Water Quality in Miami, Florida
Watershed: Miami River
What is the water quality like in Miami, FL?
Let’s dive deeper into what’s in Miami water.
What’s in Miami water?
Here are the top 5 chemical compounds in your water and what health issues they can potentially cause:
- Arsenic – Potential effect: Cancer
- Haloacetic acids – Potential effect: Cancer
- Hexavalent Chromium – Potential effect: Cancer
- Radium – Potential effect: Cancer
- Total trihalomethanes – Potential effect: Cancer
These are five of the 21 contaminants analyzed by the Environmental Working Group (ewg.org).
7 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 Miami’s water come from?
Miami’s water comes from the Miami River watershed.
All 11 EPA assessed water sources in the Miami River watershed are in Impaired or Unknown condition. These include:
- Comfort Canal
- Coral Gables Canal
- Direct Runoff to Bay
- Little River
- Miami Canal
- Miami River
- Port of Miami
- Tamiami Canal
- Wagner Creek
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 Miami’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 17 of the 21 contaminants in your drinking water.
- Berkey filters can also remove up to 99.99% of Lead in Miami water.
- Brita can filter 4 contaminants (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 18 of the 21 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.
- Haloacetic acids – chlorination byproduct*
- Hexavalent chromium – health effects
- PFOS – global pollutant. Was the key ingredient in Scotchgard fabric protector from 3M. Increased risk of preeclampsia in pregnant women. Increased risk of altered thyroid hormone levels.
- Selenium – toxicity
- Total trihalomethanes – byproduct of chlorination*
*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.miamigov.com/Government to find contact information for your local officials.