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Turbidity Contaminant in Drinking Water Around Tampa Bay, Florida

What is Turbidity?

Turbidity is a measurement of the cloudiness or haziness of water caused by suspended particles. It is used to indicate water quality and filtration effectiveness. Turbidity is measured in Nephelometric Turbidity Units (NTU).

High levels of turbidity can indicate the presence of contaminants like bacteria, viruses, protozoa or toxic chemicals that can pose health risks if ingested. Common sources of turbidity include soil erosion, urban runoff, algal blooms, stirred up sediment, wastewater discharges and excessive algae growth.

Health Effects of Turbid Water

Drinking turbid water increases the risk of contracting gastrointestinal diseases. Turbidity makes disinfection more difficult and reduces the effectiveness of disinfectants like chlorine. This allows more microorganisms like parasites, bacteria and viruses to survive in drinking water.

Turbidity has been associated with increased cases of gastrointestinal illnesses caused by pathogens like E.coli, Salmonella, Shigella, Hepatitis A and Giardia lamblia. Long term exposure to certain turbidity-causing chemicals has also been linked to increased cancer risks.

Infants, young children, elderly and immunocompromised individuals are especially vulnerable to turbidity-related health risks.

Turbidity Levels in Tampa Bay Region

The EPA's maximum contaminant level goal for turbidity in drinking water is 0 NTU. Up to 1 NTU is considered safe for effective disinfection. Levels between 1-5 NTU indicate significant health risks, especially for at-risk groups.

Several areas in the Tampa Bay region have reported turbidity levels above EPA guidelines:

Hillsborough County

  • Apollo Beach - frequent spikes above 1 NTU

  • Ruskin - average 1.2 NTU, highs around 5 NTU after heavy rain

  • Sun City Center - average 0.8 NTU

Pinellas County

  • Tarpon Springs - average 1.3 NTU, highs near 5 NTU

  • Oldsmar - recurring levels near 2 NTU

  • Clearwater - average 0.7 NTU, 1-2 NTU after storms

Pasco County

  • New Port Richey - average 1.5 NTU, highs over 5 NTU

  • Port Richey - frequent 1-2 NTU readings

  • Zephyrhills - average 0.9 NTU, highs near 2 NTU

Polk County

  • Lakeland - average 1.1 NTU, spikes above 2 NTU after heavy rains

Hernando County

  • Brooksville - recurring 1-2 NTU readings

Water Treatment Solutions for Turbidity

Several effective water treatment systems can remove turbidity and pathogenic contaminants:

The AquaLux Water Softener uses a sediment pre-filter to trap particles above 5 microns, reducing cloudiness and contaminants.

The AquaCarbonGuard Catalytic Carbon Filter combines catalytic coconut shell carbon with ultrafiltration to screen out turbidity-causing contaminants down to 0.1 microns.

AquaBlue Whole House Filter systems use a multi-stage filtration process including sediment filters and carbon block filters to remove turbidity, chemicals, microbes and other impurities.

AquaGuard UV Systems destroy 99.9% of viruses, bacteria and protozoa with powerful ultraviolet light, providing effective protection when turbidity exceeds 1 NTU.

Retention Tanks with Chlorine Injection allow chlorine contact time required to inactivate pathogens when turbidity reduces disinfection effectiveness.

The HydroClear Ozone Generator combines ozone’s powerful disinfection with activated carbon filtration to eliminate turbidity-causing contaminants and microorganisms.

AquaRevive Reverse Osmosis forces water through a semi-permeable membrane, rejecting turbidity, chemicals, bacteria and viruses.

HydroTech Pro Commercial Systems and WellFusion Well Water Systems offer comprehensive turbidity reduction for municipal, commercial and well water applications.

Protect Your Health from Turbid Water

Turbidity in your water can put your family's health at risk. Schedule a free water test from Aqua-Wise to check for dangerous turbidity levels. Their certified technicians will evaluate your water and recommend the best purification system to make your water safe, clear and great tasting!

Take advantage of big discounts, flexible financing options and special promotions to get whole house protection from turbidity and other contaminants. Investing in a high quality water treatment system is one of the best ways to safeguard your family's health.

More Resources:

The Floridan Aquifer System - Understanding the Risks

Effects of Contaminants on Personal Care

Common Hard Water Problems

EPA Drinking Water Guidance on Turbidity

CDC on Turbidity and Health

Florida Department of Health Turbidity Information

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