What is the Water Quality in Compton, California?
[Updated: June 13, 2023]
Compared to other US cities, Compton water quality ranks in the high range for contamination excluding Lead.
Most of their 30 contaminants have cancer-causing attributes.
- Arsenic is at extremely high levels: 459x health guidelines.
- Haloacetic acids (HAA5) are at extremely high levels: 30x health guidelines.
- Haloacetic acids (HAA9) are at extremely high levels: 157x health guidelines.
- These are both byproducts of the chlorine treatment process most water supplies go through.
- Radium is at very high levels: 10x health guidelines.
Let’s look closer at what’s in Compton water.
What’s in Compton water?
Here are the top 7 chemical compounds in your water and what health issues they can potentially cause:
- Arsenic – Potential effect: Cancer
- Chloroform – Potential effect: Cancer
- Haloacetic acids – Potential effect: Cancer
- Hexavalent Chromium – Potential effect: Cancer
- Radium – Potential effect: Cancer
- Total trihalomethanes – Potential effect: Cancer
- Uranium – Potential effect: Cancer
These are seven of the 30 contaminants analyzed by the Environmental Working Group (ewg.org).
14 of these contaminants are rated as exceeding EWG Health Guidelines.
Does Compton water have Lead contamination?
No, the most recent Lead samples collected from 2016 through 2018 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 Compton’s water come from?
Compton’s water comes from the Compton Creek – Los Angeles River watershed.
All 6 EPA assessed water sources in the Compton Creek – Los Angeles River watershed are in Impaired or Unknown condition. These include:
- Avalon Drain
- Compton Creek
- Los Angelese River Estuary, River Reach 1, and River Reach 2
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 Compton’s water.
Conclusion – What Can You Do?
Information about water quality can be surprising.
But there are things you can do in your home to clean up your water.
- Test Your Water using Varify Home Test Kits or similar.
- To Remove Lead and Other Contaminants In Your Home:
- Use Activated Carbon filters to remove most contaminants in your drinking water.
- To filter out even more contaminants in your whole house, consider a Reverse Osmosis water filtration system for your home.
- These are more expensive than pitchers to purchase, but can be 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 risks
- Barium – health risks in water
- Bromodichloromethane – health risks in drinking water
- Chloroform – side effects
- Chromium (total)
- Dibromoacetic acid
- Dichloroacetic acid
- Haloacetic acids – chlorination byproduct*
- Hexavalent chromium – health effects
- Tetrachloroethylene (perchloroethylene)
- Total trihalomethanes – byproduct of chlorination*
- Trichloroacetic acid
- Our recommendation: APEC Reverse Osmosis Systems
*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: http://www.comptoncity.org/ to find contact information for your local officials.