National City, California
What is the Water Quality in National City, California?
Compared to other US cities, National City water quality ranks in the middle range for contamination excluding Lead.
Most of their 26 contaminants have cancer-causing attributes.
- Arsenic is at very high levels: 25x health guidelines.
- Haloacetic acids (HAA5) are at extremely high levels: 128x health guidelines.
- Haloacetic acids (HAA9) are at extremely high levels: 500x health guidelines.
- These are both byproducts of the chlorine treatment process most water supplies go through.
Let’s look closer at what’s in National City water.
What’s in National City 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 (HAA5 and HAA9) – Potential effect: Cancer
- Total trihalomethanes – Potential effect: Cancer
These are five of the 26 contaminants analyzed by the Environmental Working Group (ewg.org).
12 of these contaminants are rated as exceeding EWG Health Guidelines.
Does National City water have Lead contamination?
Yes, National City has lead in its water. The most recent Lead samples collected from 2015 through 2017 showed concentrations up to 3.8 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 National City’s water come from?
National City’s water comes from the San Diego Bay watershed.
31 of the 34 assessed water sources in the San Diego Bay watershed are in Impaired or Unknown condition. These include:
- Paleta Creek
- Paradise Creek
- Poggi Canyon Creek
- San Diego Bay – At least 20 different sections of the bay and shoreline
Ideally, a water source would be rated in Good condition. San Diego Bay at these locations is in Good condition:
- Silver Strand Beach (bayside)
- Spanish Landing
- Kellogg Street Beach
Whether a water source is in Impaired or Good condition refers to the quality of three uses:
- Aquatic Life
- Fish and Shellfish Consumption
Learn more from How’s My Waterway
See below for what you can do to improve National City’s water.
What Can You Do?
Information about water quality in National City 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 some 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 83% of contaminants in your drinking water. (Berkey Light and Travel Berkey are the only types available in California.)
- Berkey filters can also remove up to 99.99% of Lead in National City water.
- Brita can filter 15 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 23 of the 26 contaminants, consider a Reverse Osmosis water filtration system for your house.
- These are more expensive than pitchers to purchase, but are much more effective.
- They have the benefit of filtering out heavy hitters like:
- Haloacetic acids
- Hexavalent chromium
- 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.nationalcityca.gov/ to find contact information for your local officials.