Water Quality in Gainesville, Florida
Watershed: Paynes Prairie
What is the water quality like in Gainesville, FL?
Let’s dive deeper into what’s in Gainesville water.
What’s in Gainesville water?
Here are the top 3 chemical compounds in your water and what health issues they can potentially cause:
- Haloacetic acids – Potential effect: Cancer
- Hexavalent Chromium – Potential effect: Cancer
- Total trihalomethanes – Potential effect: Cancer
These are three of the 8 contaminants analyzed by the Environmental Working Group (ewg.org).
These 3 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 Gainesville’s water come from?
Gainesville’s water comes from the Paynes Prairie watershed.
26 of the 28 EPA assessed water sources in the Paynes Prairie watershed are in Impaired or Unknown condition. These include:
- Alachua Sink
- Alachua Sink Outlet
- Bivans Arm and Outlet
- Calf Pond
- Chacala Pond
- Hammocks Lake
- Hogtown Creek
- Kanapaha Lake and Outlet
- Lake Alice and Outlet
- Lake Moon
- Newnans Lakw Outlet
- Paynes Prairie
- Possum Creek
- Sweetwater Branch
- Tumblin Creek
- Wauberg Lake
Ideally, a water source would be rated in Good condition. Haile Sink and the Sweetwater Branch Extension Ditch are 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 Gainesville’s water.
Conclusion – What Can You Do?
Information about water quality 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.
In Your Household:
- Use Berkey filters with activated carbon to filter out 7 of the 8 contaminants in your drinking water.
- To filter out 6 of the 8 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:
*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.cityofgainesville.org/ to find contact information for your local officials.