San Bernardino, California
What is the Water Quality in San Bernardino, California?
Compared to other US cities, San Bernardino water quality ranks in the middle range for contamination excluding Lead.
Most of their 37 contaminants have cancer-causing attributes.
- Arsenic is at extremely high levels: 466x health guidelines.
Let’s look closer at what’s in San Bernardino water.
What’s in San Bernardino water?
Here are the top 5 chemical compounds in your water and what health issues they can potentially cause:
- Arsenic – Potential effect: Cancer
- Haloacetic acids (HAA5 and HAA9) – Potential effect: Cancer
- Hexavalent Chromium – Potential effect: Cancer
- Total trihalomethanes – Potential effect: Cancer
- Uranium – Potential effect: Cancer
These are five of the 37 contaminants analyzed by the Environmental Working Group (ewg.org).
10 of these contaminants are rated as exceeding EWG Health Guidelines.
Does San Bernardino have Lead contamination?
No, San Bernardino City does not have lead in its water. The most recent Lead samples collected from 2016 through 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 San Bernardino’s water come from?
San Bernardino’s water comes from the Warm Creek – Santa Ana River watershed.
3 of the 5 EPA assessed water sources in the Warm Creek – Santa Ana River watershed are in Impaired or Unknown condition. These include:
- Santa Ana River Reaches 4 and 5
- Warm Creek
Ideally, a water source would be rated in Good condition. City Creek and Lytle Creek are 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 San Bernardino’s water.
What Can You Do?
Information about water quality in San Bernardino 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 at least 79% of contaminants in your drinking water. (Berkey Light and Travel Berkey are the only types available in California.)
- To filter out 30 of the 37 contaminants in your whole house (81%), consider a Reverse Osmosis water filtration system for your home.
- 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 effects in water
- Bromodichloromethane – health risks in drinking water
- Chloroform – side effects
- Dibromoacetic acid
- Haloacetic acids – chlorination byproduct*
- Hexavalent chromium – health effects
- Monochloroacetic acid
- Tetrachloroethylene – Health and safety
- 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: http://www.ci.san-bernardino.ca.us/ to find contact information for your local officials.