Indiana is home to vast regions of industrial zoning, leading to some major problems with the quality of their drinking water. Antiquated facilities and sewage overflows add to a less than desirable water situation across the state.
Like most regions, Indiana garners its water from a multitude of source types. Lakes, rivers, and underground aquifers all play a part in keeping residents hydrated, clean, and happy.
With so many different negative influences on the quality of water in Indiana, water treatments facilities aggressively attempt to mitigate these toxins and polluters. This can lead to some unpleasant side effects for residents down the line.
In order to make heavily polluted water safe to drink and use, chemicals are often added during the treatment process. While this does accomplish the goal of producing safe drinking water, it can lead to unpleasant impacts like a strong odor or even foul-tasting water.
Common Water Problems by City
Water supplies across Indiana suffer from a variety of pollutants. However, each region sees its own unique challenges and the treatment can lead to different issues for Indiana residents.
St. Joseph River
To put it nicely, Indianapolis is not known for its water quality. Their main concern is the source: the White River. This river sees many challenges throughout the year that can lead to poor overall water quality.
Opinions on rainy days differ depending on who you ask but precipitation creates special concerns for Indianapolis residents. Even small, quick storms can produce enough water to cause raw sewage storage facilities to overflow directly into the White River.
Industrial zones are also rampant along and near the riverbank with toxins leaching into the soil and seeping into the river regularly. Mercury is one heavy metal contaminant frequently found in the White River.
In order to rectify all this pollution, Indianapolis aggressively treats its water supply. This can lead to a chemical smell or taste.
Fort Wayne, Indiana sources its water from the St. Joseph River that flows directly into the area. Water is pulled from the river into the Three Rivers Water Filtration Plant for treatment prior to its dispersal to the 75,000 citizens calling the area home.
The St. Joseph River and its watershed travel long distances before reaching Fort Wayne. Many dissolved minerals enter the supply, creating hard water.
Hard water can lead to some physical symptoms after bathing like dry skin or an itchy scalp. It can also cause problems via a buildup of limescale. Limescale can make appliances less efficient and even lead to plumbing backups if left untreated.
The Ohio River represents the sole source of water for Evansville, Indiana. Water is pulled from the river, treated with a variety of processes, and stored in wells for use as needed.
This river is almost 1,000 miles long and begins in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The town known as the Steel City is an industrial region, to say the least, and the Ohio River faces a dubious start in an area rampant with potential toxins.
From its start, the river and Evansville water supply runs through many miles of agricultural regions, leading to vulnerability to organic and non-organic pollutants entering the supply.
Evansville treats its water fairly aggressively to remove all these negative influences, which can lead to a chemical taste or smell in the water supply. With such a distance covered, water coming from the Ohio River is laden with dissolved minerals making even treated water hard.
This hard water can lead to limescale which causes buildups in appliances and plumbing, reducing efficiency. Additionally, stains on fixtures and dry skin are common results of using hard water in the home.