Water Quality in Orlando, Florida
Watershed: Lake Conway
What is the water quality like in Orlando, FL?
Let’s dive deeper into what’s in Orlando water.
What’s in Orlando water?
Here are the top 4 chemical compounds in your water and what health issues they can potentially cause:
- 1,3-Butadiene – Potential effect: Cancer
- Haloacetic acids – Potential effect: Cancer
- Hexavalent Chromium – Potential effect: Cancer
- Total trihalomethanes – Potential effect: Cancer
These are five of the 11 contaminants analyzed by the Environmental Working Group (ewg.org).
These 4 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 Orlando’s water come from?
Orlando’s water comes from the Lake Conway watershed.
35 of the 63 EPA assessed water sources in the Lake Conway watershed are in Impaired or Unknown condition. These include:
- Boggy Creek
- Druid Lake
- Jennie Jewel Lake
- Lakes: Lake Angel, Lake Baldwin, Lake Bumby, Lake Como, Lake Condel, Lake Copeland, Lake Davis, Lake Gatlin, Lake Gear, Lake Greenwood, Lake Holden, Lake Ivanhoe, Lake Jessamine, Lake Lawsona, Lake Lucerne (West), Lake Mary Gem, Lake Olive, Lake Pinelock, Lake Tennessee, Lake Theresa, Lake Tyner, Lake Wade, Lake Warren
- Little Econlockhatchee River
- Shingle Creek
Ideally, a water source would be rated in Good condition. These are in Good condition:
- Bay Lake
- Bear Head Lake
- Hourglass Lake
- Lakes: Lake Anderson, Lake Arnold, Lake Bass, Lake Beauty, Lake Cay Dee, Lake Cherokee, Lake Conway, Lake Emerald, Lake Eola, Lake Farrar, Lake Giles, Lake Jane, Lake Lancaster, Lake Lucerne (East), Lake Lurna, Lake Mary Jess, Lake Michelle, Lake of the Woods, Lake Porter, Lake Rabama, Lake Shannon, Lake Terrace, Lake Underhill, Lake Weldona
- Little Lake Conway
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 Orlando’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 9 of the 11 contaminants in your drinking water.
- Berkey filters can also remove up to 99.99% of Lead in Orlando water.
- Brita can filter 3 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 10 of the 11 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:
- 1,3-Butadiene – precursor to synthetic rubber. Long-term exposure has been associated with cardiovascular disease.
- 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
- 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.orlando.gov/Our-Government to find contact information for your local officials.