Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Water Quality in Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Watershed: Silver Creek – Cedar River
What is the water quality like in Cedar Rapids, IA?
Let’s dive deeper into what’s in Cedar Rapids water.
What’s in Cedar Rapids 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
- Hexavalent Chromium – Potential effect: Cancer
- Radium – Potential effect: Cancer
- Total trihalomethanes – Potential effect: Cancer
These are six of the 18 contaminants analyzed by the Environmental Working Group (ewg.org).
8 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 Cedar Rapids’ water come from?
Cedar Rapids’ water comes from the Silver Creek – Cedar River watershed.
10 of the 12 EPA assessed water sources in the Silver Creek – Cedar River watershed are in Impaired or Unknown condition. These include:
- Cedar Lake
- Cedar River – 4 segments
- McLoud Run – 2 segments
- Seminole Valley Park Lakes – 1 segment
Ideally, a water source would be rated in Good condition. One segment of Cedar Lake and one segment of Seminole Valley Park Lakes are 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 Cedar Rapids’ 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.
- Use Berkey filters with activated carbon to filter out 15 of the 18 contaminants in your drinking water.
- Berkey filters can also remove up to 99.99% of Lead in Cedar Rapids water.
- Brita can filter 8 contaminants (and Lead depending on the filter).
- Note: We may receive a commission if you decide to purchase filters through links on this page.
- To filter out 16 of the 18 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:
- 1,4-Dioxane – “Exposure may cause damage to the central nervous system, liver and kidneys.”
- Arsenic – health risks
- Bromodichloromethane – health risks in drinking water
- Chloroform – side effects
- Dichloroacetic acid
- Hexavalent chromium – health effects
- Metolachlor – safety
- 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: http://www.cedar-rapids.org/ to find contact information for your local officials.