Recent Water News

HOOVER DAM, AZ - MARCH 30: A 'bathtub ring' surrounds Lake Mead near Hoover Dam, which impounds the Colorado River at the Arizona-Nevada border, on March 30, 2016. The white ring shows the effects of a drought which has caused the level of the lake to drop to an historic low. The ring is white because of the minerals which were deposited on the previously submerged surfaces. (Photo by Robert Alexander/Getty Images)

With the western US drought it its fifth year, Lake Mead sank to its historic low. The “bathtub ring” shows the dramatic decline of the water level.

Coca Cola announced that it now replenishes as much water worldwide as it draws from natural sources to fuel its production. Exactly how this is accomplished is not clear.

August 28 to September 2 was World Water Week in Stockholm. Joan Rose received this year’s Water Quality Champion prize.

A body was recovered from the McMillan Reservoir that provides much of the drinking water for Washington, D.C.

Over the past two years Texas has received record-breaking rainfall, recording the most rain since 1942.

The FDA issued a rule banning 19 specific chemicals in liquid and bar soaps, including triclosan (commonly used in liquid soap) and triclocarban (used in bar soap). The agency says manufacturers have not shown that these products are any more effective than plain soap and water in preventing illness or stopping the spread of certain infections.

A group of dairy producers in Kewaunee County, Wisconsin announced that it will pay more than half the cost of drinking water purification systems for residents whose wells have been polluted by animal waste.

Vermont has lowered the drinking water allowable from 35 to 3 parts per million for the pesticide TFM which is used to control the sea lamprey in state waters.

Six members of a Sioux tribal group called Standing Rock Water Protectors were attacked by dogs and pepper spray while demonstrating against continued development of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

The EPA has fined the U.S. Army $100,000 for continuing to operate illegal cesspools in Hawaii.

New York state has an ambitious project that recycles old toilets to create oyster reefs. The reefs will not only serve as habitat for oysters but will also provide erosion protection for wetlands and natural filtration of sea water.

A Florida teenager has won an annual open-water swimming competition off the Florida Keys.

Seventeen-year-old Noah Zhang of Jupiter, FL won the Swim for Alligator Lighthouse open-water swimming competition, completing the 9-mile swim in 3 hours and 46 minutes.

About 980 million liters of contaminated water leaked into Florida’s main underground source of drinking water after a huge sinkhole opened up under a phosphate fertilizer plant near Tampa.




Eliminating Chlorine Residuals from Tap Water

By Kelly A. Reynolds, MSPH, PhD

Drinking water from the tap is not sterile but is regulated to a level of acceptable risk so that infections from microbial exposures and illnesses from chemicals occur at very low levels. In the US, acceptable risk goals are set at one infection per 10,000 persons per year for microbes and as low as one in a million cases of cancer from chemicals, including added disinfectants. The question is how to ensure the safety of drinking water considering that common water treatmentprotocols inherently create additional health risks. Recent studies compare differences among various countries in water quality management, while exploring whether or not carcinogenic chlorine residuals can be safely excluded from municipal tap water supplies.

Water treatment in developed countries
Microbial contamination of drinking water post-treatment is a major concern for municipalities. The US has relied on a multi-barrier approach to drinking-water treatment, so that the chain oftreatment applications can make up for any upstream deficiencies. Following source protection and municipal treatment, the final step in US water treatment is secure distribution to consumer taps. Ideally this is accomplished with clean, contained distribution piping. Unfortunately, the USdistribution system is aged, leaky and plagued with biofilm formation, offering nutrients and protection to harmless and harmful microbes alike. Thus, the addition of a disinfectant residualwithin the distribution system is standard protocol.


This Week’s Top Water News


Hawaii is expected to ban the popular tourist attractions that allow tourists to swim with dolphins.

A single shower using products made with plastic microbeads can result in 100,000 plastic particles entering the ocean. Goverments are being urged by environmentalists to ban plastic microbeads.

Sacred water on a Crow reservation in Montana is contaminated with high levels of uranium.

Researchers found that Gwynns Falls on the western side of  Baltimore is contaminated not only with raw sewage from leakage from the city’s sewer system but also significant levels of pharmaceuticals and illegal drugs.

An estimated 4,500 people in Havelock North (New Zealand) got sick with a gastrointestinal infection linked to campylobacter bacteria in the town’s water supply. An intrusion of fecal bacteria from livestock was suspected.

Hydgrogen sulfide levels in the Salton Sea continue to rise and the stink rising from the water is definitely on the increase.

The market for activated alumina, used for a variety of purposes in water treatment, including fluoride removal, is expected to reach $1,110 million by 2024.

A German public broadcasting station drew a barrage of criticism for reporting that Israel does not provide adequate water for the Palestinians.

A Canadian animal rights activist was arrested for giving water to slaughterhouse-bound pigs, and in Georgia a man was sentenced to 40 years in prison for pouring boiling water on a sleeping gay couple.

The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Committee for water polo announced that stricter rules for misconduct will be in effect during the 2016-17 season.

On Aug. 26, 2016,  President Barack Obama announced the establishment of the largest ocean sanctuary on the planet. His action quadrupled the size of an existing refuge,  Hawaii’s Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, created originally by President George W. Bush.

It is estimated that the water lost from leaking pipes exceeds seven billion gallons every day.


 The Pure Water Occasional for August 31, 2016

In this deep summer Occasional, you’ll hear about aging pipes, lime softening, earthquake prevention, reef bleaching, and the Silent Highwayman.  Tnen there are Big Bubba, Filtersorb, the nifty GRO membrane, the Clean Water Act, and the Great Stink of 1858. Also,  Glyphosate, the Delta Tunnel, Dog Ridge, TX water issues, microbeads galore, and the increasing stench from the Salton Sea. Read about making beer from urine, campylobacter in New Zealand, rules changes in water polo, the ban on swimming with dolphins, the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, NAC, light commercial RO units, the Crossness Pumping Station museum, and, as always, there is much, much more.

The Pure Water Occasional is a project of Pure Water Products and the Pure Water Gazette.

To read this issue on the Pure Water Gazette’s website,  please go here.  (Recommended! When you read online you get the added advantage of the Gazette’s sidebar feed of the very latest world water news.)


You’ll sing better.

America’s Water Supply: The Corrosion of a Proud Tradition

U.S. communities suffer from about a quarter of a million water main breaks every year, mostly due to aging pipe

By Robert Glennon,  Aug. 2016.


A common sight in American cities. 

The debacle in Flint, Michigan was a betrayal of the public trust at every level of government. The horror of people drinking poisoned water is a microcosm of the sad deterioration of one of America’s greatest accomplishments: the creation of infrastructure to provide virtually universal access to clean water and wastewater treatment. (more…)

America’s Water Supply: The Corrosion of a Proud Tradition

U.S. communities suffer from about a quarter of a million water main breaks every year, mostly due to aging pipe

By Robert Glennon,  Aug. 2016.


A common sight in American cities. 

The debacle in Flint, Michigan was a betrayal of the public trust at every level of government. The horror of people drinking poisoned water is a microcosm of the sad deterioration of one of America’s greatest accomplishments: the creation of infrastructure to provide virtually universal access to clean water and wastewater treatment.

Across America, water and sewer plants, pipes, and valves are reaching or beyond the end of their useful lives. By failing to invest in maintaining the city’s drinking water infrastructure, Flint officials acted no differently than those in thousands of other communities – high- and low-income – who are neglecting the promise of government that all residents have the right to clean water. (more…)

The Route Water Takes “From River to Faucet”

An article in an Iowa newspaper (“From River to Faucet,” from The Hawk Eye) describes the step-by-step process used to process Mississippi River water for drinking in several Iowa cities, including rural Des Moines.  Here are the steps.

Water drawn from the river is treated with potassium permanganate, which removes a lot of the taste and odors of river water.

Then, the water is treated with two coagulants: cationic polymer and aluminum sulfate. These separate the water from dirt particles, getting the water closer to the clear liquid that comes out of faucets.


This Week in Water

The bare bones water news of the week, link free, commercial free.


In Rio, Olympic water event athletes were warned by officials against putting their heads under the water.  Canoe sprint, marathon swimming, rowing, sailing, and triathlon all take place in open water that is dangerously polluted. Two canoers from Serbia took a spill in the dirty water on the first day of competition.

California Delta Tunnel officials have decided that they put their billion $ straws in the wrong place.

In the UK, unautorized animal medicinal products were seized from World of Water vets.

Studies show that the decline in salmon began with and resulted from the development of water power in the Middle Ages.

Cornell University will be required to cut back its water use by 30% because the city of Ithaca, NY is running out of water.

New Hampshire officials have banned outdoor water use in 50 towns and cities because of drought conditions.

Researchers at the University of Ghent in Belgium have developed a solar-powered machine that converts urine to drinkable water  that is then used to brew beer.

Although Californians used 21.5% less water in June than they did in 2013, usage was up 6% from 2015 due to relaxed regulations.

After restricting oil and natural gas operations in certain hotspots, Oklahoma has an average of two earthquakes a day, compared with about six a day last summer. Kansas has increased restrictions on natural gas operations and is getting about a quarter of the quakes it once did.

The EPA estimates that some 775 municipalities around the country have antiquated combined sewage and stormwater overflow systems. When it rains heavily or snow melts, the systems are overwhelmed and dump untreated sewage and stormwater into rivers and lakes.  One New York city dumps thousands of gallons of untreated sewer discharge into the Hudson River as many as 30 times per year.

An Oregon-based  company is using solar technology to reduce Salmonella, E. coli and Listeria contamination in agricultural runoff.

The water supply at Dog Ridge, Texas was cited for multiple drinking water violations.

It was reported that 60 percent of coral reefs in the Maldives have fallen victim to bleaching because of rising sea temperatures.



The Silent Highwayman


(Click picture for a larger view.)

Published by Punch magazine in July 1858, “The Silent Highwayman” serves as a grim reminder of the rank state of the River Thames, which in mid-nineteenth century London doubled as open sewer and drinking water source.

“The Silent Highwayman” serves as a reminder of a memorable time in London known as The Great Stink of 1858.  The great stink occured as the result of an intense heat wave and a spectacularly inadequate waste disposal system that created a stench of human excrement so noxious that it was said to be unbearable. (more…)

FilterSorb SP3 Advanced Salt-Free Scale Prevention Units

FilterSorb NAC (“Nuclear Assisted Crystallization”) technology is the leading rival of OneFlow TAC (“Template Assisted Crystallization”). The two competing technologies both have many strong points and we have chosen to offer both rather than choose between them. Either FilterSorb, priced below, or OneFlow, will do an excellent job of salt-free scale prevention.

FilterSorb is NSF 61 certified. It adds no chemicals to the water, needs no regeneration, needs no electricity or drain connection. It is trouble free, and the expected media life is three to five years. FilterSorb not only prevents formation of hard water scaling, it also helps to reduce previously formed scale. FilterSorb does not add sodium to water and it does not remove calcium and magnesium from drinking water. It does not alter pH or total dissolved solids of the treated water. (more…)

Rebedding Softeners and Filters

In general, putting new media into a water softener or tank-style filter is like screwing the lid off of a bottle, dumping out the contents, then refilling the bottle. What complicates the procedure is largely that it is a very big bottle and it is often located in an inconvenient place. It doesn’t have to be a hard job, but it can be a messy job.  Here are suggested steps: (more…)