Water Quality in Salinas, California
Watershed: Alisal Slough – Tembladero Slough
What is the water quality like in Salinas, CA?
Let’s dive deeper into what’s in Salinas water.
What’s in Salinas 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
- Nitrate – Potential effect: Cancer
- Radon – Potential effect: Cancer
- Total trihalomethanes – Potential effect: Cancer
These are five of the 28 contaminants analyzed by the Environmental Working Group (ewg.org).
8 of these 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 Salinas’s water come from?
Salinas’s water comes from the Alisal Slough – Tembladero Slough watershed.
All 7 EPA assessed water sources in the Alisal Slough – Tembladero Slough watershed are in Impaired condition. These include:
- Alisal Slough
- Espinosa Lake
- Espinosa Slough
- Merrit Ditch
- Salinas Reclamation Canal
- Santa Rite Creek
- Tembladero Slough
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 Salinas’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 22 of the 28 contaminants in your drinking water. (Berkey Light and Travel Berkey are the only types available in California.)
- To filter out 25 of the 28 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:
- 1,4-Dioxane – “Exposure may cause damage to the central nervous system, liver and kidneys.”
- Arsenic – health risks
- Barium – health risks in water
- Chromium (total)
- Hexavalent chromium – health effects
- MTBE – fuel additive to increase knock resistance and reduce unwanted emissions.
- Radon – Health risks
- 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://www.cityofsalinas.org/our-government to find contact information for your local officials.