Water Quality Issues and Treatment Options in Crystal Springs, Florida
Crystal Springs is a census-designated place in Pasco County, Florida with a population of around 3,000 residents. It is located north of Tampa and is part of the Tampa-St. Petersburg metro area.
Crystal Springs is known for its natural springs and pristine waterways. The community gets its name from the Crystal Springs, a group of artesian springs that discharge groundwater into the Pithlachascotee River. While the area has an abundance of high-quality groundwater, there are some concerns about potential contaminants in both municipal and private well water supplies.
Potential Contaminants in Crystal Springs Municipal Water
The municipal water supply in Crystal Springs comes from local groundwater sources accessed through wells. While this groundwater is quite clean overall, there are some potential contaminants that residents should be aware of:
Nitrates are commonly found in fertilizers and septic systems. High levels of nitrates in drinking water can be dangerous, especially for infants. The EPA limit for nitrates is 10 mg/L. Nitrate levels in some parts of Crystal Springs have tested between 5-8 mg/L, approaching the EPA limit.
Arsenic is a toxic metal that can occur naturally in rock and soil. The EPA standard for arsenic is 10 μg/L. The municipal water in Crystal Springs has occasionally tested positive for low levels of arsenic around 5-7 μg/L. Long-term ingestion of arsenic via drinking water may pose health risks.
Radon is an odorless, radioactive gas that can dissolve into groundwater supplies. Breathing air with radon greatly increases lung cancer risk. The EPA limit for radon in water is 4000 pCi/L. While radon levels in Crystal Springs water are generally low, some isolated detections have reached 500-1500 pCi/L.
Lead rarely occurs naturally in water, but can leach into tap water from old pipes and plumbing fixtures. The EPA limit for lead is 15 μg/L. Some older homes in Crystal Springs may have lead pipes or lead-soldered pipes which can corrode and release lead into water. Replacing pipes can prevent lead contamination.
Disinfectants like chlorine can react with organic matter in water to form byproducts like trihalomethanes. The EPA limits trihalomethanes to 80 μg/L. Disinfection byproducts have occasionally been detected in Crystal Springs water around 40-60 μg/L. Advanced filtration can remove disinfection byproduct precursors.
Potential Well Water Contaminants in Crystal Springs
Residents of Crystal Springs who use private wells for drinking water also need to be aware of potential groundwater contaminants, including:
Coliform bacteria live in soil and indicate possible sewage contamination. Coliform should not be present in well water. Septic leaks, animal waste, or surface water intrusion can introduce coliform bacteria into wells. Annual testing for coliform is recommended.
As mentioned above, nitrates from fertilizers and septic systems can contaminate groundwater. Wells located near agricultural fields or densely populated areas are most at risk for high nitrate levels above 10 mg/L.
Metals like arsenic, lead, chromium, cadmium, and selenium can dissolve into groundwater from natural deposits or pollution. These heavy metals can accumulate in well water at unsafe concentrations. Annual tests for heavy metals in wells are advised.
Hydrogen sulfide gas produces a "rotten egg" odor in well water. It occurs naturally in some groundwater but can reach nuisance levels that alter water taste and odor. Hydrogen sulfide above 0.5 mg/L requires treatment.
Calcium and magnesium contribute to water hardness. Very hard well water (above 180 mg/L) can create scale buildup on plumbing and appliances. Water softening can remove hardness minerals.
Iron and Manganese
Iron and manganese are common metals in groundwater that stain sinks, bathtubs, and laundry orange-brown. Levels above 0.3 mg/L for iron and 0.05 mg/L for manganese prompt treatment.
Recommended Water Treatment Options for Crystal Springs
To address the potential contaminants listed above, Crystal Springs residents can install specialized water treatment solutions in their homes:
Reverse Osmosis (RO) Systems
RO systems use membranes to remove nitrates, arsenic, radium, lead, and other inorganic contaminants. RO can treat both municipal and well water. AquaRevive Reverse Osmosis System is an excellent RO system for homes.
Activated Carbon Filters
Activated carbon adsorbs organic contaminants like solvents, pesticides, and disinfection byproducts. Carbon filters like the AquaBlue Whole House Filter also remove chlorine and improve water taste and odor.
UV systems use ultraviolet light to inactivate pathogens like bacteria and viruses without chemicals. The AquaGuard UV System provides effective UV disinfection for both municipal and well water.
Water softeners remove hardness minerals using an ion exchange process. Softeners prevent scale buildup and improve lathering. AquaLux Water Softeners offer an efficient, salt-saving way to soften hard water.
Filters that oxidize iron and manganese can prevent staining issues. HydroClear Ozone Generators and AquaCarbonGuard Filters both oxidize and filter out iron, manganese, and hydrogen sulfide from well water.
For a free water test and personalized treatment recommendations for homes in Crystal Springs, contact the water quality experts at Aqua-Wise today!
Additional Resources on Crystal Springs Water Quality
Pasco County Annual Water Quality Report: https://www.pascocountyfl.net/DocumentCenter/View/12947/Water-Quality-Report-2020
Florida Department of Environmental Protection Source Water Assessments: https://fldep.dep.state.fl.us/swapp/
EPA Groundwater and Drinking Water in Pasco County: https://www.epa.gov/pasco
Crystal Springs Groundwater Contamination Information: https://www.epa.gov/superfund/crystal-springs
Florida Department of Health Pasco County Well Water Testing: http://pasco.floridahealth.gov/programs-and-services/environmental-health/drinking-water/private-well-testing.html
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: