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South Bend, Indiana Water Quality Report

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Sources Of Drinking Water in South Bend, Indiana

Where does South Bend get its water from? The South Bend Water Works utilizes ground water from the Saint Joseph Aquifer, the Saint Joseph Tributary Valley System and the Hilltop Aquifer as its drinking water source. There are nine well fields available for use containing wells ranging from 106 to 237 feet below the ground surface. There is a treatment plant at each well field. Some of the treatment plants filter out naturally–occurring iron and manganese. 

Two of the plants have granular activated carbon to remove any volatile organic compounds the water may contain. All treatment plants add fluoride for dental health and chlorine for disinfection. Water Works closely monitors and manages its water quality, and goes above the level of testing required by regulations. Does South Bend add fluoride to their water? Is South Bend's water safe to drink?

Source: City of South Bend, IN

Contaminants Found in South Bend'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.

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 Uranium.

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. 

Potential Health Effects of Consuming These Contaminants

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 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 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 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.

Contaminant Levels in South Bend, IN Compared to Other Regions

Chromium (hexavalent)

 - Health Guideline: 0.02 ppb

 - South Bend, IN: 0.113 ppb

 - National: 0.782 ppb

Nitrate

 - Health Guideline: 0.14 ppb

 - National: 1.01 ppb

 - South Bend, IN: 1.82 ppb

Radiological contaminants  

No information available about this contaminant but it cannot be good. This utility detected 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.

Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs)

 - Health Guideline: 0.8 ppb

 - National: 23.4 ppb

 - South Bend, IN: 10.6 ppb

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April Jones

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

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