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🔬 "How Droughts Impact Drinking Water"

Water Nerds

Photo by Patrick Pahlke / Unsplash

Hosts: Analies Ross-Dyjak | Head of Policy & Perspectives | Hydroviv &
Emily Driehaus | Science Communication Intern | Hydroviv
Category: 🔬 Research

Podcast’s Essential Bites:

[2:43] ED: “One of the most common associations with drought is lack of rainfall and precipitation. […] When you don't have that rainfall, rivers and streams aren't flowing as much as they used to. And so that contributes to stagnant water. And we're always told to avoid stagnant water, because it's […] a breeding ground for bacteria and microorganisms. So when that stagnant water is in your water source, then those pollutants can build up over time […] and they can make you sick, either if you're using it for drinking water and it hasn't been treated properly or if it's being used to water crops then those microorganisms can be passed along when crops are watered and when you eat that food, then you're ingesting those organisms that can potentially make you sick.”

[4:43] ED: “That lower level of water, we're seeing especially in […] the west and southwest […] can actually impact the water pressure of public water systems. And most public water systems in the US serve less than a few thousand people. Before, they're very small, they might not have the resources to treat this lower level of water that has a higher level of contaminants. So that might not be able to meet acceptable drinking water standards. And then also know a lot of the water infrastructure in our country is very, very old. So we have older pipes, which can leak, and that can waste water that can be used for drinking during a drought. But if it's leaking through older pipes, then it's just going to waste.”

[6:44] ED: “It definitely doesn't look like these extreme weather events are going away anytime soon, with […] climate change exacerbating these weather events. So there have been programs put in place initiatives by the EPA, like for drought resilience and water conservation, such as installing low flow plumbing fixtures in order to conserve water over time, so that when the drought does hit, you're able to use that conserved water for drinking water. And then also promoting water reuse, like using water that would otherwise go down the drain to water your plants or wash your car, so that you're not using excess water for those activities.”

Rating: 💧💧💧

🎙️ Full Episode: Apple
🕰️ 10 min | 🗓️ 07/05/2021
✅ Time saved: 9 min

Additional Links:
Hydroviv Blog: Drought’s Impact on Drinking Water

Second Podcast’s Essential Bites:

[1:22] ARD: “Whole house water filters are installed at your home's main water supply. So they filter all of the water that comes into your house, including the water that's being flushed down the toilet. They are typically located wherever your water comes in from the public supply or from your private well […]. So because it filters all of the water coming into your house, people often believe it's just the easiest, it just takes care of it at the whole house level, it filters everything coming in, I don't have to worry about it. And that's not necessarily the case more often than not.”

[2:29] ARD: “The first [warning] is cost. People typically have absolutely no clue what they're getting into when they purchase a whole house water filter, they might go to a big box store, find a filter for a reasonable price, and then not realize all the maintenance costs associated with whole house water filters, as well as replacement filters and installation, etc.”

[3:44] ARD: “The next […] downside is just overall efficiency. […] Whole house filters are actually unbelievably inefficient. Because they filter all incoming water, […] even the stuff that's being flushed down the toilet or down the drain and […] the statistic is something like 90% of the water used on a daily basis gets flushed down the drain. So that's 90% of water that's being wasted that you've just filtered with your expensive house filter. 90% of that is essentially being wasted. And so that whole house filter is working so much harder than it needs to be. This results in the filter’s lifetime being extremely short, which means that you'll have to purchase replacement filters more often than you would with […] point of use or a different type of water filter.”

[5:52] ARD: “So then we get into chemical removal. […] So in terms of whole house filters and chemical removal, it's very much one of those, you get what you pay for types of situations. […] You can […] buy a whole house filter for 100 bucks, and you're really getting a very, very minimal amount of removal. They might reduce chlorine a little bit, which could of course improve taste, but they're not doing heavy lifting on chemicals that can cause cancer. And so even the more expensive ones are just simply not designed to remove contaminants at the levels that are present in drinking water. And this is because the overall flow rate of water coming in from the main system is just extremely fast. So there's really not enough contact time with that media to remove contaminants, like PFAS, arsenic, lead, […] all of the things that we know are extremely harmful to humans. […] The biggest exception to this is whole house reverse osmosis.”

Rating: 💧💧

🎙️ Full Episode: Apple (Original Title: "What You Need To Know About Whole House Filters")
🕰️ 12 min | 🗓️ 07/05/2021
✅ Time saved: 11 min