Winter Springs Report: Discolored, Corrosive Water and more TTHMs

Did you see the glossy taxpayer funded water report? Or the gaslighting video the city put out explaining to educated adults how to read it?

Remember being told your water changing colors was no big deal? Well, it turns out this is an indication of contaminants, a health concern and a violation of EPA standards as well. It seems the city’s deflection campaign has another gear after all and now they are using our money to fund it.

Summary—EPA violations 6 of 7 straight years: this report and its violations means our city’s drinking water has reported tests violating EPA standards in 6 of the last 7 years. Violations include TTHMs, bacterial coliform and issues related to discolored and corrosive water. You can download all recent water reports on our Water Quality Initiative page.

Violation 1: Total Trihalomethanes (TTHMs): TTHMs are dangerous carcinogens and byproducts of disinfectants (i.e. chlorine) in the water. The city reported a test with a TTHM count of 89.15 ppb, which is higher than the EPA limit. The city placed this comment in small font tucked inside the back cover page surrounded by a dismissive claim this violation is somehow not safety a concern. The TTHM issues occurred on the city’s east side.

TTHMs are caused by a chemical reaction occurring when disinfectants such as chlorine are placed in the water. According to the EPA, disinfectant by-products also are known to cause discoloration (see below).

Violation 2: Discolored/Corrosive Water: the EPA specifies “secondary standards” for drinking water contaminants. According to the EPA these standards exist to prevent the ingestion of chemicals which “present a risk to human health”.

The Winter Springs Annual Water Quality Report contains a violation for discoloration, which according to the EPA could result from “excessive amounts of disinfectant by-products” or “inorganic contaminants such as metals”. Although the city’s video relegated this violation to a passing comment and portrayed it as purely cosmetic, the EPA lists a “wide variety of problems” related to the secondary standards, including “technical effects” such as damage to water equipment and a reduced effectiveness in treating for other contaminants.

In other words, discolored water probably indicates excessive chlorine or metallic contaminants which damage your faucets, stain your toilets, decrease the life-span and efficiency of your water heater and make your in-house filters less effective in keeping you and your family safe.

Other than that, this is all really no big deal.

The City’s PR Campaign: Why would the city spend so much taxpayer money producing glossy brochures and professional videos? Why do they think you need to be “explained to” before you read their report? They are taking too much advice from Veolia, the company the Florida DEP recently cited for not reporting our wastewater test results which means they have not learned any lessons from the dismissive statements and bad advice they gave Flint, Michigan which had some issues with corrosive water as well.

All quotations of EPA standards in this email are from this “Secondary Drinking Water Standards” document.