What is the Water Quality in Albany, Oregon?
Compared to other US cities, Albany water quality ranks in the lower range for contamination excluding Lead.
Most of their 11 contaminants have cancer-causing attributes.
- Haloacetic acids (HAA5) are at extremely high levels: 219x health guidelines.
- Haloacetic acids (HAA9) are at extremely high levels: 383x health guidelines.
- HAA5 and HAA9 are byproducts of chlorine treatment, a common method of disinfecting water supplies.
- Radium is at high levels: 17x health guidelines.
Let’s look closer at what’s in Albany water.
What’s in Albany water?
Here are the top 4 chemical compounds in your water and what health issues they can potentially cause:
- Haloacetic acids (HAA5) – Potential effect: Cancer
- Haloacetic acids (HAA9) – Potential effect: Cancer
- Radium – Potential effect: Cancer
- Total trihalomethanes – Potential effect: Cancer
These are four of the 11 contaminants analyzed by the Environmental Working Group (ewg.org).
These 4 contaminants are rated as exceeding EWG Health Guidelines.
Does Albany, Oregon have Lead contamination?
No, Albany does not currently have lead in its water. The most recent Lead samples collected from 2015 through 2017 showed concentrations of 0.0 parts per billion.
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 filtered out.
See the What Can You Do? section below to learn how to filter out contaminants.
Where does Albany’s water come from?
Albany’s water comes from the Truax Creek – Willamette River watershed.
All 3 water sources in the Truax Creek – Willamette River watershed are in Impaired or Unknown condition. These include:
- Truax Creek – Willamette River
- Second Lake
- Willamette River
The drinking water is generally in good condition, but aquatic life and recreational uses may be impaired.
Ideally, a water source would be rated in Good condition for all uses.
Learn more from How’s My Waterway
See below for what you can do to improve Albany’s water.
Conclusion – What Can You Do?
Information about water quality in Albany can be surprising.
But there’s no reason to lose hope. There are things you can do in your home as well as things you can do at a community level.
- Use Berkey filters with activated carbon to filter out at least 75% of contaminants in your drinking water.
- To filter out 8 of the 11 contaminants in your whole house, consider a Reverse Osmosis Pentair water filtration system for your house.
- These are typically more expensive than pitchers to purchase, but can be much more effective.
- They have the benefit of filtering out heavy hitters like:
- Chromium (hexavalent)
- Haloacetic acids (HAA5)
- Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs)
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.cityofalbany.net/ to find contact information for your local officials.