Grand Forks, North Dakota

Grand Forks, North Dakota Grand Forks, North Dakota

What is the Water Quality in Grand Forks, North Dakota?

Compared to other US cities, Grand Forks water quality ranks in the middle range for contamination excluding Lead.

Most of their 21 contaminants have cancer-causing attributes.

  • Arsenic is at extremely high levels: 136x health guidelines.
  • Haloacetic acids (HAA5) are at extremely high levels: 200x health guidelines.
  • Haloacetic acids (HAA9) are at extremely high levels: 449x health guidelines.
    • HAA5 and HAA9 are byproducts of chlorine treatment, a common method of disinfecting water supplies.

Let’s look closer at what’s in Grand Forks water.

What’s in Grand Forks water?

Here are the top 5 chemical compounds in your water and what health issues they can potentially cause:

  1. Arsenic – Potential effect: Cancer
  2. Chloroform – Potential effect: Cancer
  3. Haloacetic acids (HAA5) – Potential effect: Cancer
  4. Haloacetic acids (HAA9) – Potential effect: Cancer
  5. Radium – Potential effect: Cancer

These are five of the 21 contaminants analyzed by the Environmental Working Group (ewg.org).

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

Does Grand Forks have Lead contamination?

Yes, Grand Forks has lead in its water. The most recent Lead samples collected from 2015 through 2017 showed concentrations up to 6.1 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 Grand Forks’s water come from?

Grand Forks’s water comes from the City of Grand Forks – Red River watershed.

5 of the 6 water sources in the City of Grand Forks – Red River watershed are in Impaired or Unknown condition. These include:

  • English Coulee
  • Red 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 Grand Forks’s water.

Conclusion – What Can You Do?

Information about water quality in Grand Forks 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.

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

  • Use Berkey filters with activated carbon to filter out at least 90% of contaminants in your drinking water.
    • Berkey filters can also remove up to 99.99% of Lead in Grand Forks water.
    • Brita can filter 10 of 21 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 19 of the 21 contaminants in your whole house, consider a reverse osmosis Pentair water filtration system for your home.
    • These are typically more expensive than pitchers to purchase, but are more effective and will last longer.
    • They have the benefit of filtering out heavy hitters like:
      • Arsenic
      • Barium
      • Bromodichloromethane
      • Chloroform
      • Chromium (hexavalent)
      • Fluoride
      • Haloacetic acids (HAA5)
      • Haloacetic acids (HAA9)
      • Nitrate
      • Nitrite
      • Radium
      • Strontium
      • Total trihalomethanes

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.grandforksgov.com/ to find contact information for your local officials.

Water Quality in Other North Dakota Cities

North Dakota Water Quality Page

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