San Diego, California

San Diego, California San Diego, California

Water Quality in San Diego, California

Watershed: San Diego Bay

What is the water quality like in San Diego, CA?

Let’s dive deeper into what’s in your water.

What’s in your water?

Here are the top 5 chemical compounds in your water and what health issues they can potentially cause:

  1. Bromodichloromethane – Potential effect: Cancer
  2. Chloroform – Potential effect: Cancer
  3. Haloacetic acids – Potential effect: Cancer
  4. Radium – Potential effect: Cancer
  5. Total trihalomethanes – Potential effect: Cancer

These are five of the 26 contaminants analyzed by the Environmental Working Group (ewg.org).

13 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 Diego’s water come from?

San Diego’s water comes from the San Diego Bay watershed.

35 of the 38 EPA assessed water sources in the San Diego Bay watershed are in Impaired or Unknown condition. These include:

  • Paleta Creek
  • Paradise Creek
  • Poggi Canyon Creek
  • San Diego Bay – 24 segments
  • Sweetwater River
  • Switzer Creek
  • Telegraph Canyon Creek

Ideally, a water source would be rated in Good condition. Three segments of the San Diego Bay shoreline are in Good condition.

Whether a water source is in Impaired or Good condition refers to the quality of these uses:

  1. Drinking Water
  2. Aquatic Life
  3. Fish and Shellfish Consumption
  4. Recreation

Learn more from How’s My Waterway

See below for what you can do to improve San Diego’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:
Drink Better Water with Berkey Filters

  • Use Berkey water filters with activated carbon to filter out 20 of the 26 contaminants in your drinking water.
    • Brita and PUR pitchers only remove 14 contaminants.
    • Berkey filters can also remove up to 99% of Lead in San Diego water.
    • Note: We may receive a commission if you decide to purchase filters through links on this page.
  • To filter out 22 of the 26 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:
      • 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.
      • Bromate
      • Bromide
      • Bromodichloromethane – health risks in drinking water
      • Bromoform
      • Chlorite – Potential change in blood chemistry.
      • Chloroform – side effects
      • Dibromoacetic acid
      • Dibromochloromethane
      • Dichloroacetic acid
      • Fluoride
      • Haloacetic acids – chlorination byproduct*
      • Hexavalent chromium – health effects
      • Molybdenum
      • Monobromoacetic acid
      • Monochloroacetic acid
      • Nitrate
      • Radium
      • Strontium
      • Total trihalomethanes – byproduct of chlorination*
      • Trichloroacetic acid
      • Uranium

*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.sandiego.gov/ to find contact information for your local officials.

Water Quality in Other California Cities

California Water Quality Page

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