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Columbia, Maryland Water Quality Report

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Sources Of Drinking Water in Columbia, Maryland

Where does Columbia's water come from? If you live in the North Laurel area, east of Interstate 95 and south of Patuxent Range Road, your water comes from the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission ( WSSC ) in Laurel. If you live anywhere else in Howard County and are connected to public water, your water comes from Baltimore City.  Baltimore uses surface water from rainfall and snowmelt as the source of its water. The City of Baltimore water supply system consists of three major sources: the Gunpowder Falls, North Branch Patapsco River and the Susquehanna River. Three reservoirs outside the city limits collect and store water. Liberty Reservoir is located on the North Branch of the Patapsco River on the boundary between Baltimore and Carroll Counties. It collects water from a 163.4 square mile drainage area that includes eastern Carroll County and southwestern Baltimore County.   

Is Columbia's water safe to drink?

Source: City of Columbia, MD

Contaminants Found in Columbia's Water Supply

(Detected above health guidelines)

Chromium (Hexavalent)

Chromium (hexavalent) is a carcinogen that commonly contaminates American drinking water. Chromium (hexavalent) in drinking water may be due to industrial pollution or natural occurrences in mineral deposits and groundwater.

Hormones

This utility detected 4-Androstene-3,17-dione & Testosterone. Hormones in drinking water come from human and animal wastewater discharged into drinking water sources. Conventional drinking water treatment does not remove hormones.

Potential Health Effects of Consuming These Contaminants

Health risks of Chromium (Hexavalent) in excess of health guideline

Cancer: The health guideline of 0.02 ppb for chromium (hexavalent) was defined by the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment as a public health goal, the level of a drinking water contaminant that does not pose a significant health risk. This health guideline protects against cancer.

Health risks of Hormones in excess of health guideline

Endocrine Disruption: This utility detected Ethinyl estradiol. Hormones in drinking water come from human and animal wastewater discharged into drinking water sources. Conventional drinking water treatment does not remove hormones.

Contaminant Levels in Columbia, MD Compared to Other Regions

Chromium (Hexavalent)

 - Health Guideline: 0.02 ppb

 - Columbia, MD: 0.0263 ppb

 - State: 0.198 ppb

 - National: 0.782 ppb

Hormones

No drinking water standards exist for these contaminants which cannot be good (Yikes). This utility detected 4-Androstene-3,17-dione & Testosterone.

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April Jones

A Colorado based hiker, blogger, and water quality expert...

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