Tag Archives: west virginia water contamination

10 Things You Should Do After Any Drinking Water Ban


Toledo, Ohio Mayor D. Michael Collins After Drinking Water Ban Is Lifted
Toledo, Ohio Mayor D. Michael Collins takes a big sip, as the drinking water ban in his city is lifted, in this photo from the Daily News

In January, a spill of MCHM left the drinking water of nearly 300,000 residents in West Virginia undrinkable and unusable.

This past weekend, 400,000 residents of Toledo, Ohio experienced a similar drinking water ban, this time brought about by an algae bloom in Lake Erie that carried dangerous levels of microcystin and cyanotoxin into the water supply.

On the surface, these two drinking water bans are quite different, as West Virginia residents lived through weeks of uncertainty due to a spill of a man-made chemical, while Ohio residents – fortunately – were dealing with more of a known, natural entity.  That said, the end result remained the same.

Similarly, the next recommend steps for residents of West Virginia, Ohio, or any future region that lives through such an occurrence also remain the same.  With thanks to WXYZ in Detroit, WTVG in Toledo, the Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and the Charleston Daily Mail in West Virginia, please find below a list of ten steps you should take after living through a drinking water ban.  It is recommended that you follow the steps below in order, skipping any step that is not applicable to your home or business:

1. Regenerate Your Water Softener
Fundamentally, what you will be doing after any drinking water ban is flushing your plumbing system and cleaning or replacing anything that has come into contact with contaminated water.  If a water softener is in use in your home or business, it should be manually regenerated before you begin the flushing and cleaning processes, detailed more below.  Your water softener’s manual or an equipment supplier can offer assistance, if you have never completed a manual regeneration.  If there is not a water softener in use in your home or business, go directly to the next applicable step.

Flush Indoor Taps After Drinking Water Ban Ends2. Backwash Your Sediment Filter
If a sediment filter is in use in your home, completing a manual backwash will ensure the next steps you take to flush your plumbing system will be more effective.  In fact, it is recommended that you backwash your sediment filter both before and after you flush your plumbing system. 

3. Flush Hot & Cold Water Taps
A simple and effective way to ensure that final bit of contamination flows through your pipes and down your drain, rather than into your glass, is to allow your taps to run continuously for five to fifteen minutes.

Start with the hot water taps and leave on for fifteen minutes.  This will help free your hot water heater from dangerous levels of contamination.  Next, do the same for any cold water taps for five minutes.  Note that this includes your refrigerator water dispenser.  Before flushing, you may also remove any filter in use from taps that do not depend on these being attached in order to serve water.  This can help the flushing process move a bit more efficiently and give you a head-start on step six below.

4. Flush & Clean Every Toilet
Once you’ve flushed your taps, simply give each toilet in your home a quick flush and a clean.  This step is more critical for dog owners, as a toilet represents little more than a great big bowl of clean drinking water, regardless of what contaminants may be lurking.
Flush Outdoor Taps After Any Drinking Water Ban Ends
5. Flush Any Remaining Faucets
From external faucets and hose bibs, to the sink in your laundry room, all faucets in your home should be flushed.  After you’ve opened every hot and cold water tap, and flushed every toilet, walkabout your home to ensure every tap has an opportunity to run and rid itself of contamination.

6. Change All Water Filters Currently In Use
This direction comes directly from the CDC, in regards to what residents should do after a boil water alert ends (ie a different type of drinking water ban, where water may be used if boiled first.)  Changing out water filters is an important part of the flushing process as any filter currently in use is at risk for trapping some of the contaminants that led to the ban in the first place.

To minimize risk of exposure, change your inline water filters, sediment filters, refrigerator water filters, shower filters, filters used in your water pitchers – literally – every filter serving water in your home.  If you need help finding your filters, just visit our online store, use our filter finder, or call our customer service team at 1-800-277-3458.

Cerama Bryte Dishwasher CleanerNote that in the event of any drinking water ban, boil water alert or other type of emergency, we do offer the option of next day shipping.

7. Discard of Anything Made With Water
From Kool-Aid to baby formula, and from iced tea to lemonade, if you made it with water poured during the time of the drinking water ban – dump it.  (And then make some more, because everything we mentioned above is delicious!)

8. Flush Icemaker & Discard Ice
After flushing and sanitizing your icemaker, make and discard three batches of ice, to ensure any ice you use or serve is as free as possible from any contaminants.  While this may feel like overkill, the instruction comes directly from the CDC.

Clean All Pet Bowls After A Drinking Water Ban9. Sanitize Dishwasher
This step does more than help free your appliance of any lingering contaminants – it helps improve both the lifespan and performance of your dishwasher by lifting away scale, scum and grease.  Our online store offers two powerful dishwasher cleaners that can help, including a version from Cerama Bryte (pictured above) and the enhanced Pro Products Magic Dishwasher Cleaner which helps clean and sanitize, while reducing bacteria, E. Coli and Salmonella.

10. Clean & Sanitize All Pet Bowls
For pet owners, keeping contaminated water out of reach is an absolute necessity.  Simply put, your pet (especially if your pet is a big, slobbery dog) will drink just about anything that’s put out there.  During a drinking water ban, ensure your pet drinks only bottled water or water that has been declared safe – and use a fresh bowl.  After the drinking water ban ends, ensure that any bowl that came into contact with contaminated water is thoroughly cleaned and sanitized.  If you’re following these steps in order, you should have a clean and sanitary dishwasher that can help.

Complete the steps above after any drinking water ban, in order, and everyday life in your home will be back to normal before you know it.  If you’ve been through a drinking water ban, and recommend adding more steps to this list, I invite you to share via a comment below.  I also invite you to like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or +1 us on Google+ to be the first to see news and instruction regarding any future drinking water bans, alerts or emergencies.

Are you a veteran, currently serving in the Armed Forces, or buying a gift for a veteran or soldier?  Use the discount code ‘VETERAN’ at checkout to take 5% off your entire order!

Do I Need A UV Disinfection System?


E Coli Outbreak Map from CDCIf you are considering a UV disinfection system for your home or business, you undoubtedly have a whole list of questions.  As such a system oftentimes requires a larger upfront investment, you may have questions related to UV disinfection system cost.

You may also have questions related to how UV disinfection system technology works, its level of efficiency and whether a UV system is truly more effective than disinfectant chemicals such as chlorine.

While the questions above are valid ones that we’ll try to answer below, the true determination regarding whether you need such a system can better be expressed in a checklist format, rather than an FAQ.  For your reference, we’ve created just such a checklist Continue reading

West Virginia Customers: We’re Sending You Free Refrigerator Water Filters From Tier1


West Virginia Drinking Water Safety MapLast week’s chemical spill in West Virginia, and its corresponding impact on the drinking water of nearly 300,000 residents, was unprecedented on a ridiculous scale.

As an online store that focuses heavily on providing the water filters that help reduce contaminants from the water your family drinks, it was extremely frustrating to sit back and watch.  Today, as bottled water distribution sites remain open and stories emerge over more chemicals that may have leaked into West Virginia’s drinking water above and beyond MCHM, it’s simply too difficult for us to sit back and do nothing.

Starting today, we are doing what we can to hasten the water recovery of our customers in West Virginia.  If you’ve ordered a refrigerator water filter from us in the last three months, we will be sending you a free refrigerator water filter from Tier1.

LT700P LG Comparable Refrigerator Water Filter Replacement By Tier1

LT700P LG Comparable Refrigerator Water Filter Replacement By Tier1

Tier1 refrigerator water filters are affordably priced and designed to fit into all major brands.  The Tier1 line of water filters provide you with the same great tasting drinking water, virtually free of stated contaminants, as the manufacturer models.  We are happy to be one of the exclusive distributors of this new line.

If you are a customer of ours, there is no catch and no action for you to take.  Your Tier1 refrigerator water filter is already on the way.

Replacing the water filters in your home, including your refrigerator water filters, is one of the last steps you will need to take to ensure the drinking water you serve is as safe as possible.  We are happy to help you finalize this last critical step and wish only that we could do more.

If you have friends and family that have been impacted by the chemical spill and water contamination incident in West Virginia who are not yet a customer of DiscountFilterStore.com, we invite you to share the coupon code ‘Facebook5.’  This code will give them 5% off on their entire order.

Thank you again for your continued loyalty, and if there is anything else we can do to help you through this event, please feel free to call our customer service department at 1-800-277-3458.

We invite you to like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or +1 us on Google+.

West Virginia Water Contamination Situation: What You Need To Know


West Virginia Drinking Water Safety MapLate last week, a chemical spill rendered the drinking water supply of up to 300,000 residents in the Charleston, West Virginia area unusable.  This represents a massive water contamination situation that has had a steady place in news cycles for nearly a week.

With all the coverage and confusion, there is bound to be some misinformation about what is currently happening and regarding what West Virginia residents should do when the water contamination situation is given the relative all clear.

If you are a resident of the Charleston, West Virginia area, here is what you need to know. We encourage you to share this with anyone impacted:

1. Drinking Water Restrictions Will Not Be Fully Lifted For Days (As of Tuesday, Jan 14)
As of about 12:30pm EST today, drinking water has been restored to six zones in the Charleston, West Virginia area.  It could be days before all tap water is once again deemed safe.

Curtis Johnson HD covers breaking news for The Herald-Dispatch and is providing details regarding when new zones are being given the all clear via his Facebook and Twitter feed.

2. Why Is It Taking So Long For West Virginia Tap Water Restrictions to be Lifted?
The level of drinking water contamination in West Virginia is unprecedented.  West Virginia American Water is very methodically testing and turning water back on to ensure the greatest level of public safety.

Stocking Up On Safe Drinking Water In West VirginiaMore information and real-time updates can be found on the West Virginia American Water Facebook page.

3. What Will Happen If I Drink Any of the Contaminated Water?
Fortunately, while dozens have sought treatment from local hospitals for nausea and other relatively minor symptoms, no major illnesses have been reported.  Unfortunately, neither state nor West Virginia American Water officials are clear on exactly what the health implications are in regards to the contaminated water.

“Most people did not know a whole lot about this chemical [4-methylcyclohexane methanol or MCHM],” West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin said Sunday. “We’ve had to do a lot of research.”

Freedom Industries, the company that stored the chemical indicated that is has a low toxicity.  However, Jeff McIntyre, president of West Virginia American Water states that his agency cannot definitively say that drinking water is safe.

If you drank or were exposed to any tap water in West Virginia since Friday and are suffering from any symptoms including headaches or nausea, it is recommended that you call the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222 and consult with a doctor or physician as soon as possible.

4. Where Can I Get Drinking Water While I Am Waiting For Restrictions To Be Lifted?
The National Guard is manning several drinking water drop-off and distribution sites, a listing of which can be found on the WCHS website.

Note that in order to receive water, you will need to bring your own containers, plastic water bottles or pitchers, per information provided by West Virginia American Water.

Water Flushing Instructions for West Virginia5. What Do I Do When My Drinking Water Is Turned Back On?
Once your water service is restored, it is recommended that you flush your water lines as soon as possible.  The Charleston Daily Mail provides instructions for how to flush drinking water systems while the Herald-Dispatch provides details on what other appliances should be flushed, including icemakers and dishwashers.

Both West Virginia American Water and the Center For Disease Control also urge all impacted residents to change all water filters currently in use as soon as possible after this contamination situation ends – including refrigerator and icemaker water filters, faucet water filters, filters used in water pitchers or dispensers, reverse osmosis filters and shower filters.

All products linked to above are available at DiscountFilterStore.com – and all orders will ship within one day of order placement.  Through this month, we are also offering free shipping to all West Virginia residents.  Just use the code WV at checkout.

6. My Water Is Back On But It Still Has A Funny Smell and Is Discolored.  Is it safe?
Per information provided by West Virginia American Water, the rapid increase in water flow – common when water restrictions are lifted – can stir sediment within the main lines and create discolored water conditions. Odors, meanwhile – (ie a distinct ‘licorice’ smell) can be detected at levels far below the level that the CDC determines is protective of public health.

If you have any additional questions regarding the chemical spill and drinking water contamination in West Virginia, we would encourage you to visit the West Virginia American Water website for real-time updates.

We will also continue to link to relevant updates from our Facebook, Twitter and Google+ pages.