Long Beach, California
What is the Water Quality in Long Beach, California?
Compared to other US cities, Long Beach water quality ranks in the high-middle range for contamination excluding Lead.
Most of their 30 contaminants have cancer-causing attributes.
- Arsenic is at extremely high levels: 736x health guidelines.
- Haloacetic acids (HAA5) are at extremely high levels: 118x health guidelines.
- Haloacetic acids (HAA9) are at extremely high levels: 285x health guidelines.
- These are both byproducts of the chlorine treatment process most water supplies go through.
Let’s look closer at what’s in Long Beach water.
What’s in Long Beach water?
Here are the top 5 chemical compounds in your water and what health issues they can potentially cause:
- Arsenic – Potential effect: Cancer
- Bromodichloromethane – Potential effect: Cancer
- Chloroform – Potential effect: Cancer
- Haloacetic acids – Potential effect: Cancer
- Total trihalomethanes – Potential effect: Cancer
These are five of the 30 contaminants analyzed by the Environmental Working Group (ewg.org).
12 of these contaminants are rated as exceeding EWG Health Guidelines.
Does Long Beach have Lead contamination?
No, Long Beach does not have lead in its water. The most recent Lead samples collected in 2019 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 Long Beach’s water come from?
Long Beach’s water comes from the San Pedro Bay watershed.
All 8 EPA assessed water sources in the San Pedro Bay watershed are in Impaired or Unknown condition. These include:
- Cabrillo Beach
- Downtown Shoreline Marina
- Long Beach City Beach
- Los Angeles Harbor – Cabrillo Marina and Inner Cabrillo Beach Area
- Los Angeles River Estuary
- Los Angeles/Long Beach Inner Harbor
- Point Fermin Park Beach
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 Long Beach’s water.
What Can You Do?
Information about water quality in Long Beach 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 90% of contaminants in your drinking water. (Berkey Light and Travel Berkey are the only types available in California.)
- This includes Arsenic and Haloacetic acids.
- Berkey filters can also remove up to 99.99% of any Lead in Long Beach water.
- Brita can filter 18 contaminants (60%) and Lead depending on the filter.
- Note: We may receive a commission if you decide to purchase filters through links on this page.
- To filter out 27 of the 30 contaminants (90%) 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:
- 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
- Haloacetic acids – chlorination byproduct*
- Hexavalent chromium – health effects
- Monobromoacetic acid
- Monochloroacetic acid
- 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.longbeach.gov/ to find contact information for your local officials.