Study: Dozens of SE Michigan communities have contaminants hidden in water

Dozens of SE Michigan zip codes have more than a dozen contaminants in water

A Local 4 analysis of data found dozens of zip code with more than a dozen contaminants found in the drinking water.

DETROIT – A recent independent study found several contaminants hidden in water across Metro Detroit.

Local 4 gained access a new study from the independent Environmental Working Group that examined drinking water and its contents throughout the Metro Detroit area. Our teams analyzed the data, and found dozens of zip codes that had more than a dozen contaminants in its water.

The chemicals found in the water we drink, cook with and bathe in are linked to serious health problems and diseases.

Related: Oakland, Wayne and Macomb counties form water infrastructure partnership

Some of the most contaminants were found in cities like Hazel Park, St. Clair Shores and Sterling Heights, where at least 20 potentially harmful chemicals were identified. In nearly every Metro Detroit zip code, the number of those same chemicals -- which were above what the group considers safe limits -- were between six and 12.

It wasn’t just about what was found in Metro Detroit waters, but also how much of it.

In the city of Detroit alone, trihalomethanes and haloacetic acids, which have been linked to cancer, were found at rates 198 and 335 times higher than the group’s acceptable level. Despite that: Those levels are still considered safe by the federal and state governments.

“That you meet the federal limit does not necessarily mean that your water is safe enough for drinking,” said Uloma Uche of the Environmental Working Group. “These legal limits were actually set based on outdated science.”

In response, the Great Lakes Water Authority -- which does much of the water treatment for the Metro Detroit area -- are saying, in part: “The Great Lakes Water Authority is committed to providing its member communities with water of exceptional quality and is proud to either meet or exceed all federal and state drinking water requirements.”

Click here to see how many contaminants have been found in your area.

Find the EWG’s water filter guide here for choosing the right water filter for your home.


About the Author:

Grant comes to Local 4 from Oklahoma City. He joins the news team as co-anchor of Local 4 News Today weekend mornings and is a general assignment reporter.