In an effort to ensure that America has the cleanest water possible, on Jan. 4, 2014, a new law reducing the amount of lead allowed in plumbing products will go into effect. Williette Nyanue, assistant editor for Water Quality Products, recently spoke to Barbara Higgens, executive director of Plumbing Manufacturers Intl. (PMI), to discuss the implications of the law and how manufacturers are preparing to comply.
Williette Nyanue: What implications does the new lead law have?
Groundwater provides a valuable source of drinking water for millions of people across the U.S. But as new contaminants are discovered and droughts continue to worsen, resulting in depleted aquifers, it is increasingly important to monitor the quantity and quality of available groundwater. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) recently updated Water Quality Products on the status of groundwater quality in the U.S.
What is the role of the USGS in surveying and monitoring groundwater quality and availability in the U.S.?
U.S. groundwater faces increasing contamination & overuse
The source for drinking water is an important consideration when determining which water quality tests to run. Groundwater sources, especially private wells that are not tested on a regular basis, are susceptible to various naturally occurring and manmade contaminants.
The depth of a well is an important factor when determining which contaminants are present in groundwater sources. Shallow wells are more vulnerable to surface contaminants, such as gasoline from a spill, because the contaminant has less distance to travel.
Evaluating factors for testing groundwater quality
Tiny pores in graphene offer possibility of membranes that filter microscopic contaminants from water
Much has been made of graphene’s exceptional qualities, from its ability to conduct heat and electricity better than any other material to its unparalleled strength. Previous research has also shown that pristine graphene — a microscopic sheet of carbon atoms arranged in a honeycomb pattern — is among the most impermeable materials ever discovered.
I have four children under 10 years old, so as you can imagine, my house is filled with excitement—wrestling, roughhousing and playing sports. One of my favorite activities is to play superheroes with the boys. It has been a blast to see my sons enjoy many of the same superheroes I loved as a boy: Superman, Spiderman, Batman, the Hulk, Wolverine, Captain America and many more. Ultimately, the boys like every hero and the special powers or cool gadgets they use to defeat bad guys, but our household favorite has to be Iron Man.
Safe and effective treatment for the ‘troublesome trio’
Elevated levels of arsenic, iron and manganese prompted the Resort Village of Kannata Valley in Saskatchewan, Canada — a community of 149 households situated on the north shore of Last Mountain Lake, approximately 50 km northwest of Regina — to seek a treatment solution for its drinking water. The community water system is served by an artesian well that provides drinking water for approximately 250 residents. In November 2009, AdEdge Water Technologies LLC was selected by the community to supply an arsenic, iron, manganese and turbidity treatment system.
Canadian community implements efficient contaminant removal
A natural gas-fired power plant in Yuba City, Calif., failed to minimize releases of hazardous waste into the environment
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has fined a natural gas-fired power plant $13,500 for improper management of hazardous waste. According to EPA, the plant, located in Yuba City, Calif., generated arsenic from the treatment of wastewater and failed to minimize releases of hazardous waste to the environment.
Many of the public and private wells sampled contained natural or manmade contaminants
At least one contaminant was found at levels of human health concern in about one-third of untreated groundwater samples collected from wells in the Cambrian-Ordovician aquifer system, according to a recent report by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). When radon concentrations greater than 300 picocuries per liter are included, 64% of wells sampled contain a contaminant concentration above a human health benchmark.
Algae outbreaks ruining river, drinking water plant and quality of life, according to Earthjustice
On behalf of Florida Wildlife Federation, Conservancy of Southwest Florida and the Environmental Confederation of Southwest Florida, Earthjustice filed suit today in federal court against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers because the agency is allegedly repeatedly violating water protection laws in southwest Florida’s Caloosahatchee River.
NGWA said technologies are available to effectively treat arsenic discovered in private household well water
Technologies are available to effectively treat arsenic discovered in private household well water, the National Ground Water Assn. (NGWA) said recently as the federal and state governments conduct testing in Licking County, Ohio.
“While no one wants to have arsenic in the water, the good news is that water well owners who do can treat their water to safe levels with technology that is readily available,” said NGWA Public Awareness Director Cliff Treyens.