What is the Water Quality in Gilroy, California?
Compared to other US cities, Gilroy water quality ranks in the middle range for contamination excluding Lead.
Most of their 25 contaminants have cancer-causing attributes.
- Hexavalent chromium is at very high levels: 30x health guidelines.
- Nitrate is at very high levels: 43x health guidelines.
Let’s look closer at what’s in Gilroy water.
What’s in Gilroy water?
Here are the top 5 chemical compounds in your water and what health issues they can potentially cause:
- Hexavalent Chromium – Potential effect: Cancer
- Haloacetic acids (HAA5 and HAA9) – Potential effect: Cancer
- Nitrate – Potential effect: Cancer
- Nitrate and Nitrite – Potential effect: Cancer
- Total trihalomethanes – Potential effect: Cancer
These are five of the 25 contaminants analyzed by the Environmental Working Group (ewg.org).
8 of these contaminants are rated as exceeding EWG Health Guidelines.
Does Gilroy have Lead contamination?
No, Gilroy does not currently have lead in its water. 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 filtered out.
See the What Can You Do? section below to learn how to filter out contaminants.
Where does Gilroy’s water come from?
Gilroy’s water comes from the Lower Llagas Creek watershed.
All 4 assessed water sources in the Lower Llagas Creek watershed are in Impaired or Unknown condition. These include:
- Multiple sections of Llagas Creek
Ideally, a water source would be Known and rated in Good condition.
Learn more from How’s My Waterway
See below for what you can do to improve Gilroy’s water.
Conclusion – What Can You Do?
Information about water quality in Gilroy 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 71% of contaminants in your drinking water. (Berkey Light and Travel Berkey are the only types available in California.)
- To filter out 21 of the 25 contaminants, consider a Reverse Osmosis Pentair water filtration system for your house.
- These are more expensive than pitchers to purchase, but are more effective.
- They have the benefit of filtering out heavy hitters like:
- Chromium (total)
- Haloacetic acids (HAA5)
- Haloacetic acids (HAA9)
- Hexavalent chromium
- Total trihalomethanes
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.cityofgilroy.org/ to find contact information for your local officials.