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The city of Algonquin, IL, supplies groundwater to over 33,000 residents. Alarmingly, data collected by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) indicate the drinking water in Algonquin contains several contaminants that exceed their health guidelines.
What does this mean for Algonquin homeowners, and how can they protect their health? Read on to learn about these harmful pollutants and the water filtration options available in Algonquin.
Chlorate is an anion that often forms in water because of disinfectant use. It can also enter the water through contamination from pesticide overflow or papermill waste.
Consuming too much chlorate can lead to inflammation of the thyroid. It is especially harmful to children because it can cause problems with their nervous system or anemia. Chlorate can also cause problems during pregnancy and congenital disabilities.
A 2017 study by the EWG showed that the amount of chlorate in drinking water in Algonquin was 459.4 ppb. While there is no official legal limit for chlorate in water, this total was 2.2x higher than the EWG-recommended limit of 210 ppb.
The haloacetic acids are five acids that typically form when municipalities use common disinfectants to treat their water. All five of the acids come with serious health risks when consumed at too high a frequency. These risks include cancer, complications during pregnancy and harmful mutations.
While the government sets a standard limit of 60 ppb for total haloacetic acids in drinking water, the EWG thinks this limit is far too high. Instead, to best protect people from the acids’ harmful effects, the EWG sets a limit of 0.1 ppb. Unfortunately, the drinking water in Algonquin tested at 21.8 ppb, which is 218x higher than the recommended limit.
Here is a detailed breakdown for each of the five haloacetic acids:
Nitrate and nitrite are essential nutrients for plants and animals. They are frequently used in fertilizers to help plants grow. However, runoff from these fertilizers can sometimes contaminate the groundwater.
High levels of nitrite and nitrate in drinking water can lead to many health issues, including low blood pressure, high heart rate, headaches and vomiting.
The EPA-endorsed limit for nitrate and nitrite is 10 ppm. However, the EWG sets their recommendation far lower at 0.14 ppm. In 2017, Algonquin tested at 0.793 ppm, or 5.7x higher than the EWG guideline.
Radium-226 and -228 are both naturally occurring radioactive isotopes. However, human activities, like gas and oil extraction, can also cause radium contamination.
Health problems associated with radium-226 and -228 consumption include cancer, kidney disease and congenital disabilities.
Algonquin’s water tested at 1.55 pCi/L in 2017. And while that total is under the legal limit for radium of 5 pCi/L, the EWG considers it unsafe. Their limit is much stricter at 0.05 pCi/L.
The total trihalomethanes are a group of four harmful chemicals that frequently find their way into drinking water. Like the haloacetic acids, trihalomethanes also form as byproducts of the water disinfection process.
The main health hazard associated with these chemicals is cancer. However, some studies have also shown it to cause various problems during pregnancy, such as heart issues and neural tube damage.
The EPA sets the legal limit on TTHMs at 80 ppb. But once again, the EWG is much stricter, placing their limit at 0.15 ppb. Sadly, the drinking water in Algonquin recently tested at 41.1 ppb, or 274x the EWG limit.
Here is a breakdown for all four of the TTHMs:
At Angel Water, we want to help you get healthier water for your home and family. We provide EPA-certified water testing and a wide variety of water filters from trusted brands like EcoWater. Our licensed experts would be happy to understand your water test results and guide you to the right filter for your situation.
One of the top models we offer is the Zero Water Filter. This portable and practical countertop filter is an affordable option that eliminates a wide variety of contaminants.
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