Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Pharmaceuticals in Drinking Water

Pharmaceuticals in Drinking Water

You may already be taking steps to filter the drinking water that enters your home. Just as important is regularly using replacement water filters to ensure the continuing effectiveness of your present purifying systems. A recent study in which researchers have recognized serious impacts drug manufacturing companies can have on our water supplies can provide you with the motivation to make sure your water is filtered properly.

The U.S. Geological Survey recently conducted a five year study in which two wastewater treatment plants in New York State were tested. Samples were collected from these plants that receive more than twenty percent of their water from pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities. It was concluded that drug concentrations were 10 to 1,000 times higher in the water treated by these plants as compared to 24 other plants in the state that did not receive water from drug companies.

The concentrations of pharmaceuticals varied between samples but some of the highest results were significant:
• 3,800 parts per billion (ppb) of metaxalone, a muscle relaxant
• 1,700 ppb of oxycodone, an opioid prescribed for pain relief
• Greater than 400 ppb of methadone, an opioid prescribed for pain relief and drug withdrawal
• 160 ppb of butalbital, a barbiturate
• More than 40 ppb of phendimetrazine, a stimulant prescribed for obesity
• More than 40 ppb of carisoprodol, a muscle relaxant
• 3.9 ppb diazepam, an anti-anxiety medication

Interestingly, when levels in receiving streams were tested they were found to be considerably lower because of dilution. Anyhow, researchers found these trace levels as far as 20 miles downstream. Other studies have been done on streams and aquifers around the country. They have typically shown levels of pharmaceuticals below 1 pbb, so the levels in this study are of much concern.
Initially, this study looked at seven different drugs, but further studies are being carried out to determine the levels of additional pharmaceuticals that may be present.

It is commendable that there are organizations and groups that are carrying out a long term effort to determine the effects of chemicals in water supplies and develop safer water management strategies. In the meantime, using a system that covers whole house water treatment, as well as replacement whole house water filters, can decrease the likelihood of drugs and chemicals in water sources bringing harm to you and your family.

You can find a number of  reverse osmosis water filter systems at to ensure the safety and quality of your drinking water and health.