What is the Water Quality in Pontiac, Michigan?
Compared to other US cities, Pontiac water quality ranks in the middle range for contamination excluding Lead.
Most of their 17 contaminants have cancer-causing attributes.
- Chloroform is at very high levels: 27x health guidelines.
- Haloacetic acids (HAA5) are at extremely high levels: 122x health guidelines.
- Haloacetic acids (HAA9) are at extremely high levels: 311x health guidelines.
- HAA5 and HAA9 are byproducts of chlorine treatment, a common method of disinfecting water supplies.
Let’s look closer at what’s in Pontiac water.
What’s in Pontiac water?
Here are the top 5 chemical compounds in your water and what health issues they can potentially cause:
- Chloroform – Potential effect: Cancer
- Haloacetic acids (HAA5) – Potential effect: Cancer
- Haloacetic acids (HAA9) – Potential effect: Cancer
- Radium – Potential effect: Cancer
- Total trihalomethanes – Potential effect: Cancer
These are four of the 17 contaminants analyzed by the Environmental Working Group (ewg.org).
12 of the total contaminants are rated as exceeding EWG Health Guidelines.
Does Pontiac have Lead contamination?
Yes, Pontiac has lead in its water. The most recent Lead samples collected from 2015 through 2017 showed concentrations up to 2.1 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 Pontiac’s water come from?
Pontiac’s water comes from the Pontiac Creek – Clinton River watershed.
7 of the 9 assessed water sources in the Pontiac Creek – Clinton River watershed are in Impaired condition. These include:
- Cass Lake
- Orchard Lake
- Osmun Lake
- Terry Lake
Ideally, a water source would be rated in Good condition. Crescent Lake is in Good condition.
Whether a water source is in Impaired 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 Pontiac’s water.
Conclusion – What Can You Do?
Information about water quality in Pontiac 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 80% of contaminants in your drinking water.
- To filter out 16 of the 17 contaminants in your whole house, consider a Reverse Osmosis Pentair 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: http://www.pontiac.mi.us/ to find contact information for your local officials.