What is the Water Quality in Owensboro, Kentucky?
Compared to other US cities, Owensboro water quality ranks in the lower range for contamination excluding Lead.
Most of their 16 contaminants have cancer-causing attributes.
- Arsenic is at extremely high levels: 420x health guidelines.
- PFOA is at extremely high levels: 170x health guidelines.
Let’s look closer at what’s in Owensboro water.
What’s in Owensboro water?
Here are the top 5 chemical compounds in your water and what health issues they can potentially cause:
- Arsenic – Potential effect: Cancer
- Hexavalent Chromium – Potential effect: Cancer
- Haloacetic acids (HAA5) – Potential effect: Cancer
- PFOA – Potential effect: Cancer
- Total trihalomethanes – Potential effect: Cancer
These are five of the 16 contaminants analyzed by the Environmental Working Group (ewg.org).
6 of the total contaminants are rated as exceeding EWG Health Guidelines.
Does Owensboro have Lead contamination?
Yes, Owensboro has lead in its water. The most recent Lead samples collected from 2015 through 2017 showed concentrations up to 1.4 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 Owensboro’s water come from?
Owensboro’s water comes from the Jackson Creek – Ohio River watershed.
17 of the 21 water sources in the Jackson Creek – Ohio River watershed are in Impaired or Unknown condition. These include:
- Caney Creek
- Hurricane Creek
- Jackson Creek
- Miller Lake
- Ohio River – Multiple sections
- Wright Drain – Multiple sections
Ideally, a water source would be rated in Good condition. Garrett Creek and some unnamed tributaries of the Ohio River are in Good condition.
Whether a water source is in Impaired, Unknown, or Good condition refers to the quality of three uses:
- Aquatic Life
- Fish and Shellfish Consumption
Learn more from How’s My Waterway
See below for what you can do to improve Owensboro’s water.
What Can You Do?
Information about water quality in Owensboro 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 14 of the 16 contaminants in your whole house, consider a Reverse Osmosis water filtration system for your home.
- These are more expensive than pitchers to purchase, but are more effective.
- They have the benefit of filtering out heavy hitters like:
*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.owensboro.org/ to find contact information for your local officials.