Tainted drinking water kept under wraps - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-03-2008, 09:36 PM Thread Starter
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Tainted drinking water kept under wraps

I apologize in advance for the length of this post but I felt that it was important. I wondered why I lost almost a whole tank of snowball shrimp in November for no apparent reason that I could figure out. I live in the city that had the most chemicals found in their water.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/23504373 The start of the article


Tainted drinking water kept under wraps.
Many researchers fear public would misunderstand, overreact to disclosure
How safe is your city's drinking water?
24 major metropolitan areas tested for pharmaceuticals
Some water systems said tests had been negative, but the AP found independent research showing otherwise. Both prescription and non-prescription drugs were detected.
Because coffee and tobacco are so widely used, researchers say their byproducts are good indicators of the presence of pharmaceuticals. Thus, they routinely test for, and often find, both caffeine and nicotineís metabolite cotinine more frequently than other drugs.
Hereís the list of metropolitan areas, with the number of pharmaceuticals detected and some examples of specific drugs that were found, or where tests were negative, not conducted or awaiting results:
Albuquerque, N.M.: tests negative El Paso, Texas: no testing
Fairfax, Va.: no testing
Fort Worth, Texas: no testing
Fresno, Calif.: no testing
Honolulu: no testing
Houston: no testing
Indianapolis: 1 (caffeine)
Jacksonville, Fla.: no testing
Kansas City, Mo.: no testing
Las Vegas: 3 (carbamazepine, meprobamate and phenytoin)
Long Beach, Calif.: 2 (meprobamate and phenytoin)
Los Angeles: 2 (meprobamate and phenytoin)
Louisville, Ky.: 3 (caffeine, carbamazepine and phenytoin)
Memphis, Tenn.: no testing
Mesa, Ariz.: no testing
Miami: no testing
Milwaukee: 1 (cotinine)
Minneapolis: 1 (caffeine)
Nashville, Tenn.: no testing
New Orleans: 3 (clofibric acid, estrone and naproxen)
Arlington, Texas: 1 (unspecified pharmaceutical)
Atlanta: 3 (acetaminophen, caffeine and cotinine)
Austin, Texas: tests negative
Baltimore: no testing
Birmingham, Ala.: no testing
Boston: no testing
Charlotte, N.C.: no testing
Chicago: no testing
Cincinnati: 1 (caffeine)
Cleveland: no testing
Colorado Springs, Colo.: no testing
Columbus, Ohio: 5 (azithromycin, roxithromycin, tylosin, virginiamycin and caffeine)
Concord, Calif.: 2 (meprobamate and sulfamethoxazole)
Dallas: results pending
Denver: (unspecified antibiotics)
Detroit: (unspecified drugs)
El Paso, Texas: no testing
Fairfax, Va.: no testing
Fort Worth, Texas: no testing
Fresno, Calif.: no testing
Honolulu: no testing
Houston: no testing
Indianapolis: 1 (caffeine)
Jacksonville, Fla.: no testing
Kansas City, Mo.: no testing
Las Vegas: 3 (carbamazepine, meprobamate and phenytoin)
Long Beach, Calif.: 2 (meprobamate and phenytoin)
Los Angeles: 2 (meprobamate and phenytoin)
Louisville, Ky.: 3 (caffeine, carbamazepine and phenytoin)
Memphis, Tenn.: no testing
Mesa, Ariz.: no testing
Miami: no testing
Milwaukee: 1 (cotinine)
Minneapolis: 1 (caffeine)
Nashville, Tenn.: no testing
New Orleans: 3 (clofibric acid, estrone and naproxen)
New York City: no testing
Northern New Jersey: 7 (caffeine, carbamazepine, codeine, cotinine, dehydronifedipine, diphenhydramine and sulfathiazole)
Oakland, Calif.: no testing
Oklahoma City: no testing
Omaha, Neb.: no testing
Orlando, Fla.: no testing
Philadelphia: 56 (including amoxicillin, azithromycin, carbamazepine, diclofenac, prednisone and tetracycline)
Phoenix: no testing
Portland, Ore.: 4 (acetaminophen, caffeine, ibuprofen and sulfamethoxazole)
Prince Georgeís and Montgomery counties, Md.: no testing
Riverside County, Calif.: 2 (meprobamate and phenytoin)
Sacramento, Calif.: no testing
San Antonio: no testing
San Diego: 3 (ibuprofen, meprobamate and phenytoin)
San Francisco: 1 (estradiol)
San Jose, Calif.: no testing
Santa Clara, Calif.: no testing
Seattle: no testing
Southern California: 2 (meprobamate and phenytoin)
Suffolk County, N.Y.: no testing
Tucson, Ariz.: 3 (carbamazepine, dehydronifedipine and sulfamethoxazole)
Tulsa, Okla.: no testing
Virginia Beach, Va.: tests negative
Washington, D.C.: 6 (carbamazepine, caffeine, ibuprofen, monensin, naproxen and sulfamethoxazole)
Wichita, Kan.: no testing.

The most important things are the hardest to say, because words diminish them. S. King
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-03-2008, 11:17 PM
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Hmmm that sucks... no wonder people are immune to soo many drugs as they are drinking them all the time.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-04-2008, 01:48 AM Thread Starter
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Hmmm that sucks... no wonder people are immune to soo many drugs as they are drinking them all the time.
I guess the next time I feel sick I'll just drink a big glass of tap water

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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-04-2008, 01:35 PM
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Enviornmental scientists have known about this for more than a decade. I guess the national news was slow that day, so they dug this up.

The levels found are parts per billion or less - incredibly low - we have only had the technology to measure these chemicals at such low levels for about 20 years! The pharmaceutically active dosages for these are up to a million times higher!

I highly doubt that your shrimp suddenly in November decided that these drugs were lethal - most likely something else is the cause.

So yes, it is something environmentalists and water treatment people need to look at, but the average person probably doesn't need to worry. After all, your only real option to avoid this is to drink RO water only - a highly environmentally UNfriendly practice. You are exposed to a lot of other more dangerous chemicals through the air anyway.


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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-04-2008, 02:29 PM
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Don't forget illicit drugs like crack


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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-04-2008, 02:45 PM Thread Starter
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Enviornmental scientists have known about this for more than a decade. I guess the national news was slow that day, so they dug this up.

The levels found are parts per billion or less - incredibly low - we have only had the technology to measure these chemicals at such low levels for about 20 years! The pharmaceutically active dosages for these are up to a million times higher!

I highly doubt that your shrimp suddenly in November decided that these drugs were lethal - most likely something else is the cause.

So yes, it is something environmentalists and water treatment people need to look at, but the average person probably doesn't need to worry. After all, your only real option to avoid this is to drink RO water only - a highly environmentally UNfriendly practice. You are exposed to a lot of other more dangerous chemicals through the air anyway.


Kevin
Hi Kevin,

I was using sarcasm about the snowballs . I agree that it could have been any number of things that caused the deaths, none that I could figure out though. The water quality changes here from season to season. Last summer we had a nitrate smell out of tap. Tested the tap but there were no readable nitrates.

I agree that air contamination is a concern as is surface contamination. I just thought that the article was interesting and informative.

I have a cousin who works for the processing plant in our water department. Around 20 years ago he told me that if I knew what was in our water I wouldn't drink it.

Thanks for your input!

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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-04-2008, 03:15 PM
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Scary right? The way they get into the water is by being excreated by the people taking the medications (via human waste into the sewer). The fintration system can't remove all of them and we get a glass of medicated water.


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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-04-2008, 04:12 PM Thread Starter
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Scary right? The way they get into the water is by being excreated by the people taking the medications (via human waste into the sewer). The fintration system can't remove all of them and we get a glass of medicated water.
Not to mention the rest of the junk in our water from ground water run off.

DDT was legal to use as an insecticide at one time. We later found out that we almost destroyed our wild population of bald eagles, only to name one species.

Big study done on a coral reef being destroyed by the Crown of Thorns starfish. Their population was so out of control that they hired divers to destroy all that they could find.

They later found that the population explosion was caused by farmers using a specific fertilizer that was running into the water from the rain. They stopped using the fertilizer and the starfish population declined on it's own.

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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-04-2008, 04:19 PM
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Hi Kevin,

I was using sarcasm about the snowballs . I agree that it could have been any number of things that caused the deaths, none that I could figure out though. The water quality changes here from season to season. Last summer we had a nitrate smell out of tap. Tested the tap but there were no readable nitrates.
Sorry - didn't catch the sarcasm. BTW - nitrates don't smell.

I always enjoy teaching water quality to my college students. I describe the drinking water treatment process (including what it does and doesn't remove), then I describe the wastewater treatment process as well. I then talk about where/how the treated wastewater is discharged and where the intake pipes are for municipal water supplies . . .

This issue will become more important as municipalities deal with water shortages (esp in the SW US, but this past fall in the SE). Some systems are already "recharging" aquifers directly with treated wastewater. It's only a short step to pumping treated wastewater right back into the supply.

Some treatment methods might be better at removing these contaminants than others (I think ozone has shown some promise), but they will add to the cost of water.

Oh - and don't think that bottled water is free of these compounds either. It came from somewhere and often is only minimally treated before being bottled (Dasani and Aquafina are RO treated though). There have also been studies showing plasticizers and trace metals in bottled water (from the plastic).

K

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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-05-2008, 10:44 PM Thread Starter
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Hi Kevin,

Thank you so much for the education and enlightenment. I would like to sit in on one of your classes.

I agree with you, the more we suffer from water shortages, the more necessary it will become to recycle water. I already do this when I do water changes. I use tank water to water my house plants and they are thriving. I also have a 125g on the ground level of my house and let the old water run into my garden.


One quick question, if nitrates have no odor than what the heck is that dirty tank smell that you smell when you go into a fish store where you know the tanks are not kept clean? I always thought it was a nitrate smell.

Thanks, once again for all of the information.

The most important things are the hardest to say, because words diminish them. S. King
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-06-2008, 12:21 AM
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Hi Kevin,

One quick question, if nitrates have no odor than what the heck is that dirty tank smell that you smell when you go into a fish store where you know the tanks are not kept clean? I always thought it was a nitrate smell.

Thanks, once again for all of the information.
Ah - that's different - it is a mixture of things, all of them likely organic. Some might be organic amines (dead-fish smell - carbon compounds with nitrogen), others might be esters (esters contain carbon and oxygens - many esters are fruity smelling - like apple, bannana, etc - but some could also give somewhat of an earthy smell). Aldehydes (also a carbon-oxygen group) and ketones (again, C and O) give some unique odors as well. Thiols (Sulfur-containing organic compounds) are some of the nastiest smelling!

Kevin

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2g Mac-quarium. Clown gravel, fluorescent plastic plants, and 2 guppies.
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-06-2008, 01:03 AM
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I want to sit in that class...
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-13-2008, 11:15 PM
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they'd have a field day if they tested the water in the philippines.

simon.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-14-2008, 02:11 AM
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The issue is not whether water has something in it, the issue is one based on risk, if it's NO3 at 0.001ppm, no risk.

If it's 10 ppm as N-NO3, then some folks, pregnant mothers, small children, elderly etc, should not.

If you are worried, use a carbon pre filter for the water you drink.
That takes care of the organics and any taste odor issue. Water depts can use it, but at MGD, that adds up to a lot and cost a lot, and folks want their water cheap, but safe.

Here in Sac, we have great tap, and no water meters........and the folks here waste far more water than in LA, about 450 gal/day per person.

This is enormous and wasteful and we have a drought, but folks get fines if they allow their stupid grass lawns to die.

Then all the herbicides, and mostly insecticides use to kill their bug/weed issues are placed storm water runoff channels and kills the creeks. These folks over water and the chemicals that urban users apply all end up in the water.

Then the urbanites whine about the ag folks who have far less impact

Birth control pills and other endocrine disruptors cause havoc on various species of fish and inverts. All these things end up in the streams and kills things, not just a risk to us, but to everything.

It's not the water depts that are trying to cover up anything.
You need to demand that the water sheds be protected and take steps to make urbanites and ag folks reduce inputs that end up in water supplies and natural systems.

Reduce the run off from your yard, reduce the wastewater, add tank water change water into the landscape for irrigation, use carbon filter for the home.

Most places have pretty good water, those with really hard water have good water also, just it's limey and leaves deposits.

As Kevin mentioned, the biphenals in plastics end up in water bottles as well, so those bottled waters are not so hot
I was a certified water, wastewater and industrial wastewater treatment plant operator grade 3 FYI.
I guess I could back and take the supervisor's test after 2 years, they make good $.

You can take classes via mail also if you live in CA(I suppose you can even if you do not) through Sac State here and the Engineering dept. I took every class they offered(72 units) and took the exams for the state certification back in the 1990's.

Seems like a long time ago now
Always fun to attack the wing nuts who sell wonkey water schemes that prey of fearful public.

Regards,
Tom Barr




Regards,
Tom Barr
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-14-2008, 03:02 AM
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Nice I live in Pa as well but its always good to see such great water here

Philadelphia: 56 (including amoxicillin, azithromycin, carbamazepine, diclofenac, prednisone and tetracycline)
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