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Detroit Water Quality: Then & Now
Detroit was founded at the narrowest point of the Detroit River, an abundant source of clean drinking water. Early settlers relied on a rudimentary water distribution system delivering daily to residents by horse-drawn carts. As the city grew, residents began drilling wells to supplement river sources. But the wells came up dry, and later attempts to create reservoirs to capture surface water also failed. Detroit turned to the example of major metropolises of the east, like New York, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh, by creating pumping systems to bring clean river water to their residents.
In the 1840s, residents often dumped waste in the river, compromising Detroit’s water quality and causing water-borne diseases like typhoid fever. Not until the early 1900s did Detroit city engineers recognize the link between wastewater and illnesses. In 1912, the U.S. Public Health Service issued a mandate that required Detroit to disinfect all distributed water with calcium hypochlorite.
In 1916, treatment switched to chlorine, a more effective disinfectant. Detroit also constructed a new water intake point well away from the city’s wastewater dumping area, especially critical as the automotive industry began its explosive growth. Detroit’s population boomed from the car industry, so quickly that city planners rushed to install cast iron mains without a coherent plan. Pipelines clustered on top of each other in some sections of the city, while other areas lacked any mains at all.
Today, the Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA) treats all Detroit drinking water and transports it to the city distribution system through more than 2,700 miles of water mains. The system sources water from intakes located in the Detroit River: one to the north, near the inlet of Lake St. Clair, and one to the south, near Lake Erie. The third intake is located in Lake Huron. Four plants treat source water drawn from the Detroit River intakes. The fifth water treatment plant, located in St. Clair County, uses source water drawn from Lake Huron.
Older cast iron pipes, like the ones originally installed, are susceptible to corrosion and biofilm contamination. To combat corrosion, treatment plants add orthophosphate, shown to prevent the leaching of lead into Detroit drinking water. Even with orthophosphate, chemical reactions can create clusters of pipe deterioration and bacteria along the inside of the pipe, resulting in “rotten egg” taste and smell.
Detroit has one of the nation’s strictest policies regarding lead and copper contamination. The recent Detroit Water Quality report shows that water leaving treatment plants does not contain lead, nor do the water mains. However, corrosion in service lines and household plumbing may still contaminate Detroit drinking water with elevated levels of lead.
Quench Water Coolers –
A Better Drinking Water System for Detroit
Concerned about the corrosion and lead contamination seeping into your Detroit drinking water from the old cast iron pipes? We are too, and that’s why we’re here to help. Quench offers a full complement of water filtration and sanitization technologies to remove sediment, reduce chemical contaminants, including lead, and get rid of off-tastes and odors. Depending on your local water quality, your Quench Water Expert may recommend our NSF-certified carbon filtration, which works great for water with TDS (total dissolved solids) levels under 250 ppm (parts per million) or our NSF-certified reverse osmosis (RO) filtration, which is the gold standard for water with TDS levels over 250 ppm. By creating a customized water filtration solution and tailoring your installation and service needs for your business, we can guarantee that Quench office water coolers produce crisp, clean, great-tasting water – and at a fraction of the price of bottled water delivery services. Go bottle free with Quench and you will save time, money, and the environment, plus you will have better tasting and safer drinking water!
Quench Proudly Serves More Than 60,000 Customers Nationwide
I want to thank the team at Quench for the quick, professional installation of our new water system. You and your installation team made the process very simple and timely from start to finish. I highly recommend your product as an alternative to water bottles!
Nationwide Service with Local Presence
Quench’s dedicated customer team stands behind every installation. You’ll always find a well-trained, friendly human at the other end of the phone, and all service is performed by insured, certified Quench-badged technicians. Our customer service promise includes proactive preventive maintenance, filter changes, and all service and support. We worry about your drinking water, so you don’t have to.
Proudly providing businesses with clean, filtered drinking water in the greater Detroit Metro Area, including downtown Detroit, Dearborn and Warren, and the surrounding counties of Lapeer, Livingston, Macomb, Oakland, St. Clair, and Wayne.
Quench Filtration Solutions
For over 20 years, Quench has focused exclusively on providing businesses with the highest quality filtered water. This commitment to doing one thing well has made us the trusted water authority for over 50% of the Fortune 500. We offer the best bottleless water coolers, ice machines, sparkling water dispensers, and coffee brewers to fit any workplace. No matter your location, company size, or industry, we have a filtered water solution that is right for you!