Water Quality in Bakersfield, California
Watershed: Kern Island Canal – Frontal Kern Lake Bed
What is the water quality like in Bakersfield, CA?
Let’s dive deeper into what’s in Bakersfield water.
What’s in Bakersfield water?
Here are the top 6 chemical compounds in your water and what health issues they can potentially cause:
- Arsenic – Potential effect: Cancer
- Bromodichloromethane – Potential effect: Cancer
- Chloroform – Potential effect: Cancer
- Haloacetic acids – Potential effect: Cancer
- Hexavalent Chromium – Potential effect: Cancer
- Total trihalomethanes – Potential effect: Cancer
These are six of the 41 contaminants analyzed by the Environmental Working Group (ewg.org).
14 of these contaminants are rated as exceeding EWG Health Guidelines.
See the What Can You Do? section below for all of the contaminants you can filter out and how to do it.
Where does Bakersfield’s water come from?
Bakersfield’s water comes from the Kern Island Canal – Frontal Kern Lake Bed watershed.
There are no EPA assessed water sources in the Kern Island Canal – Frontal Kern Lake Bed watershed. There is due to a lack of sufficient water sources to analyze.
Ideally, a water source would be Known, Assessed, and 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 Bakersfield’s water.
Conclusion – What Can You Do?
Information about water quality in Bakersfield, California can be surprising.
But there’s no reason to lose hope. There are things you can do in your household as well as things you can do at a community level.
- Use Berkey filters with activated carbon to filter out 36 of the 41 contaminants in your drinking water. (Berkey Light and Travel Berkey are the only types available in California.)
- To filter out 37 of the 41 contaminants, consider a Reverse Osmosis water filtration system for your house.
- These are more expensive than pitchers to purchase, but are much more effective.
- They have the benefit of filtering out heavy hitters like:
- 1,4-Dioxane – “Exposure may cause damage to the central nervous system, liver and kidneys.”
- Arsenic – health effects in water
- Barium – In low doses, barium ions act as a muscle stimulant, and higher doses affect the nervous system, causing cardiac irregularities, tremors, weakness, anxiety, shortness of breath, and paralysis.
- Bromodichloromethane – health risks in drinking water
- Chloroform – side effects
- Chromium (total)
- Dibromoacetic acid
- Dichloroacetic acid
- Haloacetic acids – chlorination byproduct*
- Hexavalent chromium – health effects
- Monochloroacetic acid
- Selenium – toxicity
- Total trihalomethanes – byproduct of chlorination*
- Trichloroacetic acid
- Xylenes – Hearing disorders have been linked to xylene exposure.
*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.bakersfieldcity.us/ to find contact information for your local officials.