The primary way that water pollution enters Lake Michigan and the Great Lakes is from industrial sources like steel mills, chemical manufacturers, and energy production. Though agricultural runoff from farms and sewage wastewater also contribute to the pollution; discarded trash made of plastic also contributes to plastic pollution.
Point and Nonpoint Sources
Dangers of Water Pollution
Consuming Safe Drinking Water
In Chicago, there are two water purification plants providing drinking water to the city — Jardine Water Purification Plant and Eugene Sawyer Water Purification Plant.
You can also buy personal water filters that reduce toxins and odors from your tap water. Additionally, there are filters that reduce lead and PFAS exposure as well.
If you have the means, you can also invest in a reverse osmosis filtration system.
- Write a letter to your local, state, and federal representatives — urging them to do more to protect Great Lakes water. You can use the Illinois Environmental Council’s legislator lookup tool if you’re unfamiliar with your representatives.
- Consider donating to the Environmental Law & Policy Center and the Illinois Environmental Council so they can continue protecting Great Lakes water.
Explore More Human Impacts