What is the Water Quality in Ocala, Florida?
Compared to other US cities, Ocala water quality ranks in the lower-middle range for contamination excluding Lead.
Most of their 18 contaminants have cancer-causing attributes.
- Arsenic is at extremely high levels: 88x health guidelines.
- PFOS is at extremely high levels: 51x health guidelines.
- PFOS along with PFHXS are considered “forever chemicals.” They are very hard to remove from the environment. A good water filter can help. See below for recommendations.
- Radium is at very high levels: 14x health guidelines.
Let’s look closer at what’s in Ocala water.
What’s in Ocala water?
Here are the top 5 chemical compounds in your water and what health issues they can potentially cause:
- Arsenic – Potential effect: Cancer
- Hexavalent Chromium – Potential effect: Cancer
- Haloacetic acids (HAA5 and HAA9) – Potential effect: Cancer
- Radium – Potential effect: Cancer
- Total trihalomethanes – Potential effect: Cancer
These are five of the 18 contaminants analyzed by the Environmental Working Group (ewg.org).
9 of these contaminants are rated as exceeding EWG Health Guidelines.
Does Ocala have Lead contamination?
Yes, Ocala has lead in its water. The most recent Lead samples collected in 2017 showed concentrations up to 0.5 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 Ocala’s water come from?
Ocala’s water comes from the Brooks Branch watershed.
All 3 water sources in the Brooks Branch watershed are in Unknown condition. These include:
- Hawthorn Prairie Outlet
- Silver River Drain
Ideally, a water source would be Known and rated in Good condition.
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 Ocala’s water.
Conclusion – What Can You Do?
Information about water quality in Ocala 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 87% of contaminants in your drinking water.
- To filter out 16 of the 18 contaminants in your whole house, consider a Reverse Osmosis Pentair water filtration system for your home.
- These are more expensive than pitchers to purchase, but are more effective.
- They have the benefit of filtering out heavy hitters like:
*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.ocalafl.org/ to find contact information for your local officials.