Water Quality in the State of Illinois

Illinois is a state rich with culture and a diverse economic base. So much so, that it is considered a microcosm of the United States. Chicago, the third-largest state in the US, contributes to 65% of the state’s population. The water supply for Illinois comes from surface waters (rivers, lakes and reservoirs) and groundwater from aquifers. 


Water Hardness Summary

Illinois is a hard water state. The average water hardness for the Illinois resident is around 200 PPM, which is extremely hard and can leave white deposits on your plumbing fixtures and cause damage to your water heaters. Chicago, the most populous Illinois city, has a water hardness level of 148 PPM. The highest reported water hardness numbers come from the city of Rockford, with 308 PPM. 


For more information on the water hardness in specific cities, please see the table below.


City Water Hardness Data
Chicago 148 PPM (mg/L) or 9 gpg
Aurora 127 PPM (mg/L) or 7 gpg
Rockford 308 PPM (mg/L) or 18 gpg
Springfield 88 PPM (mg/L) or 5 gpg
Columbus 228 PPM (mg/L) or 13 gpg
Decatur 194 PPM (mg/L) or 11 gpg
Champaign 258 PPM (mg/L) or 15 gpg
Peoria 250 PPM (mg/L) or 15 gpg
Kankakee 196 PPM (mg/L) or 11 gpg
Michigan City 210 PPM (mg/L) or 12 gpg


PPM = Parts Per Million

mg/L = Milligrams Per Liter

gpg = Grains Per Gallon


Agriculture, Food Processing and Water Hardness

Agriculture is a thriving industry in Illinois. 75% of the state’s total land is occupied by farmland because the state has an ideal climate and rich productive soil. As of 2018, the United States Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Service (USDA-NASS) reported that Illinois has 72,000 farms. Top Illinois agriculture products are corn, soybeans, livestock, dairy and poultry.


With the average water hardness in Illinois being 200 PPM, which is considered very hard, based on USGS water hardness measures.  Many farms and food process plants experience issues related to scale buildup on their irrigators and other necessary equipment due to the mass quantities of water flow every day. In addition, contaminants polluting soil and waterways have increased greatly over the past few decades. There is a greater need for waste control and a decrease in chemical control. Many farmers are looking for eco-friendly solutions that can provide quality crop protection at a cheaper cost. Read more about how HydroFLOW can increase crop yield.




Solutions to your Water Quality Problems

Fixing your water quality issues in the state of Illinois will depend on your specific water source. It is best to test your potable water supply in order to get a better understanding of your water quality. Testing is relatively cheap. The test results will allow you to understand if your potable water has issues that need to be addressed. Common solutions to water contamination problems may include a water filtration system, a reverse osmosis system or other whole home water treatment solutions.


A problem that almost all Illinois residents will have to deal with is hard water. One old-fashioned, inefficient, expensive and unhealthy method to treat hard water is with a salt-based water softener. Most people don’t realize that if you’re using a water softener you are basically removing calcium and magnesium from your drinking water and adding salt to your diet. In addition, many states are banning the use of salt-based water softeners.


Alternative water treatment solutions such as “water conditioners” have been gaining popularity in recent years because they are cheap to operate and the best eco-friendly solution for hard water. Hydropath technology, which powers the HydroFLOW water conditioners is by far the most efficient and cost-effective eco-friendly solution to deal with hard water problems. To learn more about how HydroFLOW solves the problems created by hard water, please check out our technology page. You might want to read this blog that explains the difference between water conditioners and water softeners: Water Conditioner vs. Water Softener Blog.


For more information, please contact HydroFLOW Midwest