The Mountain Press – Tuesday June 12, 2012
By Rachel Osborn, email@example.com
SEVIERVILLE — As part of East Tennessee State University’s Community Medicine Clerkship — a program in which third-year James H. Quillen College of Medicine students move to Sevier County, live in housing provided by the college and work with local officials — students participate in a community-centered health project.
The group of nine students who recently finished up their six-week stay at LeConte Medical Center focused on well water within the county, collecting bacteria and water samples at various locations throughout the area.
Third-year ETSU medical students who participated in the well water project included Chris Carver, Michael Snyder, Andrew Wong, Meagan Aiken, Dane Daley, Hunter Pearson, Christine Smith, Sara Negrotto and Sarah Hockaday.
They decided to focus on the beginning phases of this project, in hopes that those involved in following clerkship classes would pick up where they left off.
“We got the idea from patients in our clinics,” medical student Dane Daley explained. “They used well water and had problems with it.”
After the clerkship’s director Dr. William Fry mentioned other well water projects that had gone on within the country, the group unanimously chose that as their project. They hoped to check residents’ wells, looking for bacteria and other problems within the water.
Through a connection made with members of the community, the students were able to get all of their collection kits donated by Aqua Clear Water Systems, LLC in Knoxville. Aqua Clear also told the medical students how to collect the water and allowed them to use their facilities to test the samples.
After all of the samples were tested for hardness, pH, bacteria, nitrates, iron and total dissolved solutes, the students made a disturbing – though not uncommon – discovery.
Of the 21 samples collected, half had bacteria in them. Two wells contained E. coli, which means the water may have been contaminated by human or animal waste, medical student Chris Carver explained.
Other samples had increased levels of minerals including nitrates, iron, calcium and potassium.
Typically, total dissolved solids – the level of minerals in the water – should be less than 500 parts per million, medical student Andrew Wong explained.
“Some places had well over 700 ppm,” he said. “Their water had a lot of dissolved minerals in it.”
Carver added, “A high TDS means high contamination. Most samples were discolored. You could smell sulfur.”
Most of these residents were aware there were problems with their water, but didn’t know how to go about solving the problems.
“They were glad people were there to check it,” medical student Meagan Aiken said. “They didn’t think to do it on their own.”
Daley added, “It was surprising how many people hadn’t thought to fix it.”
Though these community members drank bottled water, they were still showering in it and using the water for other needs around the house, Snyder said.
“(Then you have to) treat complications from it,” he said. “(The water) makes a difference in long-term health outcomes.”
Using this information, they hoped to bring attention to the risks of well water, educate residents on how this water can be treated and create awareness of the need for clean drinking water.
At the end of their six-week stay, the students presented this information to school officials and community leaders.
“We hope the community will get behind cleaner water,” Wong said.
In the future, they hope to see continued sampling of problematic areas, increased funding and grants for water purification and extended city water access. Hopefully, following classes of students will continue the project – sharing information on how to treat water with those who have wells.
Basically, the students hoped to create awareness of problems associated with well water.
“(We hope they take away an) understanding that there is a problem,” Daley said, “and that there continues to be a significant number of people who don’t treat their water and the risks associated with it.”
Medical student Michael Snyder added, “There are a lot of precautions people can take. There are cost-effective measures.”
Now that their time in the county has winded down, the students thanked everyone involved in the project for their support.
“We appreciate the people who let us test their water and Aqua Clear for testing the water for free,” Daley said. “They made a significant contribution to the project with supplies and time.”
Everything Knoxville, April 2012, Lifestyle, pg 22
Appearance, without a doubt, is important to every woman, but even more so for Jewelry Television co-host Jennifer Miller.
“You’ve got to look your very best each and every day on television,” said Jennifer. “And my Kinetico water treatment system installed by Aqua Clear Water Systems gives me the edge.
“My children and I all suffer from eczema, and our Kinetico water system has reduced season flare-ups which are so troublesome, reducing the need for medications.”
Jennifer also described how Aqua Clear Water Systems owner, David Brewster, asked her for a recently laundered wash cloth.
“David dipped the wash cloth in Kinetico purified water and then wrung it out in the same water. Immediately the water became cloudy. David explained that this cloudiness was trapped detergent and sediment from my untreated water. The same sediment trapped in our clothing that was next to my children’s skin.”
Jennifer was also concerned about the amount of chlorine that she and her family absorbed through their skin each and every time they came in contact with their untreated water.
And aside from the health benefits of treated water from Kinetico is the taste of their water.
“We actually have friends and relatives that will bring empty water containers to fill when they visit,” said Jennifer. “Simply put, Kinetico provides my family with the highest quality water they have ever enjoyed.
“And girls, if you color your hair, the pure, clean water from Kinetico will reduce your visits to the salon,” added Jennifer.
Take a tip from Jewelry Television co-host, Jennifer Miller, and call Aqua Clear Water Systems today for your free, no obligation, in-home consultation. Your skin, your clothes, your wallet and, most importantly, your family’s health will thank you.
By GOSIA WOZNIACKA, Associated Press
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
(03-13) 03:34 PDT Fresno, Calif. (AP) –
Nitrate contamination of drinking water is a pervasive problem in California’s agricultural heartland and is bound to intensify in the coming years, according to a University of California, Davis study released Tuesday.
The study, ordered by the state Legislature, shows chemical fertilizers and livestock manure are the main source of nitrate contamination in groundwater for more than 1 million Californians in the Salinas Valley and parts of the Central Valley.
While nitrate problems have been known for decades, the study offers a comprehensive assessment of how many people are exposed and identifies solutions and costs.
“In the near future, this problem is going to persist and is likely to get worse,” said Thomas Harter, UC Davis groundwater hydrologist and the study’s lead author. “Even if we were to eliminate all the sources of nitrate that we have today, we would still be dealing with this issue.”
Nitrates are found naturally in some foods, but scientists have linked high levels of nitrates to “blue baby syndrome,” reproductive disorders and cancer. Infants who drink water that exceeds the nitrate standard could become seriously ill and die, according the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. State health officials say they don’t track illnesses associated with nitrates.
The study — covering the Salinas Valley and Fresno, Tulare, Kings and Kern counties — concluded half of the 2.6 million people in those areas live in communities where raw drinking water sources have registered nitrate levels exceeding the standard. Many of those communities blend or treat their water, drill a new well or provide another alternative source, passing on the extra costs to rate payers.
Some wells in Fresno, population 500,000, have exceeded the nitrate standard. The city put a number of out of service, expanded its use of surface water and blended water from active contaminated wells with that in other wells.
The study also found about one in 10 people in the study area rely on untreated groundwater that may exceed the nitrate standards. Most are residents of small, poor agricultural communities which cannot afford to treat the water or offer alternatives.
“I grew up with contamination in my water and to think that I have to put in extra money just to make sure my child is going to be OK, it really bothers me,” said Jessica Sanchez, a pregnant resident of East Orosi, an unincorporated farmworker community of 500 in Tulare County, where the two existing wells regularly exceed the safe standard for nitrates.
Sanchez, a college student, said her family pays $60 a month for contaminated water while spending at least that amount on bottled water for cooking and drinking.
If nothing is done, the study concludes, the financial burden on many agricultural communities could increase. By 2050, nearly 80 percent of the population — about 2 million residents — in the study area could have nitrate contamination exceeding the state standard.
“It shows how huge the scope of the problem is,” said Laurel Firestone, co-director of the Community Water Center, a nonprofit advocating for safe drinking water in the Central Valley. “We need our drinking water sources, we rely on them daily. This contamination has been out of sight, out of mind for too long.”
Cleaning up polluted aquifers would be too difficult, the study concludes. Improved farming practices and water blending, treatment and alternative water sources are more cost effective.
But treatment, Harter said, is very expensive, as is drilling a new or deeper well. Most at-risk communities like East Orosi don’t have the means to make changes.
The state and regional water boards should assist those communities, Harter said, by providing legal and technical support and funding for solutions such as hooking up to larger communities for alternative water sources.
The study estimates addressing current nitrate contamination will cost the state $20 million to $35 million per year. The study proposes a fertilizer tax which would be used by affected communities to mitigate for nitrate contamination. Another funding option is water use fees from affected residents.
The study found that nitrate leaching from agricultural land is responsible for 96% of current groundwater contamination. And while fertilizer use has leveled off in recent years, the amount of dairy manure has increased, making for a net increase over the past decade in nitrates loaded into the ground.
That means contamination of drinking water will increase in future years, Harter says, because it takes time for nitrates to migrate.
California farmers say they have worked to change their farming practices to address the problem.
“There’s a lot of energy all over the country on this issue and there’s a host of people developing new technologies,” said Hank Giclas, senior vice president of Western Growers.
Bob Martin, general manager of Rio Farms in King City, said he tests to find out how much nitrate the soil has and how much fertilizer, if any, it needs. This allows him to target the timing of the fertilizer and to reduce the amount used, Martin said.
His farm also spent about $11,000 last year on soil moisture probes used during drip irrigation. The sensors showed the farm was over-irrigating certain crops, meaning more nitrates were moving beyond the root zone and into the groundwater.
“We want to be good stewards of the land and we’re doing everything we can,” Martin said.
Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2012/03/13/national/a005805D97.DTL#ixzz1pZLj71nn
Laboratory tests commissioned by Environmental Working Group (EWG) have detected hexavalent chromium, the carcinogenic “Erin Brockovich chemical,” in tap water from 31 of 35 American cities. The highest levels were in Norman, Okla.; Honolulu, Hawaii; and Riverside, Calif. In all, water samples from 25 cities contained the toxic metal at concentrations above the safe maximum recently proposed by California regulators.
The National Toxicology Program has concluded that hexavalent chromium (also called chromium-6) in drinking water shows “clear evidence of carcinogenic activity” in laboratory animals, increasing the risk of gastrointestinal tumors. In September 2010, a draft toxicological review by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) similarly found that hexavalent chromium in tap water is “likely to be carcinogenic to humans.”
In 2009, California officials proposed setting a “public health goal” for hexavalent chromium in drinking water of 0.06 parts per billion (ppb) to reduce cancer risk. This was the first step toward establishing a statewide enforceable limit. Despite mounting evidence of its toxic effects, the EPA has not set a legal limit for hexavalent chromium in tap water nationally and does not require water utilities to test for it. In 25 cities where EWG’s testing detected chromium-6 — in the first publicly available national survey for the contaminant — it was found in concentrations exceeding California’s proposed maximum, in one case at a level more than 200 times higher.
At least 74 million Americans in 42 states drink chromium-polluted tap water, much of it likely in the cancer-causing hexavalent form. Given the scope of exposure and the magnitude of the potential risk, EWG believes the EPA should move expeditiously to establish a legal limit for chromium-6 and require public water suppliers to test for it.
For complete article go to: http://static.ewg.org/reports/2010/chrome6/html/home.html
What is water softening?
Water softening is the removal of calcium and a few other minerals that can cause our working water to
damage household property. When it deposits as scale, calcium carbonate (limestone) is an abrasive
rock like mineral.
Why soften your water?
Calcium that is dissolved in water forms deposits that:
• Abrade and fray the threads in clothing
• Stick to clothing and other household products and appliances (You can feel the difference
between towels that are new and those that have been repeatedly laundered in hard water.
Those laundered in hard water ones are rough, the result of rock encrustations embedded in the
• Spot dishes, faucets, sinks, toilets, cars, in fact all surfaces, with a microscopic film of limestone.
• Deposits buildup inside water pipes, heaters, and bathroom and kitchen fixtures.
• Gas water heaters used 29% less energy to heat water and electric water heaters used 21% less
energy when operated on softened water according to a study done by New Mexico State
How can water be softened?
• Presently there is only one practical way for homeowners to soften their water and that is through
an ion exchange water softener. Briefly here is how it works.
• Ion exchange water softeners are filled with millions of tiny resin beads that attract and hold on
to calcium. As the water passes through this resin “bed” the calcium is removed so it cannot
harm your household goods.
• What happens when the resin beads are full of calcium?
• The resin bed is rinsed with dissolved salt, usually table salt. The dissolved salt scours the
calcium from the beads, which prepares them to remove more calcium. This rinsing process
takes place every few days, usually at night.
Are there other alternatives that remove calcium from the water?
• Not that we are aware of at this time. Some other technologies can remove calcium but a very
high cost in energy or wasted water. Ion exchange water softening is the most cost efficient
method to remove calcium.
I’ve heard of other “salt free” devices that are offered as alternatives.
What are they, and what do they do?
• First of all, you need to talk to the manufacturer of these devices to get the facts.
• Consumer protection laws are clear across the land. Manufacturers must have scientific test data
to back up their claims for their particular product.
• Since no testing standard exists in the US for these devices we have not tested nor certified these
products so we can only pass on what we have heard. (More on testing and certification below)
• We understand that there are products that are marketed as scale control devices.
• Scale is the rock like mineral deposit (limestone) made up of calcium carbonate that forms inside
water heaters, pipes, and fixtures over a period of time.
• Scale control devices can have the ability under certain circumstances to help reduce the amount of
scaling inside these pipes and fixtures.
• To our knowledge these scale control devices do not claim to remove calcium and so they do not
produce soft water.
• Controlling scale inside pipes, water heaters, and fixtures is an important benefit but it is only a
What is product certification?
• Product certification is usually referred to as Conformity Assessment. This term is used to describe
steps taken by both manufacturers and independent third parties to determine fulfillment of
standards requirements. It involves testing products in a laboratory according to a standard
procedure and it also involves periodic audit inspections of the manufacturing facility to insure that
the product that was tested conforms to the ones currently being manufactured. The Water
Quality Association is an organization that is certified by the American National Standards Institute
for conformity assessment.
What is the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and what is its role?
• The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) has served in its capacity as administrator and
coordinator of the United States private sector voluntary standardization system for more than 90
• The Institute recognizes the competence of bodies to carry out product or personnel certification in
accordance with requirements defined in International Standards. ANSI’s accreditation programs
operate in accordance with international guidelines and have been verified by government and
peer review assessments.
• ANSI’s program for accrediting third‐party product certification have experienced significant growth
in recent years, and the Institute continues its efforts to obtain worldwide acceptance of accredited
certifications performed in the U.S.
• One of the best indicators of the strength of the U.S. system is the government’s extensive reliance
on, and use of, private sector voluntary standards. Pursuant to OMB Circular A119, federal
government agencies are required to use voluntary standards for regulatory and procurement
purposes when appropriate. State and local governments and agencies have formally adopted
thousands of voluntary standards produced by ANSI, and the process appears to be accelerating.
What is the Water Quality Association’s Gold Seal and what does it mean to consumers?
• The WQA Gold Seal is awarded only to products that have passed laboratory tests, literature
review, materials assessment, and have been submitted to periodic audits according to ANSI NSF
Standards (NSF stands for the National Sanitation Foundation, a standards writing body that
conforms to ANSI standards.)
What do the seals mean?
• Each technology is tested according to a different standard. Look at the seal to see which standard
the product was tested for. (See the picture of the seal with the references to the different
• To avoid confusion here are the basic standards with some clarifying notes:
• Standard 42 Drinking Water Treatment Units Aesthetic Effects. These products are certified only
for taste or odor or staining. No health claims have been certified for products tested according
to this standard.
• Standard 44 Cation exchange water softeners. These products are certified for the removal of
hardness (calcium). Some manufacturers have also had their softeners certified for the removal
of barium and radium.
• Standard 53 Drinking Water Treatment Units Health Effects. These products are certified for the
removal of specific health contaminants. Look for the manufacturer’s listing of the
contaminants that were tested. Certified contaminant removal claims can only be made for the
listed contaminants on the literature.
• Standard 55 Ultraviolet Microbiological Water Treatment
• Standard 58 Reverse Osmosis Water Treatment Systems
• Standard 61 Drinking Water Treatment Components Health
Effects. This standard insures that the product itself does not
impart health contaminants to the drinking water that comes in
contact with it. The other standards all require this kind of testing as part of their certification.
These are 42, 44, 53, 55, 58, and 62. Standard 61 testing does not include any performance
• Standard 62 Drinking Water Distillation Systems
• Standard 171 Shower Filtration Systems Aesthetic Effects
A full listing of all products that have been certified by WQA can be found on the WQA web site –
“Call us today for your free water analysis”
Aqua Clear Water Systems
1767-A Kevin Lane
Lenoir City, Tn. 37772
You probably learned in grade school that, as a “rule of thumb,” we are encouraged to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day. When we don’t drink enough water daily, we punish our bodies, and this can lead to long-term health issues, including poorly operating or stiff joints, higher blood pressure, poor cardiac output, blood chemistry imbalances, and loss of skin elasticity (i.e. the cause of wrinkles).
Many people believe that they receive their “daily water requirements” from drinking beverages such as soft drinks, coffee, tea or alcoholic beverages. These beverages are actually diuretics and can lead to dehydration. If you drink these beverages, you should increase the amount of water you consume to compensate from these “non-water” beverages.
The number one reason people don’t drink enough water is bad taste. Water is often high in chlorine content and can have other foul tastes. People say if water tasted better, they would drink more.
The good news is that bad taste can now be eliminated from your tap water through a home water purification process, known as reverse osmosis, that removes just about everything in water that’s not water, removing the bad taste, harmful minerals, chemicals and biological contaminants.
The industry leader is Kinetico Water Systems, a full line of water treatment systems for homes, restaurants, hospitals and idustrial applications. Kinetico’s K5 Drinking Water Station is the most advanced home drinking water system on the market today. It is certified by third-party testing companies to remove more contaminants than any other system on the market for home usage and it easily adapts to you home’s plumbing system.
Discover this wonderful beverage in pursuit of healthy living. To Learn more, call Aqua Clear Water Systems at 865-694-1725 or visit www.aquaclearws.com.
Everything Knoxville (December 2010)
Recently a Sevierville, Tennessee couple bought a home that had an existing Ecowater water softening system in place. This water softening system was only a few years old and not working properly. The local Ecowater dealer, Advanced Water Systems said they would need a new water softening system at a cost of $2600. The couple was worried that if the system was only a few years old and needed replacement this might happen again in a few years. They began to do some research on the most efficient water softening system available and found Kinetico’s twin-tank, non-electric water softener. They purchased the Kinetico system because it provides continuous soft water and the system uses Twin tank non-electric technology.
If you would like to experience the Kinetico difference, call Aqua Clear Water Systems today for your FREE water analysis. (865)-694-1725 or visit our website at www.aquaclearws.com
It’s getting that time of the year when people experience drier skin. Dry skin can be caused by a variety of conditions but the most common culprit lurks in your shower.
It’s something you put on your body every day, but this daily activity is damaging your skin. People suffering from dry, itchy skin, rashes and eczema are unaware that the number one culprit is the water. City water contains hardness contaminants and chlorine. Hard water combines with soap in the shower to form soap scum. You see it on the shower doors, but the scum is also on you! Showering causes your pores to open, then the hard water reacts with the soap to form soap scum that coats your skin and hair. The excess soap scum and chlorine on your skin can cause your skin to become dry, itchy and irritated.
Linda McConnell, a client from Knoxville, said, “The difference our Kinetico water treatment system has made in our lives is unbelievable. I often find myself thinking ‘if only I had gotten a Kinetico system 20 years ago!’ Both me and my husband, Ben, have always had to use lotions for ongoing skin issues, it simply has been a way of life for us. However, since we purchased our Kinetico system, the difference has been remarkable. Our skin and hair feel much better and we don’t have the rough and sticky feeling that we had become so accustomed to from bathing in lotion. Two other noteworthy differences that we quickly noticed are how good our water tasted and even a real difference in the taste of our coffee. We highly recommend to anyone that they get a free water test, let Aqua Clear give them a quote on a system, and experience for themselves the difference great water can make for their family.”
If you would like to learn more about improving the quality of your skin by improving your water, why not get a FREE Water Analysis and FREE Quote. Aqua Clear Water Systems has whole house systems starting at only .98 cents per day! Give us a call today.
We were featured in the September issue of theEverything Knoxville magazine! Click here to read our article, “Better Water Leads to Better Living“.