South Bend, Indiana
Water Quality in South Bend, Indiana
Watershed: Pinhook Lake – Saint Joseph River
What is the water quality like in South Bend, IN?
Let’s dive deeper into what’s in South Bend water.
What’s in South Bend water?
Here are the top 6 chemical compounds in your water and what health issues they can potentially cause:
- Arsenic – Potential effect: Cancer
- Bromodichloromethane – Potential effect: Cancer
- Haloacetic acids – Potential effect: Cancer
- Hexavalent Chromium – Potential effect: Cancer
- Radium – Potential effect: Cancer
- Total trihalomethanes – Potential effect: Cancer
These are six of the 26 contaminants analyzed by the Environmental Working Group (ewg.org).
8 of these 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 South Bend’s water come from?
South Bend’s water comes from the Pinhook Lake – Saint Joseph River watershed.
All 16 EPA assessed water sources in the Pinhook Lake – Saint Joseph River watershed are in Impaired or Unknown condition. These include:
- Bowman Creek – 3 segments
- Catfish Lake
- Pinhook Lake
- St. Joseph River – 9 segments
- Saint Josephs Lake
- Saint Marys Lake
Ideally, a water source would be rated 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 South Bend’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 21 of the 26 contaminants in your drinking water.
- Berkey filters can also remove up to 99.99% of Lead in South Bend water.
- Brita can filter 13 contaminants (and Lead depending on the filter).
- Note: We may receive a commission if you decide to purchase filters through links on this page.
- To filter out 23 of the 26 contaminants, consider a Reverse Osmosis water filtration system for your house.
- These are more expensive than pitchers to purchase, but can be more effective.
- They have the benefit of filtering out heavy hitters like:
- 1,4-Dioxane – “Exposure may cause damage to the central nervous system, liver and kidneys.”
- Arsenic – health risks
- Barium – health risks in water
- Bromodichloromethane – health risks in drinking water
- Carbon tetrachloride – toxic to the liver
- Chloroform – side effects
- Chromium (total)
- Haloacetic acids – chlorination byproduct*
- Hexavalent chromium – health effects
- Tetrachloroethylene (perchloroethylene) – often called “dry-cleaning fluid.” Health and safety
- 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://southbendin.gov/ to find contact information for your local officials.