West Allis, Wisconsin
What is the Water Quality in West Allis, Wisconsin?
Compared to other US cities, West Allis water quality ranks in the high range for contamination excluding Lead.
Most of their 32 contaminants have cancer-causing attributes.
- Arsenic is at high levels: 22x health guidelines.
- Radium is at high levels: 26x health guidelines.
*West Allis purchases or receives some or all of its “finished” water from Milwaukee Waterworks.
Let’s look closer at what’s in West Allis water.
What’s in West Allis water?
Here are the top 5 chemical compounds in your water and what health issues they can potentially cause:
- Arsenic – Potential effect: Cancer
- Chloroform – Potential effect: Cancer
- Hexavalent Chromium – Potential effect: Cancer
- Haloacetic acids (HAA5) – Potential effect: Cancer
- Radium – Potential effect: Cancer
These are five of the 32 contaminants analyzed by the Environmental Working Group (ewg.org).
15 of these contaminants are rated as exceeding EWG Health Guidelines.
Does West Allis have Lead contamination?
Yes, West Allis has lead in its water. The most recent Lead samples collected in 2017 showed concentrations up to 5.1 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 West Allis’s water come from?
West Allis’s water comes from the Menomonee River watershed.
16 of the 17 assessed water sources in the Menomonee River watershed are in Impaired or Unknown condition. These include:
- Honey Creek
- Jacobus Park Pond
- McCarty Park Pond
- Menomonee River – Multiple sections
- Mitchell Park Pond
- Various unnamed waterbodies
Ideally, a water source would be rated in Good condition. Wood Creek 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 West Allis’s water.
Conclusion – What Can You Do?
Information about water quality in West Allis 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 84% of contaminants in your drinking water.
- To filter out 29 of the 32 contaminants, consider a Reverse Osmosis Pentair water filtration system for your house.
- These are more expensive than pitchers to purchase, but are more effective.
- They have the benefit of filtering out heavy hitters like:
- Aldicarb sulfoxide – insecticide
- Atrazine – herbicide. Can lead to reproductive effects in humans.
- Chromium (total)
- Haloacetic acids (HAA5 and HAA9)
- Hexavalent chromium
- 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.westalliswi.gov/ to find contact information for your local officials.