Problems We Found In Lexington, Kentucky Drinking Water


Emma Schultz M.S.  |  Scientific Contributor
**Updated July 31, 2019 to include current data

We've updated our assessment of Lexington drinking water to include the most current data. Our Water Nerds aggregated water quality test data from Kentucky American Water, the water provider for Lexington, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as well as from samples that we collect and analyze.  e cross reference contaminant data with toxicity studies in the scientific and medical literature, and look at upcoming regulatory changes. The water filters that we sell in Lexington are optimized with these issues in mind.

Lexington's Drinking Water Sources

Lexington tap water is sourced from surface water. Water comes from the Kentucky River where it runs through Owen County south of Lexington, and from the Jacobson Reservoir, which is located in Fayette County. According to source water assessments, the Kentucky River is most vulnerable to contamination from agricultural runoff, while the Jacobson Reservoir is most vulnerable to urban storm water runoff.

Chromium 6 Levels In Lexington Tap Water

Chromium 6 is a highly toxic metal that is not presently regulated by the EPA. Lexington's tap and drinking water quality has recently averaged 76 parts per trillion for chromium 6. These levels are nearly 4 times higher than the concentration determined to have a negligible impact on cancer risk.

Disinfection Byproducts (DBPs) In Lexington Drinking Water

Disinfection byproducts (DBPs) are halogenated emerging contaminants that occur when chlorine-based disinfectants are added to the water supply and subsequently combine with naturally-occurring organic matter. These chemicals are not well-regulated, but the EPA has stated that they have been linked to increased risks of bladder cancer, and kidney, liver, and central nervous system problems. The highest level detected in Lexington drinking water was 110 parts per billion, which exceeds the 80 part per billion Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) The highest level of haloacetic acids was 54.2 parts per billion, which is just under the MCL of 60 parts per billion. 

Chloramine Is Used To Disinfect Lexington Tap Water

Although most cities use chlorine as their primary disinfectant, Lexington’s water is disinfected with chloramine, which is generated by combining chlorine and ammonia. Chloramine is often responsible for what customers report as the “bad taste”of tap water, and, unlike with chlorine, this taste does not dissipate if water is left in the fridge overnight. Most one-size-fits-all water filters use filtration media that doesn’t successfully remove the chloramine taste, but the filters that Hydroviv builds for Lexington use special filtration media purpose-built to remove chloramine.

Still Have Questions About Lexington 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 (lead) are part of what we take into consideration when we optimize water filters specifically for Lexington tap water, but all of our water filters provide broad protection against other contaminants commonly found in drinking water (e.g. VOCs, heavy metals, pharmaceuticals, solvents, pesticides, mercury).

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

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