San Francisco, California
Water Quality in San Francisco, California
Watershed: Visitacion Valley – Frontal San Francisco Bay Estuaries
What is the water quality like in San Francisco, CA?
Let’s dive deeper into what’s in San Francisco water.
What’s in San Francisco water?
Here are the top 3 chemical compounds in your water and what health issues they can potentially cause:
- Haloacetic acids – Potential effect: Cancer
- Hexavalent Chromium – Potential effect: Cancer
- Total trihalomethanes – Potential effect: Cancer
These are three of the 8 contaminants analyzed by the Environmental Working Group (ewg.org).
These 3 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 Francisco’s water come from?
San Francisco’s water comes from the Visitacion Valley – Frontal San Francisco Bay Estuaries watershed.
All 6 EPA assessed water sources in the Visitacion Valley – Frontal San Francisco Bay Estuaries watershed are in Impaired or Unknown condition. These include:
- Candlestick Point
- Central Basic
- Islais Creek
- Mission Creek
- South Beach Harbor
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 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 Francisco’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 7 of the 8 contaminants in your drinking water. (Berkey Light and Travel Berkey are the only types available in California.)
- To filter out 6 of the 8 contaminants in your whole house, consider a Reverse Osmosis water filtration system for your home.
*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://sf.gov/ to find contact information for your local officials.