Indianapolis Water Quality | Indianapolis Tap & Drinking Water – Hydroviv

Problems We Found In Indianapolis Drinking Water


Kezia Snipe | Hydroviv Research Analyst

For Hydroviv’s assessment of Indianapolis' tap and drinking water quality, we aggregated water quality test data from Citizens Energy Group, the water provider for Indianapolis, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as well as from samples that we collect and analyze.  We cross reference these Indianapolis water data with toxicity studies in the scientific and medical literature, and look at upcoming regulatory changes. The water filters that we offer in Indianapolis are optimized with these figures in mind.

Source Of Indianapolis Drinking Water

Indianapolis' tap and drinking water is primarily comprised of surface water. White River supplies two of the four surface water treatment plants, White River and White River North. Morse Reservoir, near Noblesville, stores water to assure a dependable supply in the White River to these plants. Fall Creek is another surface water supply. Geist Reservoir stores water to assure an adequate supply in Fall Creek for the Fall Creek treatment plant. A number of wells are used intermittently to supplement the supplies to the White River, White River North and Fall Creek plants. Citizens also receives some surface water from Eagle Creek Reservoir.

Arsenic In Indianapolis Drinking Water

Arsenic is a toxic heavy metal that is known to cause cancer and other health issues. Unlike lead, which distributes into water from plumbing, arsenic comes from the source water itself. While Indianapolis' water quality is in compliance with EPA water quality standards, it’s important to point out that EPA’s standard balances the toxicity against the costs of removing arsenic from drinking water. The most recent Indianapolis tap and drinking water quality report for Indianapolis reported an average arsenic concentration up to 2.8 parts per billion.  We strongly recommend that anyone with more than 1 part per billion take steps to remove arsenic from their water, especially if they have children.  

Pesticides & Volatile Organic Compounds In Indianapolis Tap Water

In the most recent water quality data, Indianapolis disclosed the detection of Atrazine, 2,4-D, Simazine, Xylenes, and Toluene.  These chemicals typically contaminate drinking water from agricultural and industrial runoff.  While the disclosed levels are low, they are easily removed by a properly designed water filter.

Lead In Indianapolis Drinking Water

Lead enters tap water through older lead service pipes and lead-containing plumbing. When corrosion control measures put in place by the municipality fail (like what recently happened in Flint, Michigan), lead leaches into the drinking water, and can reach dangerous levels.  Currently, 10% of samples analyzed for lead in Indianapolis are over 5.3 parts per billion.  While the city is currently in compliance with federal regulations, EPA and CDC both acknowledge that there is no safe level of lead, and federal regulations do not take into account levels measured at an individual tap.  

Chromium 6 In Indianapolis Drinking Water

Chromium 6 is a highly toxic metal that is not currently regulated by the EPA.  In recent years, Indianapolis tap water has averaged 103 parts per trillion for Chromium 6.  To put it in perspective, these levels are 5 times higher than the concentration determined to have negligible impact on cancer risk

Disinfection Byproducts (DBPs) In Indianapolis Drinking Water

Disinfection byproducts (DBPs) are a category of emerging contaminants that form when chlorine-based disinfectants react with naturally-occurring organic matter.  Although these chemicals are not currently regulated very well, the EPA has disclosed that they are associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer, as well as kidney, liver, and central nervous system problems.

Chlorine In Indianapolis Drinking Water

Like many other municipalities in the United States, Indianapolis injects its water with chlorine to protect against waterborne illness.  While not typically considered to be harmful on its own, many people find that removing chlorine from drinking water greatly enhances its taste and odor.  

Still Have Questions About Indianapolis Tap Water?

Hydroviv is a water filtration company that uses water quality data to optimize water filters for each city’s water.  The chemicals that we list above are what we consider to be “points of emphasis” so we can build the best water filters for Indianapolis tap water, but all of our water filters provide broad protection against other contaminants commonly found in drinking water (e.g. VOCs, heavy metals [including lead], pharmaceuticals, solvents, pesticides, mercury).

If you’re interested in learning more about water filters that have been optimized for Indianapolis tap water, please check out, reach out to one of our water nerds by email ( or through our live chat.  We also frequently post water-related news on Twitter or Facebook.

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  • Kezia Snipe