Water Quality in Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Watershed: Two Mile Creek
What is the water quality like in Tuscaloosa, AL?
Let’s dive deeper into what’s in Tuscaloosa water.
What’s in Tuscaloosa water?
Here are the top 7 chemical compounds in your water and what health issues they can potentially cause:
- Bromodichloromethane – Potential effect: Cancer
- Chlorate** – Potential effect: Harm to the thyroid
- Chlorite – Potential effect: Change in blood chemistry
- Chloroform – Potential effect: Cancer
- Haloacetic acids – Potential effect: Cancer
- Radium – Potential effect: Cancer
- Total trihalomethanes – Potential effect: Cancer
These are seven of the 16 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.
**Chlorate cannot be filtered out of the water at the household level. This may pose increased risks to people with existing thyroid conditions and sensitivities.
Where does Tuscaloosa’s water come from?
Tuscaloosa’s water comes from the Two Mile Creek watershed.
1 of the 6 EPA assessed water sources in the Two Mile Creek watershed is in Impaired condition. This is Hurricane Creek.
Ideally, a water source would be rated in Good condition. The remaining water sources in Good condition include:
- Black Warrior River – three segments
- North River
- Yellow Creek
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 Tuscaloosa’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 11 of the 16 contaminants in your drinking water.
- To filter out 14 of the 16 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:
- Androstenedione – steroid hormone effects
- Bromodichloromethane – health risks in drinking water
- Chloroform – side effects
- Dichloroacetic acid
- Haloacetic acids – chlorination byproduct*
- Hexavalent chromium – health effects
- 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.tuscaloosa.com/government to find contact information for your local officials.