San Bernardino, California
Water Quality in San Bernardino, California
Watershed: Warm Creek – Santa Ana River
What is the water quality like in San Bernardino, CA?
Let’s dive deeper into 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 – Potential effect: Cancer
- Hexavalent Chromium – Potential effect: Cancer
- Total trihalomethanes – Potential effect: Cancer
- Uranium – Potential effect: Cancer
These are five of the 29 contaminants analyzed by the Environmental Working Group (ewg.org).
9 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 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.
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 23 of the 29 contaminants in your drinking water. (Berkey Light and Travel Berkey are the only types available in California.)
- To filter out 22 of the 29 contaminants in your whole house, 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:
- 1,4-Dioxane – “Exposure may cause damage to the central nervous system, liver and kidneys.”
- 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
- Perchlorate – used as oxidizers in propellants for rockets, fireworks, and highway flares. Also used to control static electricity in food packaging.
- Tetrachloroethylene – Health and safety
- Total trihalomethanes – byproduct of chlorination*
- Trichloroethylene – “Groundwater and drinking water contamination from industrial discharge including trichloroethylene is a major concern for human health and has precipitated numerous incidents and lawsuits.” [source]
*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.