What is the Water Quality in Pharr, Texas?
Compared to other US cities, Pharr water quality ranks in the high range for contamination excluding Lead.
Most of their 31 contaminants have cancer-causing attributes.
- Arsenic is at very high levels: 175x health guidelines.
- Haloacetic acids (HAA5) are at extremely high levels: 163x health guidelines.
- Haloacetic acids (HAA9) are at extremely high levels: 399x health guidelines.
- These are both byproducts of the chlorine treatment process most water supplies go through.
- Uranium is at high levels: 4.5x health guidelines.
Let’s look closer at what’s in Pharr water.
What’s in Pharr water?
Here are the top 5 chemical compounds in Pharr water and what health issues they can potentially cause:
- Arsenic – Potential effect: Cancer
- Bromodichloromethane – Potential effect: Cancer
- Chlorite – Potential effect: Change in blood chemistry
- Haloacetic acids – Potential effect: Cancer
- Total trihalomethanes – Potential effect: Cancer
These are five of the 31 contaminants analyzed by the Environmental Working Group (ewg.org).
15 of these contaminants are rated as exceeding EWG Health Guidelines.
Does Pharr water have Lead contamination?
No, Pharr does not currently have lead in its water. The most recent Lead samples collected in 2018 showed concentrations of 0.0 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 Pharr’s water come from?
Pharr’s water comes from the Upper Pilot Channel – Laguna Madre watershed.
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 Pharr’s water.
What Can You Do?
Information about water quality in Pharr 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 the majority of contaminants in Pharr’s drinking water.
- To filter out 27 of the 31 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:
- Arsenic – health risks
- Barium – health risks in water
- Bromodichloromethane – health risks in drinking water
- Chloroform – side effects
- Cyanide – exposure limits
- Haloacetic acids – chlorination byproduct*
- Hexavalent chromium – health effects
- Selenium – health risks
- Total trihalomethanes – byproduct of chlorination*
- Trichloroacetic acid
*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://pharr-tx.gov/ to find contact information for your local officials.