What is the Water Quality in Decatur, Alabama?
Compared to other US cities over 50,000, Decatur water quality ranks in the lower range for contamination excluding Lead.
Most of their 15 contaminants have cancer-causing attributes.
- Haloacetic acids (HAA9) are at extremely high levels: 542x health guidelines.
Let’s look closer at what’s in Decatur water.
What’s in Decatur 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
- Haloacetic acids (HAA9) – Potential effect: Cancer
- Total trihalomethanes – Potential effect: Cancer
These are five of the 15 contaminants analyzed by the Environmental Working Group (ewg.org).
9 of these contaminants are rated as exceeding EWG Health Guidelines.
Does Decatur have Lead contamination?
No, Decatur does not currently have lead in its water. The most recent Lead samples collected from 2016 through 2018 showed concentrations of 0.0 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 Decatur’s water come from?
Decatur’s water comes from the Bakers Creek – Tennessee River watershed.
All 5 water sources in the Bakers Creek – Tennessee River watershed are in Impaired condition. These include:
- Bakers Creek (Wheeler Lake)
- Dry Branch (Wheeler Lake)
- Tennessee River (Wheeler Lake)- multiple sections
Ideally, a water source would be rated in Good condition.
Learn more from How’s My Waterway
See below for what you can do to improve Decatur’s water.
Conclusion – What Can You Do?
Information about water quality in Decatur can be surprising.
But there’s no reason to lose hope. There are things you can do in your home as well as things you can do at a community level.
- Use Berkey filters with activated carbon to filter out at least 70% of the contaminants in your drinking water.
- To filter out 12 of the 15 contaminants, consider a reverse osmosis 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:
- Chromium (hexavalent)
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.cityofdecatural.com/ to find contact information for your local officials.