What is the Water Quality in Kingsport, Tennessee?
Compared to other US cities over 50,000, Kingsport water quality ranks in the high range for contamination excluding Lead.
Most of their 14 contaminants have cancer-causing attributes.
- Chloroform is at extremely high levels: 45x health guidelines.
- Radium is also present in the water at high levels: 14x health guidelines.
Let’s look closer at what’s in Kingsport water.
What’s in Kingsport 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 (HAA5) – Potential effect: Cancer
- Radium – Potential effect: Cancer
These are five of the 14 contaminants analyzed by the Environmental Working Group (ewg.org).
9 of these contaminants are rated as exceeding EWG Health Guidelines.
Does Kingsport have Lead contamination?
Yes, Kingsport has lead in its water. The most recent Lead samples collected from 2015 through 2017 showed concentrations up to 2.2 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 Kingsport’s water come from?
Kingsport’s water comes from the Reedy Creek watershed.
17 of the 18 water sources in the Reedy Creek watershed are in Impaired or Unknown condition. These include:
- Boozy Creek
- Clark Branch
- Gaines Branch
- Gravelly Branch
- Miller Branch
- Reedy Creek
- Timbertree Branch
- Tranbarger Branch
- Various unnamed tributaries to Reedy Creek
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 Kingsport’s water.
Conclusion – What Can You Do?
Information about water quality in Kingsport 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 81.8% of contaminants in your drinking water.
- To filter out 11 of the 14 contaminants in your whole house, consider a Reverse Osmosis water filtration system for your home.
- These are typically more expensive than pitchers to purchase, but are 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.kingsporttn.gov/ to find contact information for your local officials.