What is the Water Quality in Cleveland, Ohio?
Compared to other US cities over 50,000, Cleveland water quality ranks in the mid range for contamination excluding Lead.
Most of their 25 contaminants have cancer-causing attributes. Chloroform is at extremely high levels: 33x health guidelines.
Let’s look closer at what’s in Cleveland water.
What’s in Cleveland 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
- Haloacetic acids – Potential effect: Cancer
- Hexavalent Chromium – Potential effect: Cancer
- Total trihalomethanes – Potential effect: Cancer
These are five of the 25 contaminants analyzed by the Environmental Working Group (ewg.org).
13 of these contaminants are rated as exceeding EWG Health Guidelines.
Does Cleveland have Lead contamination?
Yes, Cleveland has lead in its water. The most recent Lead samples collected from 2016 through 2018 showed concentrations up to 1.7 parts per billion.
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 Cleveland’s water come from?
Cleveland’s water comes from the Doan Brook – Frontal Lake Erie watershed.
The single EPA assessed water source in the Doan Brook – Frontal Lake Erie watershed is in Impaired condition. This is the entire watershed itself.
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 Cleveland’s water.
Conclusion – What Can You Do?
Information about water quality in Cleveland 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 at least 81% of contaminants in your drinking water.
- Berkey filters can also remove up to 99.99% of Lead in Cleveland water.
- Brita can filter 15 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 22 of the 25 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:
- Bromodichloromethane – health risks in drinking water
- Chloroform – side effects
- Dibromoacetic acid
- Dichloroacetic acid
- Haloacetic acids – chlorination byproduct*
- Hexavalent chromium – health effects
- Monobromoacetic acid
- Monochloroacetic acid
- 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.clevelandohio.gov/ to find contact information for your local officials.