Web Site. In an Article titled “That Tap Water Is Legal but May Be Unhealthy”  published in the New York Times, December  16, 2009, Charles Duhigg points out

“Only 91 contaminants are regulated by the Safe Drinking Water Act, yet more than 60,000 chemicals are used within the United States, according to Environmental Protection Agency estimates. Government and independent scientists have scrutinized thousands of those chemicals in recent decades, and identified hundreds associated with a risk of cancer and other diseases at small concentrations in drinking water, according to an analysis of government records by The New York Times”.

According to Duhigg the reports published by the National Academy of Sciences and many other health reports suggest that millions of Americans become sick each year from drinking contaminated water, with maladies from upset stomachs to cancer and birth defects.

Read the entire article here: That Tap Water Is Legal but May Be Unhealthy

To find our what is in your water click this link: Environmental Working Group & New York Times interactive web page.

Tap water in 42 states is contaminated with more than 140 unregulated chemicals that lack safety standards, according to the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG’s) two-and-a-half year investigation of water suppliers’ tests of the treated tap water served to communities across the country.

In an analysis of more than 22 million tap water quality tests, most of which were required under the federal Safe Drinking Water Act, EWG found that water suppliers across the U.S. detected 260 contaminants in water served to the public. One hundred forty-one (141) of these detected chemicals — more than half — are unregulated; public health officials have not set safety standards for these chemicals, even though millions drink them every day.

EWG’s analysis also found over 90 percent compliance with enforceable health standards on the part of the nation’s water utilities, showing a clear commitment to comply with safety standards once they are developed. The problem, however, is EPA’s failure to establish enforceable health standards and monitoring requirements for scores of widespread tap water contaminants. Of the 260 contaminants detected in tap water from 42 states, for only 114 has EPA set enforceable health limits (called Maximum Contaminant Levels, or MCLs), and for 5 others the Agency has set non-enforceable goals called secondary standards. (EPA 2005a). The 141 remaining chemicals without health-based limits contaminate water served to 195,257,000 people in 22,614 communities in 42 states.

Read the full report Here: http://www.ewg.org/tapwater/findings.php

To date only the State of Florida has set standards for cleaning water storage tanks.  Not only should standards be set for additional contaminates I thisnk is is just as or pehaps more important that standards be set for keeping tanks clean.  At this time it is just not understood how much sediment accumulates in an average water storage tank over a few years.  That sediment becomes a habitat where bacteria and other contaminates can thrive.

Once in your tank bacteria can grow rapidly if it finds a place to hide from the treatment chemicals sent to destroy it.

The EWG’s report also points out that “90 percent compliance with enforceable health standards on the part of the nation’s water utilities, showing a clear commitment to comply with safety standards.” If standards are put in place giving water utilities a time table that water storage tanks should be cleaned and or inspected the water utilities will comply.  For the most part they or the people controling their funds do not understand the improtance of inspection & cleaning.

Even after the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG’s) two-and-a-half year investigation of water suppliers’ tests of the treated tap water served to communities across the country.  No one looked at the effects of Sediment in the water storage tanks.  It apparently was not an issue, never thought of,  the investigation only looked at reports of what the water utilitys found in their systems.

Keeping your water storage tanks clean may be one of the most overlooked maintenance procedures in the water industry.  Out of sight and out of mind, sediment in the bottom of your water storage tanks is never seen and rarely thought of. 

In 2002 The EPA Office of Ground and Drinking Water issued a paper on distribution systems titled “Health Risk From Microbial Growth and Biofilms in Drinking Water Distribution Systems”.  See the link below to read the full report.

That report sited –

Hepatitis A is a  primary pathogen that has been documented to survive more than four months in the sediment of a potable water storage tank.  

Bacteria, protozoa, and viruses can find sediment in the floor of a water storage tank an inviting habitat.

 

So if the EPA knows all of this why are most water storage tanks so dirty?  Like most thisngs in comes down to MONEY.

If you live in a new progressive community the likelyhood of your water storage tanks being inspected and cleaned on a regular basis is much better than if you are in a older, smaller and les affluent community.  If regulations are put into place money would need to follow to allow ecanomically depresed communities to maintain there systems properly.

I have been inspecting and cleaning water storage tanks since 1992.  What I have seen is the more ecanomically depresed  the community is the more likely they are to need their tanks cleand.  They are also more likely to drink more tap water.  I would think that the more affluent a community the more bottled water is consumed.  So we end up with the people who need clean tap water the most getting it the least.   I have found something important to do but I cand only help a very small % on my own. The health concerns associated with sediment in the water supplies are much biger than I am.   It is bigger than papers written and published by the EPA detailing the problem. It will take the general public to be concerned and perhaps a little sikened and outraged wouldnt hurt.  It will take people like you and me making noise and getting attention on this subject before the proper action will be taken. The Mission of this blog is to make some noise on this subject.  Let me know what you think.

If you are interested in this subject there are a few things to do:

Leave a comment:  Subscribe to this blog for future updates.

The EPA has published many reports on this subject.  The work has been done to establish the problem.  Its up to us to make sure something gets done about it.

 

Additional referenced and papers from the EPA.

http://www.epa.gov/safewater/disinfection/tcr/pdfs/whitepaper_tcr_biofilms.pdf

http://www.epa.gov//safewater/disinfection/tcr/pdfs/issuepaper_tcr_inorganiccontaminantaccumulation.pdf

http://www.epa.gov/safewater/arsenic/pdfs/occurrence.pdf

http://www.epa.gov//safewater/mdbp/word/alter/chapt_2.doc

http://www.epa.gov/safewater/wot/pdfs/book_waterontap_full.pdf

http://www.epa.gov/safewater/tcrdsr.html

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