How's The Water? | WGLT

How's The Water?

Joan Brehm

Illinois State University scholars, from biologists to sociologists, have been working for years on individual projects involving water.

Dave Martin / The Associated Press

Here in the U.S., if you have to go to the bathroom, chances are there’s a toilet just a few steps away. That’s not the case for some 4.5 billion people across the world who don’t have access to toilets and safe sanitation systems.

Behind WGLT’s “How’s The Water?” Series

Apr 27, 2016

Even before news broke of the devastating lead contamination of the water in Flint, Michigan, our WGLT newsroom was in the process of exploring the future of water in McLean County. It was a prescient decision. Not only did the Flint example focus national attention on the safety of public water supplies, but the on-going drought in California also called attention to the need for communities to plan for adequate amounts of drinking water.

How's The Water? Part 1

Apr 17, 2016
Judith Valente / WGLT

Dangerous lead levels in Flint, Michigan’s drinking water and the prolonged drought in California have caused many communities to examine more closely the safety and the future of their water supplies. Currently Bloomington and Normal have adequate water resources, but experts say another severe drought could result in a shortage.

How's The Water? Part 2

Apr 17, 2016
Judith Valente / WGLT

Lake Bloomington is the main source of drinking water for the city of Bloomington. The lake is also a popular recreation destination. In recent years, it’s increasingly become a site for large, and in some cases, year-round homes.

The homes along the lake all use septic systems to dispose of human waste. They discharge treated effluent to within just a few feet of the lake. In Part Two of the investigative series, “How’s The Water?” a growing number of experts question the wisdom of having these septic systems so close to the city’s drinking water supply. WGLT’s Judy Valente has the story.

How's The Water? Part 3

Apr 17, 2016
Judith Valente / WGLT

Just a few days ago, a section of the Keystone Pipeline in South Dakota had to be shut down after a leak that spilled close to 17,000 gallons of crude oil. Here in McLean County, petroleum is now flowing through a pipeline operated by the Canadian company, Enbridge Inc.  

Environmentalists objected to the pipeline because it crosses under three bodies of water that help provide drinking water for the city of Bloomington.

How's The Water? Part 4

Apr 17, 2016
Judy Valente / WGLT

The first three parts of the GLT News series "How's The Water?" have focused on the condition of water before it comes to your home. In part four, you'll hear about the back end of the water filtration process--what happens when we flush our toilets, wash our dishes and run our showers or washing machines. WGLT's Judy Valente has the story.

How's The Water? Part 5

Apr 17, 2016
Judith Valente / WGLT

Water improvement Solutions:


One of the ways to reduce the amount of nitrates and phosphates getting into the drinking water supply from farm fertilizer is to construct what are called wetlands at the edges of farms.