Water in Arlington Heights, IL

Arlington Heights Water Needs Improvement

Learn How to Get Healthier Water for Your Home and Family

Is Arlington Heights water safe to drink? Recent tests have shown it contains many harmful contaminants. And while none of these pollutants exceed federal limits, any amount of contamination is a threat to human health.

You shouldn’t have to wonder if potentially dangerous water is coming from your tap. Instead, keep reading to learn:

  • Where Arlington Heights water comes from
  • Which pollutants recent tests have found in the drinking water
  • Steps you can take to protect your health
  • How Angel Water can help you get cleaner water
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Where Does Arlington Heights Water Come From?

Up until 1985, Arlington Heights, IL received its water from private wells. The village then switched to obtaining its water from Lake Michigan via a treatment plant in Evanston, IL. However, it still maintains six wells in case of an emergency.

According to the Arlington Heights Department of Public Works, the city currently has over 200 miles of water main, 70 miles of which are more than 60 years old. As this infrastructure ages, the threat of contamination due to water main breaks is a major point of concern.

Furthermore, while the water receives treatment from the plant in Evanston, this cannot guarantee it will be completely contaminant-free. The reason for this is the plant only treats the water with chlorine instead of giving it the full filtration it needs. So, many pollutants still wind up in the Arlington Heights water supply. On top of this, the chlorination used to treat the water can also lead to pollution from harmful byproducts.

Does Arlington Heights Have Hard Water?

Beyond contamination, another major problem in Northern Illinois is hard water. The region has some of the hardest water in the country, and Arlington Heights is no exception.

Arlington Heights drinking water has an average hardness of 134 mg/L, which translates to 7.9 grains per gallon. This amount is considered moderately hard and enough to cause many frustrating and uncomfortable problems, including:

These are just a few of the many issues hard water can cause for homeowners. Fortunately, as we will see below, there are ways to get rid of these problems.

What’s in the Drinking Water in Arlington Heights?

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regularly tests Arlington Heights water, and the results from recent years show the presence of many contaminants.

None of these contaminants exceed the legal limits set for them. However, the EPA has also not changed these limits in over 20 years, making them overdue for an update.

Fortunately, other organizations like the Environmental Working Group (EWG) have worked hard to pick up the EPA’s slack. The EWG raises awareness of how harmful these contaminants can be by setting much stricter guidelines than the EPA. It also makes it a point to highlight all pollutants detected in Arlington Heights water because any amount of contamination is dangerous.

The chart below features the contaminants detected in Arlington Heights between 2014-2019 that exceed EWG’s health guidelines.

Contaminant Total EWG Recommended
Chromium (Hexavalent) 0.186 ppb 0.02 ppb
Haloacetic Acids (HAA9) 21.2 ppb 0.06 ppb
Total Trihalomethanes (TTHMs) 32.9 ppb 0.15 ppb

Let’s take a closer look at these three pollutants and the problems they can cause.

Chromium (Hexavalent)

Hexavalent chromium, also known as chromium-6, is a carcinogen that forms as a result of industrial pollution. The name may sound familiar because it was also the contaminant featured in the film Erin Brockovich. Plus, it is one of the more common pollutants in Chicagoland and throughout the country.

Many diseases have been associated with consuming too much chromium-6, including cancer, respiratory disease, dermatitis and problems with the heart and lungs.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like hexavalent chromium will be leaving Arlington Heights water anytime soon as industrial pollution continues to be a major problem in Chicagoland.

Haloacetic Acids

The haloacetic acids is a group of nine disinfectant byproducts formed from treating water with chlorine and chloramine. The Evanston water treatment plant that supplies water in Arlington Heights uses chlorine for water treatment. So, these acids can come as an unintended consequence of the treatment process.

Along with reporting a combined total for all haloacetic acids in its report, the EWG also reports individual totals for each acid. Three of the nine tested higher than the EWG recommended guideline. These include:

  • Dibromoacetic Acid
  • Dichloroacetic Acid
  • Trichloroacetic Acid

The EWG also detected significant amounts of monobromoacetic acid and monochloroacetic acid in Arlington Heights water.

This group of acids has been linked to a number of health problems, including cancer, problems during pregnancy and developmental issues.

Total Trihalomethanes (TTHMs)

Like the haloacetic acids, this group of chemicals can also form during the water disinfection process. The group includes four dangerous chemicals:

  • Bromodichloromethane
  • Bromoform
  • Chloroform
  • Dibromochloromethane

According to the EWG, all the above chemicals except for bromoform exceed health guidelines in Arlington Heights. However, the tests also detected a significant amount of bromoform in the water.

TTHMs have been linked to many different types of cancer, including bladder, liver and kidney cancer.

Other Contaminants Detected

Beyond those listed above, the EWG also lists seven more impurities commonly found in Arlington Heights water. They are:

  • Chlorate
  • Chromium
  • Germanium
  • Manganese
  • Molybdenum
  • Strontium
  • Vanadium

Although none of these exceed limits set by the EPA or EWG, they are still toxins to be aware of. Many of them have been linked to illnesses and various types of cancer. To learn more about each, please visit the EWG’s Arlington Heights page.

How Can Arlington Heights Residents Protect Their Health?

No one-size-fits-all solution will fix the village of Arlington Heights’ water. The right method will vary from neighborhood to neighborhood and house to house.

Your best path forward is to first identify the root causes of your water problems. Once you do that, you can find the best water treatment system for your situation.

Here’s how to do this:

Step 1: Identify the Problems with a Water Test

The only way to know for sure what’s in your water is to have it tested. An EPA-certified water test will reveal which contaminants you’re dealing with and how hard your water is.

Plus, if you get your water tested at a licensed company like Angel Water, an expert can help you understand the results and the best next steps to take.

 

Step 2: Consider an NSF/ANSI 58 Certified Reverse Osmosis System to Remove Contaminants

The right water filter for your situation will depend on what pollutants a water test reveals. So, we can’t tell you exactly what system to purchase until you have your water tested.

However, we can tell you the most likely solution to your problems is a reverse osmosis (RO) system. RO systems can remove:

  • Chromium (Hexavalent)
  • Chromium (Total)
  • Germanium
  • Molybdenum
  • Haloacetic Acids
  • Strontium
  • Total Trihalomethanes
  • And More!

An RO system works by filtering water through a semipermeable membrane. The membrane is extremely effective at removing contaminants from the water. In fact, the best RO systems are too effective because they also remove minerals that are good for your health like calcium and magnesium. Fortunately, these systems also add in those healthy minerals before sending the water to your tap.

The best RO systems are NSF/ANSI 58 certified. This means they’ve gone through a strict inspection process to ensure that they’ll do what they say they’ll do.

Step 3: Consider an NSF/ANSI 44 Certified Water Softener to Eliminate Hard Water

If the test reveals you have hard water, your best solution will be a salt-based water softener. A salt-based system uses ion exchange to remove hard water particles before sending water into your home. While this does require salt replacement, it’s still better than a salt-free system. This is because salt-free systems don’t soften water. They only condition it so that it doesn’t form scale inside plumbing fixtures.

The best salt-based water softeners on the market are EcoWater brand softeners. These systems come NSF/ASNI 44 certified to soften the water and remove harmful contaminants like radium 226/228. They can also connect

Step 4: Get Your Systems Professionally Installed and Maintained

The best way to ensure your systems will do what they say they’ll do is to get them installed by a licensed professional. Most manufacturers also require at least annual maintenance to keep their warranties and ensure their systems work properly. So, be sure you get your system professionally installed and maintained for long-lasting benefits.


We’re Here to Help Arlington Heights Residents

We hope this post has helped you understand the water problems in Arlington Heights. Moreover, we want you to know that you don’t have to settle for unhealthy water! Instead, you have the power to get your water tested and invest in the solutions that will protect your family’s health!

We at Angel Water have been empowering Arlington Heights families to do this for over 50 years! Our licensed professionals would be happy to test your water for you and help you find the right water softener or reverse osmosis system for your situation. We also offer installation and maintenance services to keep your systems running well.

Tell Us How We Can Help!

Please call us today at 847-382-7800

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