Water Quality in Irvine, California
Watershed: Lower San Diego Creek
What is the water quality like in Irvine, CA?
Let’s dive deeper into what’s in Irvine water.
What’s in Irvine water?
Here are the top 7 chemical compounds in your water and what health issues they can potentially cause:
- Arsenic – Potential effect: Cancer
- Bromodichloromethane – 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 33 contaminants analyzed by the Environmental Working Group (ewg.org).
17 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 Irvine’s water come from?
Irvine’s water comes from the Lower San Diego Creek watershed.
4 of the 6 EPA assessed water sources in the Lower San Diego Creek watershed are in Impaired condition. These include:
- Bonita Creek
- Newport Bay
- Peters Canyon Channel
- San Diego Creek Reach 1
Ideally, a water source would be rated in Good condition. San Joaquin Freshwater Marsh and Santa Ana Delhi Channel 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 Irvine’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 25 of the 33 contaminants in your drinking water. (Berkey Light and Travel Berkey are the only types available in California.)
- To filter out 29 of the 33 contaminants, consider a Reverse Osmosis water filtration system for your house.
- 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 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
- Monobromoacetic acid
- Monochloroacetic acid
- Perchlorate – Used as oxidizers in propellants for rockets, fireworks, and highway flares. Also used to control static electricity in food packaging.
- Radon – Health risks
- 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.cityofirvine.org/government to find contact information for your local officials.