Water Quality in Olathe, Kansas
Watershed: Shawnee Mission Lake – Mill Creek
What is the water quality like in Olathe, KS?
Let’s dive deeper into what’s in Olathe water.
What’s in Olathe water?
Here are the top 6 chemical compounds in your water and what health issues they can potentially cause:
- Arsenic – Potential effect: Cancer
- Atrazine – Potential effect: Harm to the developing fetus
- Haloacetic acids – Potential effect: Cancer
- Hexavalent Chromium – Potential effect: Cancer
- Nitrate – Potential effect: Cancer
- Total trihalomethanes – Potential effect: Cancer
These are five of the 17 contaminants analyzed by the Environmental Working Group (ewg.org).
These 6 contaminants are rated as exceeding EWG Health Guidelines.
See the What Can You Do? section below for all of the contaminants you can filter out and how to do it.
Where does Olathe’s water come from?
Olathe’s water comes from the Shawnee Mission Lake – Mill Creek watershed.
5 of the 6 EPA assessed water sources in the Shawnee Mission Lake – Mill Creek watershed are in Impaired or Unknown condition. These include:
- Frisco Lake
- Mahaffie Farmstead Lake
- Mill Creek – 2 segments
- Olathe Waterworks Lakes
Ideally, a water source would be rated in Good condition. Shawnee Mission Lake is 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 Olathe’s water.
Conclusion – What Can You Do?
Information about water quality can be surprising.
But there’s no reason to lose hope. There are things you can do in your household as well as things you can do at a community level.
In Your Household:
- Use Berkey filters with activated carbon to filter out 14 of the 17 contaminants in your drinking water.
- To filter out 14 of the 17 contaminants in your whole house, consider a Reverse Osmosis water filtration system for your home.
- These are more expensive than pitchers to purchase, but can be more effective.
- They have the benefit of filtering out heavy hitters like:
- Arsenic – health risks
- Atrazine – herbicide
- Barium – health risks in water
- Chromium (total)
- Haloacetic acids – chlorination byproduct*
- Hexavalent chromium – health effects
- Metolachlor – herbicide
- Monobromoacetic acid
- Monochloroacetic acid
- Selenium – health risks
- 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.olatheks.org/government to find contact information for your local officials.