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Marion County, Indiana Water Quality Report

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Sources Of Drinking Water in Marion County, Indiana

Where does Marion County get its water from? Marion County's water supply comes from several sources, utilizing both surface water and groundwater. Surface water comes from rivers, creeks, streams and reservoirs. Groundwater comes from below the surface. It originates from rain, snow, sleet and hail that has seeped into the ground. This water collects in pockets underground between sand, gravel or pores.  Indianapolis has four surface water treatment plants: White River, White River North, Fall Creek and T.W. Moses.

Three reservoirs assure a dependable water supply to these treatment plants:

  • Morse Reservoir, near Noblesville, stores water to assure a dependable water supply for White River. Subsequently, it assures proper water supply to the White River and White River North Treatment Plants.
  • Geist Reservoir, in the northeastern portion of Marion County, stores water to assure a dependable water supply for Fall Creek and proper water supply for the Fall Creek Treatment Plant.
  • Eagle Creek Reservoir supplies surface water to the T.W. Moses Treatment Plant.

A number of wells are available to supplement the supplies to the White River, White River North and Fall Creek treatment plants. Indianapolis has four groundwater stations that serve smaller portions of our service area: Geist Station, Harding Station, South Wellfield and Ford Road. These groundwater stations treat water pumped from underground water sources called aquifers. Does Marion County add fluoride to their water? Yes, fluoride (A known neurotoxin) is also added to the water to prevent tooth decay. Is Marion County's water safe to drink?

Source: Marion County

Contaminants Found in Marion County's Water Supply

(Detected above health guidelines)

Arsenic

The health guideline of 0.0007 ppb for 1,2,3-trichloropropane 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.

Atrazine

Atrazine is a herbicide commonly detected in drinking water that comes from cornfield and other agricultural runoff. It is a hormone disrupter that harms the male and female reproductive systems of people and wildlife.

Bromodichloromethane

Bromodichloromethane, one of the total trihalomethanes (TTHMs), is formed when chlorine or other disinfectants are used to treat drinking water. Bromodichloromethane and other disinfection byproducts increase the risk of cancer and may cause problems during pregnancy.

Bromoform

Bromoform, one of the total trihalomethanes (TTHMs), is formed when chlorine or other disinfectants are used to treat drinking water. Bromoform and other disinfection byproducts increase the risk of cancer and may cause problems during pregnancy.

Chloroform

Chloroform, one of the total trihalomethanes (TTHMs), is formed when chlorine or other disinfectants are used to treat drinking water. Chloroform and other disinfection byproducts increase the risk of cancer and may cause problems during pregnancy.

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.

Dibromochloromethane

Dibromochloromethane, one of the total trihalomethanes (TTHMs), is formed when chlorine or other disinfectants are used to treat drinking water.

Nitrate

Nitrate, a fertilizer chemical, frequently contaminates drinking water due to agricultural and urban runoff, and discharges from municipal wastewater treatment plants and septic tanks. 

Radiological contaminants  

Radiological contaminants leach into water from certain minerals and from mining. This utility detected Radium, combined (-226 & -228).

Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs)

Trihalomethanes are cancer-causing contaminants that form during water treatment with chlorine and other disinfectants. The total trihalomethanes group includes four chemicals: chloroform, bromodichloromethane, dibromochloromethane and bromoform.

Fluoride

Fluoride occurs naturally in surface and groundwater and is also added to drinking water by many water systems. The fluoride that is added to water is not the naturally occurring kind, the main chemicals used to fluoridate drinking water are known as “silicofluorides” (i.e., hydrofluorosilicic acid and sodium fluorosilicate). Silicofluorides are not pharmaceutical-grade fluoride products; they are unprocessed industrial by-products of the phosphate fertilizer industry (Gross!). Since these silicofluorides undergo no purification procedures, they can contain elevated levels of arsenic — moreso than any other water treatment chemical. In addition, recent research suggests that the addition of silicofluorides to water is a risk factor for elevated lead exposure, particularly among residents who live in homes with old pipes.

Potential Health Effects of Consuming These Contaminants

Health risks of arsenic above health recommendations

Cancer: The health guideline of 0.004 ppb for arsenic 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 atrazine above health recommendations

Cancer: The health guideline of 0.1 ppb for atrazine was defined by EWG based on epidemiological studies of human exposure to atrazine in drinking water.. This health guideline protects against harm to the developing fetus, harm to the reproductive system and hormone disruption.

Health risks of bromodichloromethane above health recommendations

Cancer: The health guideline of 0.4 ppb for bromodichloromethane was defined by the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment as a one-in-a-million lifetime risk of cancer. Values greater than one-in-a-million cancer risk level can result in increased cancer cases above one in a million people.

Health risks of chloroform above health recommendations 

Cancer: The health guideline of 1 ppb for chloroform was defined by the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment as a one-in-a-million lifetime risk of cancer. Values greater than one-in-a-million cancer risk level can result in increased cancer cases above one in a million people.

Health risks of chromium (hexavalent) above health recommendations

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 Dibromochloromethane above health recommendations

Cancer & Pregnancy: Dibromochloromethane, one of the total trihalomethanes (TTHMs), is formed when chlorine or other disinfectants are used to treat drinking water. Dibromochloromethane and other disinfection byproducts increase the risk of cancer and may cause problems during pregnancy

Health risks of Nitrate above health recommendations

Cancer:  The health guideline of 0.14 ppm for nitrate was defined in a peer-reviewed scientific study by EWG and corresponds to one-in-one-million annual cancer risk level.  Excessive nitrate in water can cause oxygen deprivation in infants and increase the risk of cancer.

Health risks of trihalomethanes above health recommendations 

Cancer: The health guideline of 0.8 ppb for trihalomethanes was defined by the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment as a draft public health goal, the level of drinking water contaminant that does not pose a significant health risk. This health guideline protects against cancer.

Health risks of radiological contaminants above health recommendations

Birth defects: Drinking water contamination with radioactive substances increases the risk of cancer and may harm fetal development.

Health risks of dibromochloromethane above health recommendations

Cancer & Birth Defects: Dibromochloromethane and other disinfection byproducts increase the risk of cancer and may cause problems during pregnancy.

Contaminant Levels in Marion County, IN Compared to Other Regions

Arsenic

 - Health Guideline: 0.004 ppb

 - Marion County, IN: 0.112 ppb

 - National: 1.30 ppb

Atrazine

 - Health Guideline: 0.1 ppb

 - Marion County, IN: 0.186 ppb

 - National: 0.0135 ppb

Bromodichloromethane

- Health Guideline: 0.06 ppb

 - Marion County, IN: 7.72 ppb

 - National: 4.38 ppb

Chloroform

 - Health Guideline: 1.0 ppb

 - National: 11.4 ppb

 - Marion County, IN: 19.0 ppb

Chromium (hexavalent)

 - Health Guideline: 0.02 ppb

 - Marion County, IN: 0.0800 ppb

 - National: 0.782 ppb

Dibromochloromethane 

 - Health Guideline: 0.1 ppb

 - National: 2.99 ppb

 - Marion County, IN: 2.43 ppb

Nitrate

 - Health Guideline: 0.14 ppb

 - National: 1.01 ppb

 - Marion County, IN: 0.890 ppb

Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs)

 - Health Guideline: 0.8 ppb

 - National: 23.4 ppb

 - Marion County, IN: 55.0 ppb

Radiological contaminants  

No information available about this contaminant but it cannot be good. This utility detected Radium, combined (-226 & -228) & Uranium. Radiological contaminants leach into water from certain minerals and from mining. Drinking water contamination with radioactive substances increases the risk of cancer and may harm fetal development.

Fluoride

 - Legal Limit: 4 ppb

 - National: 0.440 ppb

 - Marion County, IN: 0.817 ppb

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April Jones

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

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