Acidic Tap Water Eating Away Pipes And Putting Copper Into System
By: Peter Scowe
School showers are equipped with automatic shutoff valves which wear out so quickly that the manufacturer is refusing to guarantee them anymore unless Skelton sends them a sample of the water.
Hot water tanks are being eaten through in five years, according to Reynolds.
“I’ve had to change every tank on campus at least once,” he said, adding he’s been working at the school for 11 years. “I mean, that’s ridiculous.”
The acid water creates another problem. All the metal it corrodes off of pipes ends up in the water system.
The result is blue-green stains in sinks and toilets fed by copper pipes, and brown stains in fixtures that have iron pipes. “I shudder to think of how many sinks and faucets we have to replace,” Skelton said. The school has inserted filters at a number of points in its water from coming out of the taps. Reynolds said he has to replace the filters once every two weeks. As well, water pumps often break down because they become filled up with solids. The Quebec Environment Department first discovered the water was too acidic when Tremblay investigated to see why the sludge at the sewage treatment plant in Rock Island contained such an unusually high amount of copper.
The acceptable level for copper in sludge is 1000 mg per kilogram of dry matter. Rock Island’s sludge had 1500 mg, making it unacceptable for agricultural use as a fertilizer.
Tremblay discovered that the amount of copper in drinking water increased the further it got from the source, leading him to conclude the metal was coming from pipes.
Both Quebec and Vermont list copper as a secondary contaminant – one that isn’t a health warns that copper can be an irritant to human digestive systems and can even cause liver damage in high doses.
Tremblay found the level of copper in Stanstead water to be nearly two-and-a-half times higher than the acceptable level.
“However,” a Vermont Health Department document reads, “water containing high levels of copper is usually expelled by the body within a few minutes after consumption,”
An official with the department in Burlington said water with high concentrations of copper would be vomited out.
Tremblay said he felt the copper in the water isn’t a threat to human health but added “it should be watched.”
The acidic water also puts iron into the systems, which is actually good for humans.
But Blais said if anyone still has pipes with lead in them, the acid water would speed up corrosion and put the lead – a known poison – directly into drinking water.
That way the copper and other metals will be flushed out of the system.
Blais said International Water Company will probably decide to put sodium bicarbonate – baking soda – into the system when it builds a remedy next spring.
The baking soda will boost the water’s alkalinity and raise the pH level. That way the water will be less corrosive. In the meantime, Stanstead College is waiting impatiently for something to be done. “We keep patching here but we’re not solving the problem,” Reynolds said, holding a copper pipe that had an open sore on it caused by the acid water. “There’s literally miles of pipe in this place,” said Skelton. You start to get paranoid. “But it goes further than that,” he added. “You’ve got the degradation of an entire municipal water system.” (This prayer should be said during three consecutive days. The grace requested will be obtained following the three days of prayer. Have the prayer published without divulging the request and simply add your initials)
1924-2015 – It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of Emily Damon, née Wormsley, on January 19th, 2015, at Le Manoir de Stanstead, Stanstead, Quebec. Emily leaves to mourn her children Gwen (Garry), Linda (Paul), Mona (Gordon), Barb (Gordy), Steve (Sandra), Rick, Gary (Patricia), her daughter in law Fleurette, she also leaves to mourn her 28 grandchildren, 56 great grand-children and 2 great grand-children, as well as many other nieces, nephews and friends and neighbors. Emily is pre-deceased by her sisters and brothers Phyllis, Sylvia, Fred, George, Joyce and Cecil as well as her son Geoffrey and daughter Maggie. A funeral service will be held at the Anglican Church in Stanstead on Thursday January 22nd, 2015 at 2 p.m. The family will be receiving condolences at the church at 1 p.m. the day of the services. A light lunch will be served at the Manoir de Stanstead after the funeral service. In lieu of flowers, a donation may be made to the Anglican Church in Stanstead. The funeral arrangements are provided by
Résidence Funéraire Stanstead.