Problems We Found In Minneapolis Drinking Water


Emma Schultz, M.S. | Scientific Contributor
Updated May 14, 2021 to include most current data available

For our 2020 assessment of Minneapolis drinking water, our team aggregated the most recent available information. We analyzed data from the City of Minneapolis Public Works, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as well as from samples that we collect and analyze. Our Water Nerds then cross reference Minneapolis water quality data with toxicity studies in scientific and medical literature.

Minneapolis Source Water

Minneapolis sources its drinking water from a mix of surface and groundwater. About 25% of Minneapolis water is sourced from the Mississippi River, and the remaining 75% comes from local groundwater sources. 

Chromium 6 In Minneapolis Drinking Water

Chromium 6 (also known as hexavalent chromium) is a highly toxic metal that not currently regulated by the EPA. Minneapolis tap water concentrations in Minneapolis have recently averaged 288 parts per trillion for Chromium 6. For a bit of context, these levels are over 10 times higher than the levels considered to have a negligible impact on cancer risk.

Disinfection Byproducts (DBPs)

Disinfection byproducts (DBPs) are a category of halogenated emerging contaminants that form when chlorine-based disinfectants combine with naturally-occurring organic matter. Although these chemicals are not yet tightly-regulated, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reports that high levels are associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer, as well as kidney, liver, and central nervous system problems. While Minneapolis drinking water quality is in compliance with EPA regulations, Haloacetic Acid (HAA5) concentrations are on the high end (up to 29.7 ppb in the most recent report), and Total Trihalomethanes (TTHMs) were as high as 29.2 ppb.


While most cities use chlorine as the primary disinfectant, Minneapolis tap water is disinfected with chloramine, which is produced by mixing chlorine and ammonia. Chloramine is typically responsible for what customers often report as the “bad taste” of tap water, and unlike chlorine, does not dissipate if a container of water is left in the fridge overnight. Most one-size-fits-all water filters use filtration media that doesn’t adequately remove chloramine, but the filters that Hydroviv builds for Minneapolis' water quality uses special filtration media that are purpose-built to remove chloramine as well.


Lead is a toxic heavy metal that can a major negative impact on the development of infants and children. While the city is currently in compliance with federal regulations, EPA, CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics all acknowledge that there is no safe level of lead for children. In comparison to the rest of the US, citywide lead concentrations in Minneapolis are relatively low, but roughly 10% of the sampled taps are over 3.8 parts per billion. However, the concentrations measured at an individual tap can be much higher, particularly if your home has plumbing that contains lead pipes, fixtures, or valves.

Still Have Questions?

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 filter for Minneapolis tap water, but all of our water filters provide broad protection against other contaminants commonly found in drinking water (e.g. VOCs, lead, solvents, pesticides, mercury).

Other Articles We Think You'll Enjoy

The 5 Biggest Complaints About Reverse Osmosis Water Filters
Why Is Chloramine So Hard To Filter From Drinking Water?
How To Filter Chromium 6 From Drinking Water
Previous Post Next Post