Water Quality InformationWritten By Actual Experts


Chromium 6 Spilled Into Lake Michigan: What You Need To Know

Eric Roy @ Friday, April 14, 2017 at 11:45 am -0400

 Eric Roy, Ph.D.  |  Scientific Founder  

This Tuesday, US EPA reported that US Steel Corporation spilled a large (but undisclosed) amount of chromium 6-containing wastewater into a Lake Michigan Tributary, and about 20 miles from the location where the City of Chicago draws drinking water from. This past fall, we wrote an article the basics of chromium 6 in drinking water, but the focus of today's article is specifically about the recent spill into Lake Michigan.

Where Did The Chromium 6 Lake Michigan Spill Occur?

The map below (From Chicago Tribune) shows the location of the spill. It's roughly 20 miles from the 68th Street Water Intake Crib for the City of Chicago.

Chromium 6 Chicago Lake Michigan

What Caused The Chromium 6 Lake Michigan Spill?

US Steel reported that a stainless steel joint failure in a pipe caused the release of chromium 6-contaminated wastewater into the environment. The pipe contained wastewater from an electroplating process.

Is Water Quality Impacted by Chromium 6 Contamination?

Beaches and parks within a 3 mile vicinity of the spill were closed down. Several cities that draw water from Lake Michigan stopped pulling water. The City of Chicago began "Emergency Testing" of water near source water intakes.

Data and statements from EPA from water tests seem to be in conflict. On one hand, EPA says that they're not seeing anything unusual, but there are measurements taken more than a mile from the spill where chromium 6 concentrations are roughly 10x higher than baseline measurements taken from more offshore locations over the past 3 years.

It's important to point out that chromium 6 is extremely toxic, it is NOT REGULATED ON ITS OWN. EPA does not differentiate between carcinogenic chromium 6 and chromium (III), which is an essential nutrient for humans. Absurdity of this aside, remember that Chicago's drinking water (which is pulled from Lake Michigan) has a 3 year average chromium 6 concentration of 190 parts per trillion, which is nearly 20 times higher than the level associated with negligible risk.

How Do I Remove Chromium 6 From Drinking Water?

To remove chromium 6 from water, you need to filter it. Boiling or freezing water does NOT remove chromium 6, or make it less toxic. We recently wrote a more in-depth article on how to filter chromium 6 from water. We are particularly found of our approach to water filtration over reverse osmosis for a number of reasons, but both will work.

Other Articles We Think You'll Love

5 Most Important Things To Know About Chromium 6 In Drinking Water
How To Filter Chromium 6 From Drinking Water
Summary of Problems With Chicago Tap Water

What Is The Best Water Filter For An Apartment, Condo, Or Second Home?

Analies Dyjak @ Saturday, February 25, 2017 at 10:12 pm -0500

Hydroviv's Science Team   

If you're looking for a water filter for your apartment, condo, or vacation home your options might be limited. However, you shouldn't be forced to settle for ineffective pitcher or fridge filters that don’t remove things like lead, PFAS, or chromium 6. These are the big things to consider when shopping for a water filter for your apartment or rental home.

Universal Connections

You probably don't want to change out the kitchen faucet in a place that you are renting, so you’ll want to make sure that your water filter connects to the existing faucet and cold water valve with universal faucet connections. Nearly all faucets in the US use a 3/8” compression fitting to connect to the cold-water shutoff valve, so make sure that the inlet and outlets use that size connection.


Many apartments and condos in cities like New York City or Washington, D.C. have smaller under sink spaces than what are found in larger homes. When you are shopping for water filters, you’ll need to take size into account, especially if your unit has a garbage disposal that takes up a bunch of space under your sink. Most reverse osmosis systems are bulky and have large storage tanks, and will not fit under the sink of many apartments. 

Deposit Considerations

Many water filtration systems for apartments require that you drill a hole in your drain line, or that you drill a hole in your counter top. Obviously, if you do either of those things, you won’t get your deposit back, so most people don’t opt for reverse osmosis systems that require a drilled connection to your drain. It can also be difficult to get a plumber to a more remote location if you're looking to install a Reverse Osmosis filter in a second home. 


When you rent your home, you want to make sure that your water filter can be taken with you when it’s time to move. Make sure that your apartment water filter un-installs very easily, so you don’t leave it behind in the frantic move out!

Hydroviv’s custom water filters are engineered with renters in mind. Its housing fits in small spaces and connects to existing faucets with screw on, screw off connections in 15 minutes, no plumbing experience needed, and we provide an easy water filter installation guide to help you along the way. When it’s time to move or close up camp for the season, Hydroviv water filters can be pulled in about 5 minutes, and the unit’s plumbing can be put back to how it was when you got there. 

Other Great Articles We Think You'll Enjoy:
Pittsburgh is in The Midst of a City-Wide Lead Contamination Problem
Why Your TDS Meter Isn't Telling You Anything Useful
The Lead Problem In New York City Tap Water That Nobody Is Talking About