Elkhart, Indiana

Elkhart, Indiana Elkhart, Indiana

What is the Water Quality in Elkhart, Indiana?

Compared to other US cities over 50,000, Elkhart water quality ranks in the lower middle range for contamination excluding Lead.

Most of their 17 contaminants have cancer-causing attributes. Arsenic is at very high levels: 25x health guidelines.

Let’s look closer at what’s in Elkhart water.

What’s in Elkhart water?

Here are the top 6 chemical compounds in your water and what health issues they can potentially cause:

  1. Arsenic – Potential effect: Cancer
  2. Bromodichloromethane – Potential effect: Cancer
  3. Chloroform – Potential effect: Cancer
  4. Haloacetic acids (HAA5) – Potential effect: Cancer
  5. Nitrate – Potential effect: Cancer
  6. Total trihalomethanes – Potential effect: Cancer

These are six of the 17 contaminants analyzed by the Environmental Working Group (ewg.org).

9 of these contaminants are rated as exceeding EWG Health Guidelines.

Does Elkhart have Lead contamination?

Yes, Elkhart has lead in its water. The most recent Lead samples collected in 2019 showed concentrations up to 27.0 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 Elkhart’s water come from?

Elkhart’s water comes from the City of Elkhart – Saint Joseph River watershed.

All 9 of the water sources in the City of Elkhart – Saint Joseph River watershed are in Impaired or Unknown condition. These include:

  • Christiana Creek
  • Crawford Ditch
  • Elkhart River – Multiple sections
  • Saint Joseph River – 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 Elkhart’s water.

Conclusion – What Can You Do?

Information about water quality in Elkhart can be surprising and downright scary.

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.

In Your Home:
Take Control of Your Water with Berkey Filters

  • Use Berkey filters with activated carbon to filter out at least 86.7% of contaminants in your drinking water.
    • Berkey filters can also remove up to 99.99% of Lead in Elkhart water.
    • Brita can filter 6 contaminants and Lead depending on the filter.
      • We don’t recommend using only a Brita pitcher in Elkhart.
    • Note: We may receive a commission if you decide to purchase filters through links on this page.
  • To filter out 16 of the 17 contaminants, consider a Reverse Osmosis water filtration system for your house.
    • These are typically more expensive than pitchers to purchase, but are much more effective.
    • They have the benefit of filtering out heavy hitters like:
      • Arsenic
      • Barium
      • Chloroform
      • Chromium (hexavalent)
      • Chromium (total)
      • Haloacetic acids
      • Molybdenum
      • Nitrate
      • Nitrite
      • Strontium
      • Uranium

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://elkhartindiana.org/ to find contact information for your local officials.

Water Quality in Other Indiana Cities

Indiana Water Quality Page

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