Oak Lawn, Illinois
What is the Water Quality in Oak Lawn, Illinois?
[Updated: June 13, 2023]
Compared to other US cities, Oak Lawn water quality ranks in the middle range for contamination excluding Lead.
Most of their 26 contaminants have cancer-causing attributes.
- Chloroform is at extremely high levels: 33x health guidelines.
- Haloacetic acids (HAA5) are at extremely high levels: 150x health guidelines.
- Haloacetic acids (HAA9) are at extremely high levels: 331x health guidelines.
- These are both byproducts of the chlorine treatment process most water supplies go through.
- Radium is at very high levels: 13x health guidelines.
Let’s look closer at what’s in Oak Lawn water.
What’s in Oak Lawn water?
Here are the top 5 chemical compounds in your water and what health issues they can potentially cause:
- Chloroform – Potential effect: Cancer
- Hexavalent Chromium – Potential effect: Cancer
- Haloacetic acids (HAA5) – Potential effect: Cancer
- Radium – Potential effect: Cancer
- Total trihalomethanes – Potential effect: Cancer
These are five of the 26 contaminants analyzed by the Environmental Working Group (ewg.org).
13 of these contaminants are rated as exceeding EWG Health Guidelines.
Does Oak Lawn have Lead contamination?
Yes, Oak Lawn has lead in its water. The most recent Lead samples collected from 2015 through 2017 showed concentrations up to 5.1 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 Oak Lawn’s water come from?
Oak Lawn’s water comes from the Stony Creek watershed.
Both water sources in the Stony Creek watershed are in Unknown condition. These are:
- Lucas Ditch
- Stony Creek-West
Ideally, a water source would be Known and rated in Good condition.
Learn more from How’s My Waterway
See below for what you can do to improve Oak Lawn’s water.
Conclusion – What Can You Do?
Information about water quality in Oak Lawn can be surprising.
But there are things you can do in your home to clean up your water.
- Test Your Water using Varify Home Test Kits or similar.
- To Remove Lead and Other Contaminants In Your Home:
- Use Activated Carbon filters to remove most contaminants in your drinking water.
- To filter out even more contaminants, 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 (hexavalent)
- Total trihalomethanes – byproduct of chlorination
- Our recommendation: APEC Reverse Osmosis Systems
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.oaklawn-il.gov/ to find contact information for your local officials.