East Chicago Water Department2014 Annual Water Quality Report

Where Does Water Come From?
The sources of drinking water (both tap and bottled water) include rivers, lakes, streams, ponds, reservoirs, springs, and wells. As water travels over the surface of the land or through the ground, it dissolves naturally occurring minerals and, in some cases, radioactive material, and can pick up substances resulting from the presence of animals or from human activity. Contaminants that may be present in source water include:

  • Microbial contaminants, such as viruses and bacteria, which may come from sewage treatment plants, septic systems, agricultural operations, and wildlife.
  • Inorganic contaminants, such as salts and metals, which can be naturally occurring or result from urban stormwater runoff, industrial or domestic wastewater discharges, oil and gas production, mining, or farming.
  • Pesticides and herbicides, which may come from a variety of sources, such as agriculture, urban stormwater runoff, and residential uses.
  • Organic chemical contaminants, including synthetic and volatile organic chemicals, which are by-products of industrial processes and petroleum production, and can also come from gas stations, urban stormwater runoff, and septic systems.
  • Radioactive contaminants, which can be naturally occurring or be the result of oil and gas production and mining activities.

What Else Should I Know?
In order to ensure that tap water is safe to drink, EPA prescribes regulations which limit the amount of certain contaminants in water provided by public water systems. FDA regulations establish limits for contaminants in bottled water which must provide the same protection for public health.
Drinking water, including bottled water, may reasonably be expected to contain at least small amounts of some contaminants. The presence of contaminants does not necessarily indicate that water poses a health risk. More information about contaminants and potential health effects can be obtained by calling the Environmental Protection Agency’s Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 800-426-4791

Concerning Lead In Our Water
Infants and young children are typically more vulnerable to lead in drinking water than the general population. It is possible that lead levels in your home may be higher than at other homes in your community as a result of materials used in your home’s plumbing. If you are concerned about elevated lead levels in your home’s water, flush your tap for 30 seconds to 2 minutes before using it. You may also wish to have your water tested. Additional information is available from the Safe Drinking Water Hotline (800-426-4791).

How to Read This Table
This report is based upon tests conducted in the years 2003 through 2013 by the East Chicago Water Department. Terms used in the Water Quality Table and in other parts of this report are defined here. The data presented in this report is from the most recent testing done in accordance with regulations.

Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL):
The highest level of a contaminant that is allowed in drinking water. MCLs are set as close to the MCLGs as feasible using the best available treatment technology.

Maximum Contaminant Level Goal (MCLG):
The level of a contaminant in drinking water below which there is no known or expected risk to health. MCLGs allow for a margin of safety.
Action Level (AL): The concentration of a contaminant which, if exceeded, triggers treatment or other requirements that a water system must follow.
Treatment Technique (TT): A required process intended to reduce the level of a contaminant in drinking water.

Important Health Information
Some people may be more vulnerable to contaminants in drinking water than the general population. Immunocompromised persons such as persons with cancer undergoing chemotherapy, persons who have undergone organ transplants, people with HIV/AIDS or other immune systems disorders, some elderly, and some infants can be particularly at risk from infections. These people should seek advice about drinking water from their health care providers. EPA/CDC guidelines on appropriate means to lessen the risk of infection by Cryptosporidium and other microbial contaminants are available from the Safe Drinking Water Hotline (800-426-4791)
Under a new federal rule, we collected 24 monthly samples for Cryptosporidium during 2007 and 2008 to determine whether additional treatment would be required. 23 of those samples showed no detection for Cryptosporidium, and 1 sample contained 1 oocyst. Based on the results of the sampling, we will not be required to provide additional Cryptosporidium treatment at this time. Additional sampling will be done again under this rule beginning in October 2015.

For more information, call the East Chicago Utilities Division at 219-391-8466 or the East Chicago Water Department at 219-391-8487.
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Brian J. Marciniak

400 E. Chicago Avenue
East Chicago, IN 46312
Phone: 219-391-8469
Fax: 219-391-8499

In case of an emergency, please call 219-391-8487, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.