What is the Water Quality in Berwyn, Illinois?
Compared to other US cities, Berwyn water quality ranks in the middle range for contamination excluding Lead.
Most of their 24 contaminants have cancer-causing attributes.
- Chloroform is at extremely high levels: 33x health guidelines.
Let’s look closer at what’s in Berwyn water.
What’s in Berwyn water?
Here are the top 5 chemical compounds in your water and what health issues they can potentially cause:
- Bromodichloromethane – Potential effect: Cancer
- Chloroform – Potential effect: Cancer
- Hexavalent Chromium – Potential effect: Cancer
- Nitrate – Potential effect: Cancer
- Radium – Potential effect: Cancer
These are five of the 24 contaminants analyzed by the Environmental Working Group (ewg.org).
13 of these contaminants are rated as exceeding EWG Health Guidelines.
Does Berwyn have Lead contamination?
Yes, Berwyn has lead in its water. The most recent Lead samples collected in 2019 showed concentrations up to 20.4 parts per billion (ppb).
The legal limit for lead is 15 parts per billion. Being well-below this level is a good thing.
Concentrations between 3.8 ppb and 15 ppb put a formula-fed baby at risk of elevated blood lead levels. Read more about the symptoms of Lead in water.
There is no safe level of lead for humans.
The good news is that 99.99% of the lead can be filtered out.
See the What Can You Do? section below to learn how to filter out contaminants.
Where does Berwyn’s water come from?
Berwyn’s water comes from the Maple Lake – Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal watershed.
9 of the 10 water sources in the Maple Lake – Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal watershed are in Impaired or Unknown condition. These include:
- Calumet Sag Channel
- Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal
- Fiddyment Creek
- Illinois & Michigan Canal
Ideally, a water source would be rated in Good condition. Only Deep Run Creek is in good condition.
Learn more from How’s My Waterway
See below for what you can do to improve Berwyn’s water.
What Can You Do?
Information about water quality in Berwyn can be surprising.
But there are things you can do in your home to clean up your water.
To Remove Lead and Other Contaminants In Your Home:
There is one solution that beats Brita, PUR, and expensive whole house systems.
- It costs less per gallon.
- Needs fewer filter changes.
- And it doesn’t make your water taste weird.
- Use Berkey filters with activated carbon to filter out at least 68% of the contaminants in your drinking water.
- To filter out 22 of the 24 contaminants, consider a whole house water filtration system for your house.
- These are typically more expensive than pitchers to purchase, but can be much more effective.
- They have the benefit of filtering out heavy hitters like:
- Androstenedione – affects hormone levels
- Chloroform – powerful anesthetic
- Chromium (hexavalent)
- Haloacetic acids – HAA5 and HAA9
- Radium – radioactive chemical
- Testosterone – affects hormone levels
- Total trihalomethanes – byproduct of chlorination
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.berwyn-il.gov/ to find contact information for your local officials.