South Bend, IN

South Bend, IN

The City of South Bend is home to an estimated 102,245 residents, and it’s located in St. Joseph County, IN.

This report will help you become better acquainted with South Bend and the surrounding area by addressing the following questions:

  • Are there any hazardous sites in St. Joseph County, IN?
  • How clean is the air in St. Joseph County, IN?
  • What’s the average radon level for homes in St. Joseph County, IN?
  • Is the water in St. Joseph County, IN safe to drink?

Hazardous Sites near South Bend, IN

There are three Superfund sites in St. Joseph County, IN. Superfund sites, like Beck's Lake in South Bend, IN, are areas that have been contaminated with hazardous substances. If not for the cleanup efforts orchestrated by the EPA, these sites could endanger people living in nearby communities.

The EPA uses the Hazardous Ranking System (HRS) to quantify the risk a contaminated site poses to human health and the environment. Sites assigned HRS scores of 28.5 or greater qualify for placement on the National Priorities List (NPL), and are eligible to receive federal funding for cleanup efforts.

Before the EPA deletes a site from the NPL, it conducts reviews to ensure the cleanup was sufficient. As a result, some sites remain on the active site list long after cleanup activities are complete.

For more information about the Superfund sites located in the South Bend, IN area, be sure to review the map and background information provided below:

Map Legend:


A. Beck's Lake (HRS Score: 50)

The Beck's Lake site, used as a dumping area from the 1930s to the mid-1950s, is located in South Bend, IN.


B. Galen Myers Dump/Drum Salvage (HRS Score: 42)

The Galen Myers Dump/Drum Salvage site, used for drum reclamation activities from about 1970 to 1983, is located in Osceola, IN.

The EPA found dangerous levels of Trichloroethene at the Galen Myers Dump/Drum Salvage site.


C. Douglass Road/Uniroyal, Inc., Landfill (HRS Score: 37)

The Douglass Road/Uniroyal, Inc., Landfill site is located in Mishawaka, IN.

Contaminants found at the Douglass Road/Uniroyal, Inc., Landfill site include:

  • Antimony
  • Arsenic
  • Beryllium
  • Chromium
  • Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs)

Air Quality in the South Bend, IN Area

The two most widespread forms of air pollution are ozone (smog) and particle pollution (soot). Exposure to these harmful pollutants, for even just a short period, can have adverse effects on your health.

Thanks to data collected by air monitoring equipment located across the country, the American Lung Association (ALA) is able to assess and track our air quality using three metrics:

  • Ozone
  • Short-term Particle Pollution
  • Year-round Particle Pollution

In their 2019 annual report, the ALA rated the air quality in St. Joseph County, IN as follows:

Ozone Pollution

Grading Scale: A-F

Particle Pollution

Grading Scale: A-F

Particle Pollution

Grading Scale: Pass/Fail

Radon Levels in South Bend, IN Area

Air quality inside your home can be impacted by a number of factors, including the presence of hazardous substances in building materials (asbestos, lead, formaldehyde, etc.) and local radon levels.

Radon is a naturally occurring gas you cannot see or smell. It can build up inside your home and negatively impact your indoor air quality as well as your health.

To provide a guideline, the EPA assigned one of three zones to each U.S. county and county equivalent:

  • Zone 1 (higher radon levels)
  • Zone 2 (moderate levels)
  • Zone 3 (lower levels)

The average indoor radon reading in St. Joseph County, IN is predicted to be higher than 4 picocuries per liter (pCi/L), so the county has been assigned EPA Radon Zone 1.

EPA Radon Zone

The EPA Recommends acting to reduce your home's radon level if it's measured at 4 pCi/L or greater. So, if you're thinking about purchasing a home in South Bend, IN, you should strongly consider having a radon test performed.

Water Quality in South Bend, IN Area

In accordance with the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), the EPA sets regulatory limits for drinking water contaminants known to cause adverse health effects.

The following St. Joseph County, IN water provider(s) violated the maximum allowable level for one or more regulated contaminants:

Filter ValueWater SystemContaminantHealth Effects
18141Hamilton GroveTotal Haloacetic Acids (HAA5)Increased risk of cancer 
18141Hamilton GroveTTHMLiver, kidney, or central nervous system problems; increased risk of cancer 

In addition to setting enforceable standards for harmful contaminants, the EPA also established guidelines to assist public water providers in managing the taste, odor and color of their drinking water.

To find out more about what’s in your drinking water, contact your utility company and request a copy of the latest Consumer Confidence Report.

Sources and Methods

Hazardous Sites: Identified using a report from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), hazardous sites detailed on represent sites contained on the National Priorities List (NPL) as of November 25, 2019.  The NPL is the list of national priorities among the known releases or threatened releases of hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants throughout the United States and its territories.  All site-related data was sourced from the EPA.

Air Quality: Grades for ozone, short-term particle pollution, and year-round particle pollution were obtained from State of the Air 2019, a report compiled by the American Lung Association.

Radon Zones: Radon zone designations were obtained using a public use dataset provided by the EPA (September 11, 2019).

Water Quality: Drinking water violation data was sourced from the Safe Drinking Water Information System (SDWIS), a public use database provided by the EPA.  The dataset included violations submitted to the database as of the third quarter of 2019.


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