Big Bear Lake, California
What is the Water Quality in Big Bear Lake, California?
Compared to other US cities and towns, Big Bear Lake water quality ranks in the lower-middle range for contamination excluding Lead.
Most of their 16 contaminants have cancer-causing attributes.
- Arsenic is at very high levels: 59x health guidelines.
Let’s look closer at what’s in Big Bear Lake water.
What’s in Big Bear Lake water?
Here are the top 5 chemical compounds in your water and what health issues they can potentially cause:
- Arsenic – Potential effect: Cancer
- Haloacetic acids (HAA5) – Potential effect: Cancer
- Hexavalent Chromium – Potential effect: Cancer
- Nitrate and Nitrite – Potential effect: Cancer
- Total trihalomethanes – Potential effect: Cancer
These are five of the 16 contaminants analyzed by the Environmental Working Group (ewg.org).
8 of these contaminants are rated as exceeding EWG Health Guidelines.
Does Big Bear Lake have Lead contamination?
No, Big Bear Lake 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 (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 filtered out.
See the What Can You Do? section below to learn how to filter out contaminants.
Where does Big Bear Lake’s water come from?
Big Bear Lake’s water comes from the Big Bear Lake watershed.
5 of the 6 EPA assessed water sources in the Big Bear Lake watershed are in Impaired condition. These include:
- Big Bear Lake itself
- Grout Creek
- Knickerbocker Creek
- Rathbone (Rathbun) Creek
- Summit Creek
Ideally, a water source would be rated in Good condition. Metcalf Creek to the south of the lake is 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 Big Bear Lake’s water.
What Can You Do?
Information about water quality in Big Bear Lake 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 expensive 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 at least 85% of the contaminants in your drinking water.
- To filter out 14 of the 16 contaminants (87.5%), 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:
- 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
- Dibromoacetic acid
- Dichloroacetic acid
- Haloacetic acids – chlorination byproduct*
- Hexavalent chromium – health effects
- Total trihalomethanes – byproduct of chlorination*
*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.bigbear.com/ to find contact information for your local officials.