Water Quality Concerns in Crystal Beach, FL and Recommended Solutions by Aqua-Wise
Crystal Beach is a small coastal community located in Pinellas County, Florida along the Gulf Coast. With a population of just over 4,000, Crystal Beach relies on groundwater from the Floridan aquifer for its water supply. While groundwater from the Floridan aquifer is generally of good quality, there are some potential contaminants that Crystal Beach residents should be aware of.
Potential Groundwater Contaminants in Crystal Beach
Naturally Occurring Contaminants
Iron - Iron is one of the most common naturally occurring contaminants in groundwater supplies in Florida. At high levels, iron can cause discolored water, staining, unpleasant metallic taste and odor. The EPA secondary standard for iron is 0.3 mg/L.
Manganese - Like iron, manganese is a common mineral found in rocks and soil that can dissolve into groundwater. High levels of manganese can cause black staining and an unpleasant taste. The EPA secondary standard is 0.05 mg/L.
Hydrogen Sulfide - Hydrogen sulfide is a gas that results from the natural breakdown of organic matter in groundwater. It has a characteristic "rotten egg" odor and taste. Even at low levels, hydrogen sulfide can cause bad taste and odor problems.
Hardness - Hardness refers to the amount of dissolved calcium and magnesium in water. Water with high levels of hardness can cause scale buildup in pipes and appliances as well as decreased cleaning ability of soaps and detergents. The EPA secondary standard for hardness is 250 mg/L.
pH - The natural pH of groundwater can vary from slightly acidic to slightly alkaline. Low pH levels below 6.5 can cause corrosion of pipes, while pH above 8.5 may indicate that the water is hard.
Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) - TDS is a measure of the total mineral content dissolved in water. High TDS levels above 500 mg/L can cause scale buildup, salty taste, and other aesthetic issues.
Nitrate - Nitrate comes from fertilizers, animal waste, and septic systems. At levels above 10 mg/L, nitrate can cause health issues like methemoglobinemia or blue baby syndrome in infants.
Pesticides - Runoff from agricultural areas can contaminate groundwater with pesticides and herbicides. Long-term exposure to these chemicals may increase cancer risk.
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) - VOCs like benzene, toluene, and xylenes can enter groundwater from leaking fuel tanks, spills, or improper disposal. VOCs can have chronic health effects with long-term exposure.
Heavy Metals - Lead, arsenic, cadmium and other heavy metals may be present due to improper disposal, mining, or industrial activities. Heavy metals can accumulate in the body and cause kidney or liver damage.
Bacteria - Groundwater can sometimes become contaminated with disease-causing bacteria like E. coli or coliform from animal or human waste. This can occur after flooding events or from leaking septic systems.
Viruses - Sewage contamination of aquifers can also lead to viral contaminants like norovirus, hepatitis A and rotavirus entering groundwater supplies.
Potential Contaminants in Crystal Beach Well Water
In addition to the contaminants found in the Floridan aquifer, private well owners in Crystal Beach may face some additional water quality challenges:
Bacteria and Viruses
Contamination from surface water, septic systems, or animal waste can allow fecal coliform bacteria, E. coli, viruses and parasites like giardia and cryptosporidium to enter well water, causing gastrointestinal illness. Wells at shallow depths or with improper construction are at higher risk.
Shallow wells near agricultural fields or septic systems are prone to nitrate contamination. High nitrate levels above 10 mg/L can cause blue baby syndrome and other health issues in infants.
Saltwater intrusion from the Gulf of Mexico is a concern for coastal communities in Florida like Crystal Beach. As groundwater pumping increases, saltwater can encroach into freshwater aquifers leading to elevated sodium levels in well water.
The sulfur bacteria that produce hydrogen sulfide gas can grow well in wells and plumbing systems. Hydrogen sulfide causes black staining, corrosion, and a characteristic rotten egg taste and smell.
Turbidity or cloudiness in well water can result from disturbance of sediment in the well or aquifer matrix. High turbidity can harbor microorganisms and interfere with disinfection.
With increased pumping, hardness can increase in wells as more calcium and magnesium dissolve from limestone bedrock into groundwater. Elevated hardness causes scale buildup in pipes and appliances.
Iron and Manganese
Like hardness, iron and manganese concentrations often increase with heavy pumping as these minerals dissolve from surrounding geology into well water. Staining and metallic taste are common issues with iron and manganese.
Arsenic naturally occurs in some rock formations and soils and can dissolve into well water at concentrations higher than the EPA standard of 10 ppb. Long-term ingestion of arsenic is linked with increased cancer risk.
Recommended Water Treatment Solutions for Crystal Beach
Fortunately, with the right water treatment system, both municipal and well water in Crystal Beach can be conditioned to remove concerning contaminants. Here are some recommended solutions:
For municipal water supplies with elevated hardness levels, a water softener like the AQUALUX Water Softener is recommended. Water softeners use an ion exchange process to remove the calcium and magnesium ions that cause hardness, leaving water soft and scale-free.
Iron & Manganese Removal
To treat problematic iron and manganese in well water, an oxidation filter like the AquaCarbonGuard Catalytic Carbon Filter is ideal. This system uses a powerful oxidizing KDF media to convert dissolved iron and manganese into particles that can then be filtered out.
Turbidity & Particulate Removal
For cloudy well water, the AquaBlue Whole House Filter System combines sedimention and filtration to effectively reduce turbidity and suspended particles like dirt, rust, silt and sand.
Bacteria & Virus Inactivation
To protect against dangerous disease-causing pathogens in private well water, disinfection with a AquaGuard UV SYSTEM is highly recommended. UV light destroys 99.99% of bacteria and viruses without using harsh chemicals.
Where high levels of nitrate contamination are present, reverse osmosis (RO) treatment is the most reliable method for nitrate reduction. The AquaRevive Reverse Osmosis System can remove up to 98% of nitrate from drinking water.
Hydrogen Sulfide Removal
For well water with hydrogen sulfide odor and staining issues, an oxidizing whole house filter like the HydroClear Ozone Generator is the solution. Hydrogen sulfide is rapidly converted to a harmless solid by ozone injection.
Reverse osmosis is also effective at removing sodium and preventing saltwater intrusion. The AquaRevive RO System can reduce sodium by up to 97% to prevent salty taste and corrosion.
To treat arsenic in well water, a specialized adsorptive media like Bayoxide E33 is used. The WellFusion Well Water Treatment System by Aqua-Wise can reduce arsenic to undetectable levels.
Acidic or alkaline water can be neutralized with solutions like the AquaBalance pH Corrector. This calcite and corosex media filter adjusts pH for optimal water quality.
Comprehensive Well Water Treatment
For well owners needing a complete water treatment solution, the WellFusion system combines multiple technologies like UV oxidation, sediment filtration, carbon filtration, and pH neutralization into one comprehensive package for improving overall water quality.
Commercial and Municipal Systems
For commercial properties, apartment complexes, or municipalities requiring large-scale treatment, Aqua-Wise offers a full range of customized commercial water purification systems. These systems are designed to handle any water quality issues for properties with high water demand.
Protect Your Health with Clean Water
Safe drinking water is vital for health, which is why addressing water quality issues through treatment solutions like those offered by Aqua-Wise Water Treatment Solutions is so important.
To learn more about options for your home or business and take advantage of exclusive discounts, schedule your free water test from our team of experts today. Our water analysis includes checking for common contaminants so you know exactly what's in your water.
With customized solutions from Aqua-Wise Water Treatment, you can have peace of mind knowing the water you drink is clean, safe, and optimized for health. We service the greater Tampa Bay area including Crystal Beach, Palm Harbor, Clearwater, Largo, Seminole, Pinellas Park and more.
Filtrated Soft Water Solves Many Problems
Hard water can cause a wide range of problems that affect various aspects of daily life and household functions. Here is a comprehensive list of the issues that hard water can cause: