What is the Water Quality in Jackson, Tennessee?
Compared to other US cities, Jackson water quality ranks in the middle range for contamination excluding Lead.
Most of their 23 contaminants have cancer-causing attributes.
- Benzene is at high levels: 3.8x health guidelines.
- Haloacetic acids (HAA5) are at very high levels: 48x health guidelines.
- Haloacetic acids (HAA9) are at very high levels: 68x health guidelines.
- These are both byproducts of the chlorine treatment process most water supplies go through.
Let’s look closer at what’s in Jackson, TN water.
What’s in Jackson water?
Here are the top 5 chemical compounds in your water and what health issues they can potentially cause:
- Benzene – Potential effect: Cancer
- Chloroform – Potential effect: Cancer
- Hexavalent Chromium – Potential effect: Cancer
- Haloacetic acids (HAA5) – Potential effect: Cancer
- Total trihalomethanes – Potential effect: Cancer
These are five of the 23 contaminants analyzed by the Environmental Working Group (ewg.org).
8 of these contaminants are rated as exceeding EWG Health Guidelines.
Does Jackson have Lead contamination?
Yes, Jackson has lead in its water. The most recent Lead samples collected from 2014 through 2016 showed concentrations up to 1.5 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 Jackson’s water come from?
Jackson’s water comes from the South Fork Forked Deer River – Jones Creek watershed.
All 13 EPA assessed water sources in the South Fork Forked Deer River – Jones Creek watershed are in Impaired or Unknown condition. These include:
- Anderson Branch
- Bond Creek
- Cane Creek
- Central Creek
- Dry Branch
- Hicks Creek
- Jones Creek
- Sandy Creek
- South Fork Forked Deer River – multiple sections
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 Jackson’s water.
What Can You Do?
Information about water quality in Jackson 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 expensive 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 at least 80% of contaminants in your drinking water.
- To filter out 20 of the 23 contaminants, consider a Reverse Osmosis water filtration system for your whole house.
- These are more expensive than pitchers to purchase, but can be more effective.
- They have the benefit of filtering out heavy hitters like:
- 1,4-Dioxane – toxicology
- Barium – In low doses, barium ions act as a muscle stimulant, and higher doses affect the nervous system, causing cardiac irregularities, tremors, weakness, anxiety, shortness of breath, and paralysis.
- Haloacetic acids – chlorination byproducts*
- Hexavalent chromium
- Total trihalomethanes – byproducts of chlorination*
- Xylenes – Hearing disorders have been linked to xylene exposure.
*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://jacksontn.gov/government to find contact information for your local officials.