Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Water Quality in Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Watershed: Ward Creek – Bayou Manchac
What is the water quality like in Baton Rouge, LA?
Let’s dive deeper into what’s in Baton Rouge water.
What’s in Baton Rouge water?
Here are the top 5 chemical compounds in your water and what health issues they can potentially cause:
- Arsenic – Potential effect: Cancer
- Chloroform – Potential effect: Cancer
- Haloacetic acids – Potential effect: Cancer
- Radium – Potential effect: Cancer
- Total trihalomethanes – Potential effect: Cancer
These are five of the 23 contaminants analyzed by the Environmental Working Group (ewg.org).
7 of these contaminants are rated as exceeding EWG Health Guidelines.
See the What Can You Do? section below for all of the contaminants you can filter out and how to do it.
Where does Baton Rouge’s water come from?
Baton Rouge’s water comes from the Ward Creek – Bayou Manchac watershed.
Both EPA assessed water sources in the Ward Creek – Bayou Manchac watershed are in Impaired condition. These include:
- Capitol Lake
- Ward Creek – From headwaters to confluence with Dawson Creek
Ideally, a water source would be rated in Good condition.
Whether a water source is in Impaired or Good condition refers to the quality of these uses:
- Drinking Water
- Aquatic Life
- Fish and Shellfish Consumption
Learn more from How’s My Waterway
See below for what you can do to improve Baton Rouge’s water.
Conclusion – What Can You Do?
Information about water quality can be surprising.
But there’s no reason to lose hope. There are things you can do in your household as well as things you can do at a community level.
In Your Household:
- Use Berkey filters with activated carbon to filter out 21 of the 23 contaminants in your drinking water.
- To filter out 21 of the 23 contaminants in your whole house, consider a Reverse Osmosis water filtration system for your home.
- These are more expensive than pitchers to purchase, but can be more effective.
- They have the benefit of filtering out heavy hitters like:
- Arsenic – health effects in water
- Barium – In low doses, barium ions act as a muscle stimulant, and higher doses affect the nervous system, causing cardiac irregularities, tremors, weakness, anxiety, shortness of breath, and paralysis.
- Carbofuran – One of the most toxic pesticides still in use. 1/4 teaspoon can be fatal to humans. Read more: Toxicity
- Chloroform – side effects
- Dichloroacetic acid
- Haloacetic acids – chlorination byproduct*
- Hexavalent chromium – health effects
- Monochloroacetic acid
- Selenium – toxicity
- Total trihalomethanes – byproduct of chlorination*
- Trichloroacetic acid
*Chlorination is an effective method of disinfecting/treating drinking water. You can then use a water filter to reduce the effects of chlorination byproducts to get the safest, cleanest water possible.
In Your Community:
Contact your local government officials and put pressure on them to invest in cleaner waterways and upgraded city water filtration and treatment.
Go to: https://www.brla.gov/ to find contact information for your local officials.