Caffeine is in Our Water Supply


Caffeine has been showing up in an ever increasing number of municipalities’ water supplies.

Because of America’s ever increasing obsession with caffeinated products some of this left-over caffeine is ending up up in our streams, rivers and reservoirs.

The Causes of Caffeine Showing up in Water Supply

  • With the average adult consuming around 280mg of caffeine daily all that caffeine unfortunately isn’t absorbed and used by the body and therefor excreted by the body.
  • Also, many people have the habit of dumping used coffee grounds down the sink or the disposal. This also sends caffeine into the water supply.
  • Lastly the millions of coffee shops around country are also disposing of vast amounts of used coffee grounds daily, which make their way to compost facilities or landfills and then into ground water.

Is this a Problem?

Look at the bright side, in say another 10 or 15 years or so, you may just be able to turn the tap and get your daily caffeine fix since more and more cities are reporting that caffeine is showing up in their water supply. –Joking

You certainly wouldn’t get a buzz from the concentration, but it is kind of alarming that it’s there. For example, in Erie, PA their water had up to 60 parts per trillion when tested.

The concentrations are very tiny, so there isn’t any risk associated with this phenomenon, but the environmental implications are unclear. What is clear is that caffeine is not a naturally occurring molecule in most ecosystems.

We probably should take some precautions to make sure we keep the environment as clean as possible and re-evaluate they way we are disposing of spent coffee products as this is no doubt the biggest aggravator of this problem.

Caffeine may belong in a person’s coffee, but it certainly doesn’t belong in our drinking water. Take steps in doing your part to dispose of your coffee grounds responsibly.

Caffeine In Swimming Pools

Researchers from the School of Civil & Environmental Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology have recently finished an investigation as to whether caffeine and other chemicals are present in swimming pools.

His team concluded that caffeine was indeed present in public swimming pools along with other chemicals such as DEET and TCEP in measurable quantities.

Also these chemicals have a tendency to build up over time since they do not evaporate and because more are added to the system over time. This puts daily swimmers at potential health risk from exposure to these chemicals on a regular basis. Their study is published here.


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