Public Water Users - You Might Need a Customized Point-of-Use Water Filtration System

Brian Oram, Licensed Professional Geologist
Featured Water Professional

Wait a Minute! Is this article suggesting that water provided by a public water supply system or an authority produces water that DOES NOT meet the drinking water standards?  The Answer is YES. 

However, what we are addressing in this article and is more common, is water systems which produce water that, although containing detectable levels of trace metals, organics, and microbiological agents, do not exceed government drinking water standard limits. The problem is that the water does not meet your personal standards which can be higher than the government standards.

How Do I Find Out if I'm in This Situation?

This is fairly easy if your home or office is serviced by a public water supply system that is regulated as a community water supply or a non-community water supply, but if you are not part of a public water supply or have a private source of water it is a little harder. If you are on a private system you would need to first get your water tested. For wells and springs, we would recommend the Water Check Standard initial water test and then submit your request to the KnowYourH2O Team or Hydroviv with your results.

Steps To Take as a Customer of a Public Water Supply

1. Check your water bill for the website and contact information of your public water supplier, whether a Municipal or Public Water Utility, Private Water Company, Co-operative or Water District and request a copy of their Consumer Confidence report. You may also be able to find the Consumer Confidence report online by searching for your water supplier's name and adding “Consumer Confidence Report.”

2. You can also try the EPA Tool to find your Consumer Confidence Report (CCR).

You need to enter the name of the public water supply system that provides you with drinking water. If a report is available, the site will either provide you with a pdf file or it will direct you to the company website where you should be able to find the report.  If a pdf version of the report is available, hit the download button and get a copy of the report.  If not you may need to use the “Print Command”  (Ctrl+P) and print the website page as a pdf or other file. 

3. Visit the KnowYourH2O EPA Widgets Page and scroll down to  Safe Drinking Water System

The Safe Drinking Water Information System (SDWIS) contains information about public water systems and their violations of EPA's drinking water regulations. These statutes and accompanying regulations establish maximum contaminant levels, treatment techniques, and monitoring and reporting requirements to ensure that water provided to customers is safe for human consumption. All you need to do is enter your zip code or city / state and then find your water supplier from the list or search the list using the name of the water supplier. The list will then provide a list of the health-based violations and then violations related to monitoring, reporting, and other operational issues.

For Example: I searched for the Local Community Water Supplier Report for my area which is “Aqua PA - 2021 Water Quality Report Forest Park System, PWSID# PA2400078.” View a PDF of the Report

The Report  tells us the following:

1. Specific name of the Water Company and the PWSID Number  (Public Water Supply Identification Number).

2. Year of Record the Report was based “2021”.

3. Source of the Water: “One Well”.

4. Name of the Regulatory Agency- “The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection” and other resources.

5. List of Contaminants Detected:

  • a. Chlorine: 0.9 to 2.2 mg/L- No Violations
  • b. Barium: 0.12 mg/L – No Violations
  • c. Haloacetic Acids 7 ppb – No Violations
  • d. Total Trihalomethanes – 9 ppb – No Violations
  • e. Chlorine test did drop below the system minimal of 0.4 mg/L  (but this occurred for less than 4 hours)
  • f. Copper – 90th Percentile – 0.3 mg/L  (5 samples) – No violations.
  • g. Lead – 90th Percentile – 0.007 mg/L or 7 ppb (5 samples) – No violations.

90 Percentile – “this means that 90% of the scores in the distribution are equal to or lower than that score”.  That does mean 10% were higher.

Potential Issue

Do Not Panic – This looks very good and there does not appear to be any significant problems, but the water does have detectable levels of disinfection by-products and corrosion-related metals. For this system, you may want to consider custom in-line or point-of-use filters that focus on the reduction of chlorine by-products and scavenger trace metals.

Recommended Water Filter Options

Hydroviv Customized Under Sink Water Filter (Customized)

Hydroviv water filtration systems are optimized for your city's water quality data, using your shipping zip code when you place your order. This means cleaner, healthier, better-tasting water straight from the tap. What's more, the undersink water filter connects to your faucet's standard 3/8" connections (in about 15 minutes).

View Hydroviv Filter

Crystal Quest – Targeted Solution

Or Consider the Crystal Quest Under the Sink Speciality Filter that targets trace metals, corrosion by-products, and chlorine-based compounds  

Lead Under Sink Water Filter System