Water Quality in Topeka, Kansas
Watershed: Ward Creek – Kansas River
What is the water quality like in Topeka, KS?
Let’s dive deeper into what’s in Topeka water.
What’s in Topeka water?
Here are the top 5 chemical compounds in your water and what health issues they can potentially cause:
- Atrazine – Potential effect: Harm to the developing fetus
- Desethylatrazine – Potential effect: Harm to the developing fetus
- Haloacetic acids – Potential effect: Cancer
- Hexavalent Chromium – Potential effect: Cancer
- Total trihalomethanes – Potential effect: Cancer
These are five of the 21 contaminants analyzed by the Environmental Working Group (ewg.org).
7 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 Topeka’s water come from?
Topeka’s water comes from the Ward Creek – Kansas River watershed.
3 of the 4 EPA assessed water sources in the Ward Creek – Kansas River watershed are in Impaired condition. These include:
- Gage Park Lake
- Kansas River
- Mission Creek
Ideally, a water source would be rated in Good condition. Cedar Crest 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 Topeka’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 15 of the 21 contaminants in your drinking water.
- To filter out 17 of the 21 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:
- Acetochlor – herbicide developed by Monsanto. Can cause nasal tumors. Also a thyroid disruptor. See: Acetochlor Safety
- Atrazine – herbicide
- Chromium (total)
- Haloacetic acids – chlorination byproduct*
- Hexavalent chromium – health effects
- Metolachlor – herbicide
- Metribuzin – herbicide
- 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.topeka.org/ to find contact information for your local officials.