What is the Water Quality in Hammond, Indiana?
Compared to other US cities, Hammond water quality ranks in the middle range for contamination excluding Lead.
Most of their 20 contaminants have cancer-causing attributes.
- Chloroform is at very high levels: 14x health guidelines.
- Haloacetic acids (HAA5) are at very high levels: 42x health guidelines.
- Haloacetic acids (HAA9) are at extremely high levels: 263x health guidelines.
- These are both byproducts of the chlorine treatment process most water supplies go through.
Let’s look closer at what’s in Hammond water.
What’s in Hammond water?
Here are the top 5 chemical compounds in Hammond 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 20 contaminants analyzed by the Environmental Working Group (ewg.org).
9 of these contaminants are rated as exceeding EWG Health Guidelines.
Does Hammond water have Lead contamination?
Yes, Hammond has lead in its water. The most recent Lead samples collected from 2015 through 2017 showed concentrations up to 5.6 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 removed.
See the What Can You Do? section below to learn how to filter out contaminants.
Where does Hammond’s water come from?
Hammond’s water comes from the Grand Calumet River – Little Calumet River watershed.
All 8 EPA assessed water sources in the Grand Calumet River – Little Calumet River watershed are in Impaired condition. These include:
- Calumet Sag Channel
- Flatfoot Lake
- Grand Calumet River – two sections
- Lake Michigan – Nearshore
- Little Calumet River North – two sections
- Little Calumet River South
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 Hammond’s water.
What Can You Do?
Information about water quality in Hammond can be surprising.
But there are things you can do in your home to clean up your water.
To Remove Lead and Other Contaminants In Your Home:
There is one solution that beats Brita, PUR, and some whole house systems.
- It costs less per gallon.
- Needs fewer filter changes.
- And it doesn’t make your water taste weird.
- Use Berkey filters with activated carbon to filter out the majority of contaminants in your drinking water.
- To filter out 18 of the 20 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:
- Barium – health risks
- Bromodichloromethane – health risks
- Chloroform – side effects
- Chromium (total)
- Haloacetic acids – chlorination byproduct*
- Hexavalent chromium – health effects
- Total trihalomethanes – byproduct of chlorination*
*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.gohammond.com/ to find contact information for your local officials.