A report by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) that was published recently revealed that the drinking water in Shreveport contains nine harmful chemicals. The EWG is a nonprofit organization that monitors and researches environmental issues, and they compile data from the Louisiana Department of Health and the federal Environmental Protection Agency.
The chemicals found include:
Aluminum- can damage the brain and nervous system
Bromodichloromethane- can cause cancer
Chlorate- damages the thyroid
Chloroform- can cause cancer
Chromium (hexavalent)- can cause cancer
Dibromochloromethane- can cause cancer
Dichloroacetic acid- can cause cancer
Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs)- can cause cancer
Trichloroacetic acid- can cause cancer
Of the chemicals found, Aluminum, Bromodichloromethane, Chlorate, Dichloroacetic acid, Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs), and Trichloroacetic acid were all found in higher levels than the national average.
The report also gave speculation as to where the contaminating chemicals are originating from. According the report, two of the chemicals came from agricultural operations, eight came from industrial facilities, 11 are treatment byproducts (not all 11 are hazardous and thus not included in the report), one came from runoff water, and eight are naturally occurring.
Even with these chemicals, the drinking water in Shreveport is considered to be legally safe to drink. This was not always the case, however. Between 2014 and 2017, Shreveport water has spent 8 quarters in violation of the federal drinking water standard, three of which were spent in the significant violation category.
By contrast, during the same period, eight contaminants were found in Bossier City tap water. However, all of the contaminants found in the Bossier water were below the national average of concentration. While Shreveport tap water was in violation for eight quarters, Bossier City water was in violation for three.
While the report is alarming, according to the EWG, “the tap water provided by [Shreveport] water utility was in compliance with federal health-based drinking water standards.”
You can read the full report from the Environmental Working Group here.