Salt Lake City, Utah
Water Quality in Salt Lake City, Utah
Watershed: Red Butte Creek – Emigration Creek
What is the water quality like in Salt Lake City, UT?
Let’s dive deeper into what’s in Salt Lake City water.
What’s in Salt Lake City water?
Here are the top 7 chemical compounds in your water and what health issues they can potentially cause:
- Arsenic – Potential effect: Cancer
- Bromodichloromethane – Potential effect: Cancer
- Chloroform – Potential effect: Cancer
- Haloacetic acids – Potential effect: Cancer
- Hexavalent Chromium – Potential effect: Cancer
- Radium – Potential effect: Cancer
- Total trihalomethanes – Potential effect: Cancer
These are seven of the 28 contaminants analyzed by the Environmental Working Group (ewg.org).
12 of these contaminants are rated as exceeding EWG Health Guidelines.
*Please note that accurate information for Salt Lake City as a whole is difficult to come by. To get facts and figures we’re using smaller community water supplies to extrapolate.
See the What Can You Do? section below for all of the contaminants you can filter out and how to do it.
Where does Salt Lake City’s water come from?
Salt Lake City’s water comes from the Red Butte Creek – Emigration Creek watershed.
Two of the three EPA assessed water sources in the Red Butte Creek – Emigration Creek watershed are in Impaired condition. These include:
- Emigration Creek – Lower
- Red Butte Creek – Lower
Ideally, a water source would be rated in Good condition. Red Butte Creek (Upper) is 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 Salt Lake City’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.
- 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:
- Arsenic – health risks
- Barium – health risks in water
- Bromodichloromethane – health risks in drinking water
- Chloroform – side effects
- Chromium (total)
- Cyanide – exposure limits
- Dichloroacetic acid
- 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: http://www.slc.gov/ to find contact information for your local officials.