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What’s In Your Water?

 

Lead and Other Contaminants in Your drinking Water

Part 1

     While lead in our drinking water is at the forefront of our national conversation, it remains a fact that over 2 million people a year die from water borne diseases and over 1 billion people are without access to clean running water.

     Exposure to lead causes a variety of health effects and is in particular damaging to children. Lead is a metal with no known biological benefits to humans. Too much lead can damage various systems in the body including nervous and reproductive systems and the kidneys. It can cause high blood pressure and anemia. Lead is especially harmful to the developing brains of fetuses and young children and to pregnant women. The consequences may be irreversible.  At very high levels it can cause convulsions, coma and death.

     The most common and effective method of removing most of the lead from your drinking water is with a reverse osmosis filtration system installed as a whole house filtration or a direct to the sink faucet filter. This is the most common filter installed by our plumbing department here at Verne & Ellsworth Hann.

     Another common water borne contaminant is Cryptosporidium. This is a microscopic parasite that lives in the intestine of infected animals and humans. It passes in the stool in its dormant oocyst form. The oocyst is protected by an outer shell that allows it to survive outside the body for long periods of time and makes it resistant to chlorine-based disinfectants. It occurs mainly in surface water sources such as lakes, streams and rivers. In healthy adults, Cryptosporidium can cause illness. But for people with weakened immune systems, it can cause severe illness and even death.

     For those who wish to take extra measures to avoid water borne Cryptosporidium can bring their drinking water to a full boil for a full minute. Boiling water is the most effective way of killing Cryptosporidium.

     As an alternative to boiling water, many people rely on the reverse osmosis filters. These filters can be installed by the plumbing department of Verne & Ellsworth Hann. You can use point-of-use filters, personal filters at end-of-tap, under sink filters or whole house filtration systems. These filters remove particles one micrometer or less.

     Filters that use reverse osmosis, those labeled as “absolute one micron filters” or those labeled as certified by an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) accredited organization to ANSI/NSF Standard 53 for “Cyst Removal” provide the greatest assurance of removing Cryptosporidium. As with all filters, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for use and replacement.

     For installation or in-home consultation, call Verne & Ellsworth Hann at 216-932-9755 to schedule an appointment with our service department.

 

 

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