Water Quality Report

Where Water Comes From

The sources of drinking water (both tap and bottled water) include:

  • Lakes
  • Ponds
  • Reservoirs
  • Rivers
  • Springs
  • Streams
  • 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

Contaminants that may be present in source water include:

  • 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.
  • Microbial contaminants, such as viruses and bacteria, which may come from sewage treatment plants, septic systems, agricultural operations, and wildlife.
  • 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.
  • Pesticides and herbicides, which may come from a variety of sources, such as agriculture, urban stormwater runoff, and residential uses.
  • Radioactive contaminants, which can be naturally occurring or be the result of oil and gas production and mining activities.

Contaminant Regulation

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.

Summary of Water Quality Results

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Monitoring Data for Unregulated Contaminants

Monitoring was conducted in 2015 under the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule 3 (UCMR3). The compounds detected under UCMR3 are noted on the report.

Unregulated contaminants are those for which the EPA has not established drinking water standards. The purpose of unregulated contaminant monitoring is to assist the EPA in determining the occurrence of unregulated contaminants in drinking water and whether regulation is warranted. 

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, please visit for East Chicago Drinking Water FAQs for more information. 

Definition of Terms

This report is based upon tests conducted in the years 2003 to 2015 by the East Chicago Water Department. Terms used in the Water Quality Table and in other parts of this report are defined below:

  • Action Level (AL): The concentration of a contaminant which, if exceeded, triggers treatment or other requirements that a water system must follow.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Treatment Technique (TT): A required process intended to reduce the level of a contaminant in drinking water.

The data presented in this report is from the most recent testing done in accordance with regulations.

Health Information

Especially Vulnerable Persons

Some people may be more vulnerable to contaminants in drinking water than the general population. Immunocompromised persons can be particularly at risk from infections - these people include:

  • Elderly persons
  • Infants
  • People with HIV/AIDS or other immune systems disorders
  • Persons who have undergone organ transplants
  • Persons with cancer undergoing chemotherapy

These people should seek advice about drinking water from their health care providers. EPA and 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)

Cryptosporidium Analysis

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 Water Filtration Plant at 219-391-8487.