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Recommended Systems:

Water Source:

City & Well

Industrial Chemicals (e.g., PCBs, VOCs)

Catalytic Carbon Filter, RO System

Industrial Chemical Contaminants in Tampa Bay Area Drinking Water

Chemical contaminants like PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) and VOCs (volatile organic compounds) in drinking water are a serious health concern for many communities in the Tampa Bay area. These toxic industrial chemicals can come from various sources and often leach into groundwater supplies that feed private wells and municipal water systems. Understanding where these contaminants are present and how to treat them is key to protecting your health.

Presence of PCBs and VOCs in Tampa Bay Drinking Water

Studies have detected concerning levels of PCBs and VOCs in water sources throughout the Tampa Bay region. PCBs are odorless man-made organic chemicals that were used in industrial and commercial applications until they were banned in the 1970s due to toxicity concerns. VOCs are a broad group of compounds like benzene, toluene, and chloroform that easily evaporate at room temperature. They have many industrial uses such as solvents, degreasers, and chemical intermediaries.

Both PCBs and VOCs can persist in the environment and contaminate groundwater that supplies drinking water. According to researchers, PCBs have been frequently detected in public water systems in Pinellas, Hillsborough, Pasco, and Hernando counties. Elevated VOC levels have also been found in wells across the region. Specific cities and neighborhoods where these contaminants have been detected include:

  • Clearwater, Clearwater Beach, Dunedin, Palm Harbor, Safety Harbor, Tarpon Springs in Pinellas County

  • New Port Richey, Port Richey, Spring Hill, Zephyrhills in Pasco County

  • Apollo Beach, Gibsonton, Riverview, Ruskin in Hillsborough County

In general, industrial and urban areas are more prone to chemical contaminants in groundwater while rural areas farther from development have less contamination. However, due to the widespread use and persistence of PCBs and VOCs, as well as aquifer connectivity, low levels may be present across much of the Tampa Bay region. Regular testing is advised to identify contamination.

Health Concerns of PCB and VOC Exposure

Exposure to PCBs and VOCs in drinking water raises significant health concerns. PCBs are probable human carcinogens and toxic to multiple organs. VOCs like benzene and vinyl chloride are confirmed carcinogens while many others can cause liver, kidney, and nervous system damage.

Specific health effects linked to PCBs and VOCs include:

  • Increased cancer risk, especially of the liver, breast, and skin

  • Harm to the immune system and reproductive system

  • Developmental and neurological damage

  • Liver toxicity and endocrine disruption

Children, infants, and fetuses are especially vulnerable to adverse effects. Even small doses over time can be dangerous. The EPA has set maximum contaminant levels (MCLs) for many PCBs and VOCs, though experts say there are no safe levels for carcinogens. Removing these toxins from your water is critical to protect you and your family.

Water Treatment Solutions for PCB and VOC Removal

Effective water treatment is available to eliminate PCBs, VOCs, and other industrial chemical contaminants from your water supply. Solutions include:

Proper maintenance and replacement of filters is important for continued removal of these persistent chemicals. An accredited water treatment professional can recommend the right solution based on your water quality report. For many Tampa Bay area homes, a whole house system plus point-of-use reverse osmosis at sinks provides complete protection.

Protect Your Health with Clean Water

Industrial chemical contaminants like PCBs and VOCs in drinking water supplies pose a real health risk for Tampa Bay region families. But effective treatment options are available to remove these toxins from your water. Contact Aqua-Wise Water Treatment Solutions today to learn more and schedule a free water test to determine if your home's water contains dangerous levels of PCBs, VOCs, or other contaminants. Investing in clean, safe water delivers lasting benefits for your health. Discounts, promotions, and financing options are available.


EPA on PCBs in Drinking Water

CDC on VOCs in Drinking Water

USGS - PCBs and VOCs in Groundwater in the Tampa Bay Region

Study - PCBs and VOCs in Aquifers of West-Central Florida

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