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Wichita, Kansas Water Quality Report

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Sources Of Drinking Water in Wichita, Kansas

The City of Wichita gets its water from a few major sources, utilizing surface water from Cheney Reservoir and groundwater from the Equus Beds wellfield near Halstead, as well as a few local wells, Don Henry, Wichita's Assistant Director of Public Works & Utilities says. By drawing water from two sources, Wichita’s Public Works and Utilities department is able to utilize resources in most efficient way, to conserve water for droughts, and to maximize efficiencies.

Before it can be sent to our taps, our water must go through a lime-softening process. That means that, once the source water is blended, lime and polymer are added to soften and settle out solids. After this, the settled water is filtered, and filtered water is disinfected with chloramines, which have known side effects.

Source: City of Wichita, KS

Contaminants Found in Wichita'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.

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.

Dichloroacetic acid

Dichloroacetic acid, one of the group of five haloacetic acids regulated by federal standards, is formed when chlorine or other disinfectants are used to treat drinking water. Haloacetic acids and other disinfection byproducts increase the risk of cancer and may cause problems during pregnancy.

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.

Trichloroacetic acid

Trichloroacetic acid, one of the group of five haloacetic acids regulated by federal standards, is formed when chlorine or other disinfectants are used to treat drinking water. Haloacetic acids and other disinfection byproducts increase the risk of cancer and may cause problems during pregnancy. 

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 in excess of health guideline 

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 bromodichloromethane in excess of health guideline

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 bromoform in excess of health guideline

Cancer: The health guideline of 0.5 ppb for bromoform was proposed in 2018 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 in excess of health guideline

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) 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 dichloroacetic acid in excess of health guideline

Cancer: The health guideline of 0.7 ppb for dichloroacetic acid was defined by the Environmental Protection Agency 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 trihalomethanes in excess of health guideline

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 trichloroacetic acid in excess of health guideline

Cancer: The health guideline of 0.5 ppb for trichloroacetic acid was defined by the Environmental Protection Agency 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 radiological contaminants in excess of health guidelines

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

Health risks of dibromochloromethane  in excess of health guidelines

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

Contaminant Levels in Wichita, Kansas Compared to Other Regions

Arsenic

 - Health Guideline: 0.004 ppb

 - State: 2.51 ppb

 - Wichita, KS: 1.20 ppb

 - National: 1.30 ppb

Bromodichloromethane

- Health Guideline: 0.06 ppb

 - State: 8.47 ppb

 - Wichita, KS: 8.56 ppb

 - National: 4.38 ppb

Bromoform

- Health Guideline: 0.5 ppb

 - State: 3.23 ppb

 -  Wichita, KS: 3.10 ppb

 - National: 1.77 ppb

Chloroform

 - Health Guideline: 1.0 ppb

 - State: 18.1 ppb

 - National: 11.4 ppb

 - Wichita, KS: 6.89 ppb

Chromium (hexavalent)

 - Health Guideline: 0.02 ppb

 - Wichita, KS: 0.0462 ppb

 - State: 0.0462 ppb

 - National: 0.782 ppb

Dibromochloromethane

 - Health Guideline: 0.1 ppb

 - State: 5.78 ppb

 - National: 3.01 ppb

 - Wichita, KS: 10.6 ppb

Dichloroacetic acid

 - Health Guideline: 0.7 ppb

 - State: 9.70 ppb

 - National: 6.00 ppb

 - Wichita, KS: 5.04 ppb

Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs)

 - Health Guideline: 0.8 ppb

 - State: 35.5 ppb

 - National: 23.4 ppb

 - Wichita, KS: 29.0 ppb

Trichloroacetic acid

 - Health Guideline: 0.5 ppb

 - State: 6.43 ppb

 - National: 4.93 ppb

 - Wichita, KS: 1.58 ppb

Fluoride

- Legal Limit: 4 ppb

 - State: 0.371 ppb

 - National: 0.440 ppb

 - Wichita, KS: 0.300 ppb

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April Jones

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

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