Bismarck, North Dakota
Water Quality in Bismarck, North Dakota
Watershed: Cottonwood Lake
What is the water quality like in Bismarck, ND?
Let’s dive deeper into what’s in Bismarck water.
What’s in your water?
Here are the top 6 chemical compounds in your water and what health issues they can potentially cause:
- Arsenic – Potential effect: Cancer
- Bromodichloromethane – Potential effect: Cancer
- Chloroform – Potential effect: Cancer
- Haloacetic acids – Potential effect: Cancer
- Hexavalent Chromium – Potential effect: Cancer
- Total trihalomethanes – Potential effect: Cancer
These are six of the 23 contaminants analyzed by the Environmental Working Group (ewg.org).
11 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 Bismarck’s water come from?
Bismarck’s water comes from the Cottonwood Lake watershed.
All Four EPA assessed water sources in the Cottonwood Lake watershed are in Good condition. These include:
- Heart River
- Missouri River – 2 sections
- Tributaries to the Missouri River
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
How can the rivers around Bismarck be in Good condition and the tap water be so bad/contaminated?
Most of the contamination in local tap water comes from industry run-off and improper pollution disposal. With mining and factories nearby, the chances of having contaminated tap water increase.
See below for what you can do to improve Bismarck’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 22 of the 23 contaminants, consider a Reverse Osmosis water filtration system for your house.
- 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 risks
- Barium – health risks
- Bromodichloromethane – health risks
- Chloroform – health risks
- Cyanide – health risks
- Haloacetic acids – chlorination byproduct*
- Hexavalent chromium
- Selenium – health risks
- Total trihalomethanes – byproduct of chlorination*
*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: http://www.bismarcknd.gov/ to find contact information for your local officials.