What is the Water Quality in Madison, Alabama?
Compared to other US cities over 50,000, Madison water quality ranks in the lower-middle range for contamination excluding Lead.
Most of their 21 contaminants have cancer-causing attributes. Arsenic is at extremely high levels: 135x health guidelines.
Let’s look closer at what’s in Madison water.
What’s in Madison water?
Here are the top 6 chemical compounds in your water and what health issues they can potentially cause:
- Bromodichloromethane – Potential effect: Cancer
- Chloroform – Potential effect: Cancer
- Chromium (hexavalent) – Potential effect: Cancer
- Haloacetic acids (HAA5) – Potential effect: Cancer
- Radium – Potential effect: Cancer
- Total trihalomethanes – Potential effect: Cancer
These are six of the 21 contaminants analyzed by the Environmental Working Group (ewg.org).
11 of these contaminants are rated as exceeding EWG Health Guidelines.
Does Madison, Alabama have Lead contamination?
Yes, Madison has lead in its water. The most recent Lead samples collected in 2019 showed concentrations up to 3.3 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 Madison’s water come from?
Madison’s water comes from the Barren Fork Creek watershed.
The single water source in the Barren Fork Creek watershed is in Unknown condition. This waterbody is Bradford Creek.
Ideally, a water source would be rated as Known and in Good condition.
Learn more from How’s My Waterway
See below for what you can do to improve Madison’s water.
Conclusion – What Can You Do?
Information about water quality in Madison, Alabama 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.
- Use Berkey filters with activated carbon to filter out at least 80% of contaminants in your drinking water.
- To filter out 18 of the 21 contaminants (85.7%), 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:
- Chromium (total)
- Hexavalent chromium
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.madisonal.gov/ to find contact information for your local officials.