What is the Water Quality in Alameda, California?
Compared to other US cities, Alameda water quality ranks in the lower range for contamination excluding Lead.
Most of their 14 contaminants have cancer-causing attributes.
- Haloacetic acids (HAA5) are at extremely high levels: 415x health guidelines.
- Haloacetic acids (HAA9) are at extremely high levels: 603x health guidelines.
- These are both byproducts of the chlorine treatment process most water supplies go through.
Let’s look closer at what’s in Alameda water.
What’s in Alameda water?
Here are the top 3 chemical compounds in Alameda water and what health issues they can potentially cause:
- Haloacetic acids (HAA5) – Potential effect: Cancer
- Haloacetic acids (HAA9) – Potential effect: Cancer
- Total trihalomethanes – Potential effect: Cancer
These are three of the 14 contaminants analyzed by the Environmental Working Group (ewg.org).
These 3 contaminants are rated as exceeding EWG Health Guidelines.
Does Alameda water have Lead contamination?
No, Alameda does not currently have lead in its water. The most recent Lead samples collected from 2017 through 2019 showed concentrations of 0.0 parts per billion (ppb).
The legal limit for lead is 15 parts per billion. Being well-below this level is a good thing.
- Concentrations between 3.8 ppb and 15 ppb put a formula-fed baby at risk of elevated blood lead levels. Read more about the symptoms of Lead in water.
There is no safe level of lead for humans.
- The good news is that 99.99% of the lead can be removed.
See the What Can You Do? section below to learn how to filter out contaminants.
Where does Alameda’s water come from?
Alameda’s water comes from the San Francisco Bay Estuaries watershed.
Most of the EPA assessed water sources in the San Francisco Bay Estuaries watershed are in Impaired condition. These include:
- Bass River
- Beaver Brook
- Beverly Harbor
- Cedar Pond
- Crane Brook
- Crane River
- Forest River
- Goldthwait Brook
- Marblehead Harbor
- North River
- Porter River
- Proctor brook
- Salem Harbor
- Salem Sound
- Spring Pond
- Waters River
Ideally, a water source would be rated in Good condition.
Whether a water source is in Impaired or Good condition refers to the quality of these uses:
- Drinking Water
- Aquatic Life
- Fish and Shellfish Consumption
Learn more from How’s My Waterway
See below for what you can do to improve Alameda’s water.
What Can You Do?
Information about water quality in Alameda can be surprising.
But there are things you can do in your home to clean up your water.
To Remove Lead and Other Contaminants In Your Home:
There is one solution that beats Brita, PUR, and some whole house systems.
- It costs less per gallon.
- Needs fewer filter changes.
- And it doesn’t make your water taste weird.
- Use Berkey filters with activated carbon to filter out the majority of contaminants in your drinking water. (Berkey Light and Travel Berkey are the only types available in California.)
- To filter out 11 of the 14 contaminants, consider a Reverse Osmosis water filtration system for your house.
- These are more expensive than pitchers to purchase, but can be more effective.
- They have the benefit of filtering out heavy hitters like:
*Chlorination is an effective method of disinfecting/treating drinking water. You can then use a water filter to reduce the effects of chlorination byproducts to get the safest, cleanest water possible.
In Your Community:
Contact your local government officials and put pressure on them to invest in cleaner waterways and upgraded city water filtration and treatment.
Go to: https://www.alamedaca.gov/GOVERNMENT to find contact information for your local officials.