Naperville, IL

Here’s What You Need to Know About the Drinking Water in Naperville, IL

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) recently released an assessment that revealed Naperville, IL, has many contaminants in its drinking water. The known contaminants include:

  • Chromium
  • Total Trihalomethanes (TTHMs)
  • Haloacetic Acids

The EPA also tests Naperville’s water regularly. However, they often do not set a legal limit for acceptable levels of contamination. So, instead, we suggest adhering to the limits set by the EWG. Their standards are more restrictive but result in cleaner and healthier water!

And if you do live in Naperville, there is a way to get cleaner and healthier water! Let’s see what contaminants are in the drinking water in Naperville, IL, and how Angel Water can help make it cleaner!

A chart showing the levels of contamination approved by the EPA as well as the levels approved by the EWG.

Chromium

Chromium is an odorless and tasteless metallic element that can occur naturally in the environment. It can be found in things like rocks, plants and soil. However, industrial pollution also contributes to high levels of chromium in drinking water.

The two most common forms of chromium are trivalent chromium (chromium-3) and hexavalent chromium (chromium-6). The drinking water in Naperville, IL, tested positive for the later type.

Chromium-6 is a toxic form of the mineral. High enough levels of chromium-6 have been known to:

  • Increase the risk of stomach cancer
  • Damage the liver and reproductive systems
  • Lower the bodyweight
  • Delay skeletal development

The EPA currently does not have a legal limit placed on how much chromium-6 can be in drinking water. The EWG, on the other hand, sets the maximum limit at 0.02 ppb (parts-per-billion) or less. Naperville’s water recently tested at 0.208 ppb, which is 10x above the EWG health guideline. 

Total Trihalomethanes

Total Trihalomethanes (TTHMs) form when chlorine and other disinfectants are used to treat drinking water. They are a group of four chemicals, also called disinfectant byproducts. These chemicals include:

  • Bromodichloromethane
  • Bromoform
  • Chloroform
  • Dibromochloromethane
  • Bromoform

Each of these chemicals can have harmful effects, including an increased risk of cancer and problems during pregnancy.

Currently, the EPA does not set a legal limit for the individual chemicals. Instead, it sets a limit for the total amount. That limit is 80 ppb. The EWG, on the other hand, sets a much lower limit of 0.15 ppb or less.

The most recent test results for the total trihalomethanes in Naperville showed that the level was at 34.6 ppb or 231x higher than the EWG health guideline.

Here are the test results for each of the individual chemicals:

  • Bromodichloromethane – 10 ppb (167x above the EWG health guideline)
  • Bromoform – Naperville did not test positive for bromoform.
  • Chloroform – 19.5 ppb (49x higher than the EWG health guideline)
  • Dibromochloromethane – 5.08 ppb (51x higher than the EWG health guideline)
An image of a chlorine testing kit being used.

Haloacetic Acids

Haloacetic acids also form when disinfectants such as chlorine are added to tap water. The phrase “haloacetic acids” refers to the group of five acids regulated by federal standards. They are:

  • Dibromoacetic Acid
  • Dichloroacetic Acid
  • Monobromoacetic Acid
  • Monochloroacetic Acid
  • Trichloroacetic Acid

Each of the acids listed increases the risk of cancer and are harmful during pregnancy. They are also genotoxic, which means they induce mutations and DNA damage when consumed in high enough levels.

Like the total trihalomethanes, the EPA tests these acids together and sets a standard limit of 60 ppb. The EWG, on the other hand, sets their health guideline at 0.1 ppb. 

Naperville tested for all of the acids, combined, at 14.4 ppb, or 144x higher than the EWG health guideline.

Here are the levels of the individual acids that were tested in Naperville:

  • Dibromoacetic Acid – 0.619 ppb (15x higher than the EWG health guideline)
  • Dichloroacetic Acid – 6.90 ppb (35x higher than the EWG health guideline)
  • Monobromoacetic Acid – Naperville did not test positive for this acid.
  • Monochloroacetic Acid – 0.025 ppb (below the EWG health guideline)
  • Trichloroacetic Acid – 6.87 ppb (69x higher than the EWG health guideline)

Why You Need Annual Water Testing

While the EPA regulates and tests public water systems, that information is not always complete. For example, certain contaminants and toxins are only tested every other year instead of annually. Or, as we saw with total trihalomethanes and haloacetic acids, they are tested at combined levels, rather than individually.

Testing water is a must for well-owners since the EPA does not regulate those systems. But even if you are on a public water system, having an outside resource test your water can be beneficial.

Not only will you learn which contaminants are in your water, but you can also track significant changes over time. This will help keep you informed so that you take steps to make your water cleaner and healthier!

An image of a woman drinking a glass of cleaner and healthier water.

How to Make Sure Your Water is Cleaner and Healthier

As we just saw, there are many different contaminants in the drinking water in Naperville, IL. With many of them above EWG health guidelines, you want to know that your water is safe to drink.

One of the best ways to ensure that your water is cleaner and healthier is by using an NSF-certified water filter!

We Want Naperville to Have Cleaner and Healthier Water

These contaminants don’t have to be in your drinking water. In fact, here at Angel Water, we’re working tirelessly to provide everyone cleaner and healthier water. Do you want to know more about your drinking water? Try Water Wizard, our free online water assessment quiz!

And if you want to see how we can improve your water, stop on by, or give us a call at (847) 382-7800!

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