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How SaFE IS KC WATER?

by Ian Cummings

How safe is KC area water? Check this database

BY IAN CUMMINGS icummings@kcstar.com

Everyone has heard the advice: Drink eight glasses of water a day.

But do you know what’s in that water?

It’s easy to check, using a database published recently by the national Environmental Working Group, which allows anyone to punch in their ZIP code and see a list of potentially harmful chemicals found in the local tap water.

The database, which includes water utilities from all over the Kansas City area, shows test results collected from nearly 50,000 public water systems in all 50 states.

Among the Kansas City area water utilities residents can check in the database are KC Water Services, which provides drinking water in Kansas City, and Water One, which serves much of Johnson County.

A check of the database shows generally favorable results for both utilities, which meet federal health guidelines. Most of the chemicals — measured in parts per billion — found there were byproducts of water treatment, and most were found in concentrations less than the state and national averages.

KC Water Laboratory Manager David Greene said the information in the database is mostly accurate and indicated no need for alarm.

“The water is safe,” Greene said. “These are ultra-low levels. As the technology allows us to see lower and lower amounts of these chemicals, you start to see things you couldn’t see before.”

The EWG database highlights chemicals found at levels exceeding some health guidelines recommended by public health officials in California, but within legal safety limits — which aren’t always the same, as Ken Cook, the president of the EWG, said a statement about the project.

“Just because your tap water gets a passing grade from the government doesn’t always mean it’s safe,” Cook said.

Some chemicals have no legal limits under federal law, or are being studied for possible regulation in the future.

Water data from KC Water and Water One showed a list of about a half-dozen chemicals, none exceeding legal limits. Among them are an industrial pollutant, a herbicide and hormones.

In some cases, local water supplies showed chemicals at higher than average concentrations.

Both Kansas City and Johnson County recorded higher than average levels of hexavalent chromium, also known as chrome 6, a cancer-causing heavy metal made famous by the movie “Erin Brokovich” — but at concentrations far lower than than those depicted in the film.

The federal government has no legal limits on chrome 6 in drinking water. The state of California is working on regulations.

Johnson County water also showed higher than average levels of atrazine, a herbicide.

Water One officials in Johnson County said they were aware of the EWG database and did not think it showed any lack of safety in the utility’s water.

In many cases, the database compared chemical levels in the water with health guidelines developed by the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, which are often more strict than limits set by the federal Safe Drinking Water Act.

“We are bound by law to meet and exceed regulatory requirements to ensure our water is safe, which we proudly do,” Water One said in a written statement.

EXCELSIOR SPRINGS, MO - (found on KMBC 9 News website)

The City of Excelsior Springs is issuing a boil order ahead of scheduled maintenance later this week.

The Excelsior Springs Water Plant will be switching its disinfection from Chlorine Gas to Sodium Hypochlorite (Liquid Bleach) as a part of a current plant upgrade project to create a safer environment.

Engineers will have to establish a base line of chemical feed to meet the necessary disinfection limits, and a a result, the city is ordering a boil water advisory.

That boil advisory will start on Wednesday, September 20th at 8:00 AM, and will run through Friday, September 22nd. City officials said once the base line is reached, the boil advisory will be lifted.

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Excelsior Springs suggests these precautions:

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1. Roughly 70 percent of an adult’s body is made up of water.2. At birth, water accounts for approximately 80 percent of an infant’s body weight.3. A healthy person can drink about three gallons (48 cups) of water per day.4. Drinking too much water too quickly can lead to water intoxication. Water intoxication occurs when water dilutes the sodium level in the bloodstream and causes an imbalance of water in the brain.5. Water intoxication is most likely to occur during periods of intense athletic performance.6. While the daily recommended amount of water is eight cups per day, not all of this water must be consumed in the liquid form. Nearly every food or drink item provides some water to the body.7. Soft drinks, coffee, and t...

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Soft and hard water behave differently, from cleaning power to corrosion potential

Apparently, all tap water is not created equal.

Some water is deemed “hard,” and other is considered to be “soft.” And here’s the confusing part: Hard water isn’t better than soft in all situations, and soft isn’t always preferable.

Confused yet? We explain the ins and outs of each below.

The basics

Hard water: Contains relatively high amounts of calcium and magnesium. This happens when the water comes in contact with rocks or soil. In the United States, 85 percent of the water is hard, according to aU.S. Geological Survey.

Soft water: Contains few or no extra elements. It can be naturally occurring, or produced wi...

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NEWS RELEASE
April 12, 2017

For Immediate Release

Sean Pederson

City Manager

spederson@bonnersprings.org

(913) 422-7028

WATER DEPARTMENT TO FLUSH WATER MAINS

Bonner Springs, Kansas – For the next six weeks, the Water Department will be flushing the water mains throughout the City on Mondays and Tuesdays between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. During the flushing process, we suggest that you do not use water in your home, especially for washing clothes, to avoid problems due to the potential occurrence of colored water.

The City flushes from hydrants to remove residue and sediments from the water mains until the water is clear. The water quality in the water mains will normally clear up within 30 minutes after we flush near your...

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