Water Quality Issues and Solutions in Ruskin, Florida
Introduction to Ruskin, Florida
Ruskin is a census-designated place in Hillsborough County, Florida located on the shores of Tampa Bay. With a population of over 21,000, Ruskin was founded in 1910 and was named after the author John Ruskin.
This scenic community is known for its natural beauty, historic buildings, and small-town charm. Some of the key landmarks and attractions in Ruskin include the Ruskin Historical Society Museum, John Paul Park, and the Little Manatee River.
Ruskin’s economy is driven by agriculture, commercial fishing, and tourism. The warm climate and fertile soil make it ideal for growing tomatoes, strawberries, citrus fruits, and other produce. The extensive coastline provides abundant seafood harvesting and recreational fishing opportunities.
While Ruskin offers a tranquil, rural lifestyle, its location between Tampa and St. Petersburg provides easy access to big city amenities. Residents enjoy the best of both worlds.
Water Quality Challenges in Ruskin
While Ruskin’s natural environment is picturesque, there are some underlying water quality issues that residents must contend with. The sources of drinking water include municipal water systems drawing from the Floridan Aquifer, private wells tapping into the aquifer, and private wells extracting from shallower surficial aquifers.
Each of these water sources faces potential risks of contamination from natural and man-made sources. Some of the major water quality challenges in the Ruskin area include:
Potential Contaminants in Municipal Water Systems
Disinfection Byproducts – Ruskin’s municipal water system uses chlorine for disinfection, which can react with organic matter to form harmful byproducts like trihalomethanes. Long-term exposure is linked with increased cancer risk.
Lead – Old pipes and plumbing fixtures can leach lead into tap water. Lead is highly toxic, especially for children’s neurological development.
-Nitrates – Runoff from over-fertilized lawns and agricultural fields contains nitrates, which have been detected occasionally at elevated levels in municipal water. High nitrate levels place infants at risk for blue baby syndrome.
Radon – As water drawn from the Floridan Aquifer makes contact with radioactive rocks and sediments, it can pick up radon gas. Radon is a carcinogen and the #1 cause of lung cancer in non-smokers.
Arsenic – Arsenic naturally occurs in some Floridan Aquifer formations and has been found in some municipal water systems at concentrations exceeding the EPA standard. Chronic ingestion of arsenic can cause skin lesions, neurological problems, and cancer.
Potential Well Water Contaminants
Bacteria – Shallow surficial aquifer wells are prone to bacteria contamination from surface sources like septic systems, farms, and wild animal waste. Pathogens like E. coli, Salmonella, and others can cause severe gastrointestinal illness.
Nitrates – Septic systems and agricultural fertilizers contribute to nitrate pollution in surficial and some Floridan aquifer wells. Again, blue baby syndrome poses a risk to infants.
Heavy Metals – Wells drawing from deeper mineralized zones of the Floridan aquifer can contain heavy metals like arsenic, lead, mercury, chromium, cadmium, and others at hazardous levels. These metals can damage the kidneys, liver, brain, and other organs.
Radon and Radium – Being radioactive elements naturally occurring in aquifer rocks, radon and radium are commonly detected in Ruskin well water, especially from deeper wells. Radiation exposure can eventually increase cancer risk.
Chlorides – Septic effluent, saltwater intrusion from well overpumping, and upwelling of ancient seawater contaminate some wells with high chloride content. This imparts a salty taste and can be corrosive to plumbing.
Hydrogen Sulfide – Water containing high levels of this nuisance contaminant has a strong “rotten egg” odor. It stains fixtures black and is very corrosive to household plumbing and appliances.
Disinfection Byproducts – While chlorinating well water removes pathogens, it can react with naturally occurring organic matter to form potentially carcinogenic byproducts like trihalomethanes.
Petroleum Compounds – Leaking underground storage tanks and gas/oil extraction activities occasionally cause traces of toxic benzene, toluene, xylene, and other hydrocarbons to enter Ruskin well water supplies.
Pesticides – Runoff of weed killers, insecticides, fungicides, and other agricultural chemicals applied throughout the area can infiltrate into surficial aquifer wells. Some pesticides are carcinogenic while others impact the nervous system, hormones, and development.
Water Treatment Solutions for Ruskin Homes and Businesses
To enjoy cleaner, safer water free of these potential contaminants, Ruskin homeowners and businesses have several effective treatment solutions available. The best options include:
Whole House Water Filtration Systems
Installing a whole house water filter protects all the taps in a home or business. These systems use a sediment pre-filter and activated carbon tank to remove particles, chemicals, heavy metals, disinfection byproducts, and other contaminants. They also neutralize foul odors and improve the taste and appearance of water.
Some high-performance whole house filters feature catalytic carbon media for removing chlorine and chloramines while preventing the formation of new disinfection byproducts. RVquality Whole House Water Filter Systems like the AquaBlue from Aqua-Wise offer exceptional contaminant reduction for homes on municipal or well water sources.
Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Systems
Reverse osmosis (RO) uses advanced membrane technology to remove dissolved solids, heavy metals, nitrates/nitrites, pesticides, and other chemicals from water through selective diffusion. Point-of-use RO systems under the sink or countertop provide purified water for drinking and cooking.
Reliable made in USA systems like the AquaRevive from Aqua-Wise significantly reduce TDS levels along with a wide range of unhealthy contaminants. Their remineralization filters add beneficial minerals back for improved taste.
UV Disinfection Systems
Ultraviolet (UV) water purifiers use powerful UV lamps emitting light at 254nm wavelength to destroy 99.99% of viruses, bacteria, protozoa, and other microorganisms as water flows past. Installing a UV system like the AquaGuard from Aqua-Wise provides reliable whole house disinfection without using chemicals. It’s highly effective against pathogens like E. coli and Salmonella in unsafe well water.
Ozone Water Treatment
Generating ozone by exposing oxygen molecules to UV light produces a highly reactive gas dissolved into water to oxidize bacteria, viruses, iron, manganese, hydrogen sulfide, pesticides, detergents, and other contaminants.
Top ozone systems like the HydroClear from Aqua-Wise eliminate rotten egg odor and disinfect well water without chemicals. Ozone also oxidizes dissolved iron so it can be filtered out. This is ideal for Ruskin homes with rusty well water.
Water Softener Systems
Hard water containing high levels of calcium and magnesium minerals causes scale buildup on plumbing fixtures and appliances in many Ruskin homes. Water softeners like the AquaLux from Aqua-Wise use an ion exchange process to remove hardness minerals and replace them with sodium ions.
Softened water prevents limescale deposits, improves soap performance, makes cleaning easier, and protects plumbing. Water softeners also remove small amounts of heavy metals like lead and arsenic.
Well Water Disinfection with Chlorine Injection
For Ruskin homes drawing bacterially contaminated groundwater from their private well, chlorine injection systems provide an effective and affordable disinfection solution.
Systems like the Retention Tank Chlorinator from Aqua-Wise use calcium hypochlorite tablets and precision dosing pumps to sanitize well water and protect the whole household from harmful pathogens.
Partner with a Aqua-Wise Water Treatment Professional
With so many options available, it can be difficult for Ruskin homeowners and business owners to know which water treatment solutions are right for their unique water quality situation. That’s where working with a knowledgeable local water treatment provider like Aqua-Wise Water Treatment Solutions offers valuable guidance.
Aqua-Wise has served the Ruskin area and all of Tampa Bay for over 25 years. Their certified water specialists will come to your home or business for FREE to test your water and identify any contaminants present.
They'll assess your needs and goals to engineer a customized whole house or point-of-use water system combining the right technologies to eliminate your specific water quality issues. With financing options available, you can soon be enjoying purified water throughout your home or facility.
For their Ruskin customers, Aqua-Wise handles professional installation and provides ongoing service to keep your water treatment system running optimally. As members of WQA and local chambers of commerce, you can trust their extensive experience.
Don’t spend another day drinking, cooking, and bathing with questionable water quality. Contact Aqua-Wise Water Treatment Solutions today to schedule your **FREE Water Test **! Their team is ready to help give your Ruskin home or business access to healthier water.
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: