San Clemente, California
What is the Water Quality in San Clemente, California?
Compared to other US cities, San Clemente water quality ranks in the middle range for contamination excluding Lead.
Most of their 21 contaminants have cancer-causing attributes.
- Chloroform is at very high levels: 25x health guidelines.
- Haloacetic acids (HAA5) are at extremely high levels: 153x health guidelines.
- Haloacetic acids (HAA9) are at extremely high levels: 277x health guidelines.
- These are both byproducts of the chlorine treatment process most water supplies go through.
Let’s look closer at what’s in San Clemente water.
What’s in San Clemente water?
Here are the top 5 chemical compounds in your water and what health issues they can potentially cause:
- Bromodichloromethane – Potential effect: Cancer
- Chloroform – Potential effect: Cancer
- Hexavalent Chromium – Potential effect: Cancer
- Haloacetic acids (HAA5) – Potential effect: Cancer
- Total trihalomethanes – Potential effect: Cancer
These are five of the 21 contaminants analyzed by the Environmental Working Group (ewg.org).
11 of these contaminants are rated as exceeding EWG Health Guidelines.
Does San Clemente have Lead contamination?
Yes, San Clemente has lead in its water. The most recent Lead samples collected from 2014 through 2015 showed concentrations up to 3.3 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 Clemente’s water come from?
San Clemente’s water comes from the Prima Deshecha Canada – Frontal Capistrano Bight watershed.
19 of the 30 water sources in the Prima Deshecha Canada – Frontal Capistrano Bight watershed are in Impaired condition. These include:
- Multiple subareas of Pacific Ocean shoreline (Lower San Juan Hydrologic Subarea)
- Multiple areas of Pacific Ocean shoreline (San Clemente Hydrologic Area)
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 three uses:
- Aquatic Life
- Fish and Shellfish Consumption
Learn more from How’s My Waterway
See below for what you can do to improve San Clemente’s water.
What Can You Do?
Information about water quality in San Clemente 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 expensive 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 90% of contaminants in your drinking water. (Berkey Light and Travel Berkey are the only types available in California.)
- This includes Chloroform and Haloacetic acids.
- Berkey filters can also remove up to 99.99% of Lead in San Clemente water.
- Brita can filter 11 contaminants and Lead depending on the filter.
- Note: We may receive a commission if you decide to purchase filters through links on this page.
- To filter out 18 of the 21 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:
- Barium – In low doses, barium ions act as a muscle stimulant, and higher doses affect the nervous system, causing cardiac irregularities, tremors, weakness, anxiety, shortness of breath, and paralysis.
- Haloacetic acids* – HAA5 and HAA9
- Hexavalent chromium
- 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: https://www.san-clemente.org/government to find contact information for your local officials.