Recently, 120Water announced the expansion of our capabilities beyond lead – we’re incredibly excited about this next step toward protecting public health. But what exactly does that mean?
Lead in water continues to be a massive issue for utilities and municipalities, and proposed updates to the Lead and Copper Rule (LCR) indicate that this problem is not going away. However, even as those shifts in legislation approach, other contaminants are rising to the forefront of the public eye.
“Lead isn’t the only issue plaguing the water industry,” says CEO Megan Glover. “120Water is poised to help in crucial areas of drinking water quality, infrastructure, and compliance.”
Contaminants such as arsenic, Legionella, and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), also known as “forever chemicals,” can all negatively impact public health if they exist in drinking water.
120Water’s ability to handle programs for these contaminants signals our commitment to being the leading digital water company and giving our clients the ability to run numerous programs through our solution.
Sending water testing kits to residents can be automated, and our dedicated partner labs can test for a variety of contaminants. The state of New Hampshire recently contracted with us to manage the distribution of drinking water pitcher/filters to pregnant women who get their drinking water from private supply wells contaminated with arsenic.
Our software is able to ingest any data related to these contaminants to help monitor program status, including water testing, infrastructure replacement, and communication data points.
Our dedicated services team, including our new Centers of Excellence, is at the forefront of understanding these emerging contaminants, legislation related to them, and how our clients can test & monitor their water for their presence.
PFAS are a group of man-made chemicals, including PFOA and PFOS, that have been manufactured around the world since the 1940s. Both PFOA and PFOS don’t break down in the human body and can accumulate over time. It can be found in food, commercial household products, workplaces, and drinking water.
In February, the EPA announced proposed decisions to regulate PFO and PFAS in drinking water, signaling that the “forever chemicals” will be an ongoing priority for the agency. Several state agencies are running PFAS testing as well.
Legionella is a bacterium that causes a respiratory disease called Legionellosis (Legionnaire’s Disease). Factors such as pH, water pressure changes, biofilm, water stagnation, and more can influence Legionella growth in building plumbing systems – making it a hot button topic for facilities such as hospitals, hotels, and schools.
The CDC estimates that 8,000-18,000 people are hospitalized with Legionnaires’ disease every year in the US, with potable water as the usual most likely source of infection.
Currently, there is no federal legislation to monitor Legionella – however, ASHRAE 188 Legionellosis: Risk management for Building Water Systems is the most well-known standard for Legionella management within facilities. You can learn more about our recommendations for monitoring & preventing Legionella in this blog post.
Perhaps the most well known of the three contaminants being highlighted, Arsenic is an element that occurs naturally in rocks and soil. It can enter a water supply through natural deposits in the earth or from industrial and agricultural pollution. Arsenic can’t be seen, tasted, or smelled in drinking water, and anyone consuming well water should test for arsenic.
The EPA allows a maximum of 10 micrograms per liter of arsenic in community water systems – however, any level of arsenic can still increase the risk of disease.
Water quality issues go far beyond Lead & Copper–as more and more public knowledge and legislation relating to other contaminants emerge, water systems, facilities, and government agencies will need to be prepared to confront them. 120Water’s flexible solution can be customized for any of these programs in order to increase efficiency and protect public health.