What is the Water Quality in Pensacola, Florida?
Compared to other US cities, Pensacola water quality ranks in the high range for contamination excluding Lead.
Most of their 35 contaminants have cancer-causing attributes.
- Radium is at extremely high levels: 81x health guidelines.
- Pensacola also has PFOS, PFOA, and PFHXS.
- These are all dangerous “forever chemicals” with damaging health effects.
- These can be removed with a proper water filter. See the What Can You Do? section below.
Let’s look closer at what’s in Pensacola water.
What’s in Pensacola water?
Here are the top 5 chemical compounds in your water and what health issues they can potentially cause:
- Hexavalent Chromium – Potential effect: Cancer
- Haloacetic acids (HAA5) – Potential effect: Cancer
- Nitrate – Potential effect: Cancer
- Radium – Potential effect: Cancer
- Total trihalomethanes – Potential effect: Cancer
These are five of the 35 contaminants analyzed by the Environmental Working Group (ewg.org).
12 of these contaminants are rated as exceeding EWG Health Guidelines.
Does Pensacola have Lead contamination?
No, Pensacola does not currently have lead in its water. The most recent Lead samples collected in 2017 showed concentrations of 0.0 parts per billion.
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 Pensacola’s water come from?
Pensacola’s water comes from the Graveyard Branch – Bayou Texar Frontal watershed.
9 of the 10 water sources in the Graveyard Branch – Bayou Texar Frontal watershed are in Impaired or Unknown condition. These include:
- Bay Bluffs Park
- Bayou Chico Drain
- Bayview Park Pier
- Bellshead Branch
- Carpenter Creek
- Direct Runoff to Bay
- Drain to Bayou Grande
- Sanders Beach
- Texar Bayou
Ideally, a water source would be rated in Good condition. Only one water source is in good conditon: Thompson Bayou.
Learn more from How’s My Waterway
See below for what you can do to improve Pensacola’s water.
What Can You Do?
Information about water quality in Pensacola can be surprising and downright scary.
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 81.5% of contaminants in your drinking water. Berkey filters will remove PFOS, PFOA, PFHXS, and PFHPA.
- Berkey filters can also remove up to 99.99% of Lead in Pensacola water.
- Brita can filter 17 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 31 of the 35 contaminants, consider a Reverse Osmosis water filtration system for your house.
- These are typically more expensive than pitchers to purchase, but are much more effective.
- They have the benefit of filtering out heavy hitters like:
- Chromium (hexavalent)
- Chromium (total)
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.cityofpensacola.com/government to find contact information for your local officials.