What is the Water Quality in Sarasota, Florida?
Compared to other US cities, Sarasota water quality ranks in the lower range for contamination excluding Lead.
Most of their 12 contaminants have cancer-causing attributes.
- Chlorate is at high levels: 3x health guidelines.
- Chlorate cannot be filtered out with the today’s technology.
- Haloacetic acids (HAA5) are at very high levels: 85x health guidelines.
- Haloacetic acids (HAA9) are at extremely high levels: 222x health guidelines.
- HAA5 and HAA9 are byproducts of chlorine treatment, a common method of disinfecting water supplies.
Let’s look closer at what’s in Sarasota water.
What’s in Sarasota water?
Here are 4 main chemical compounds in your water and what health issues they can potentially cause:
- Chlorate – Potential effect: Harm to the thyroid
- Haloacetic acids (HAA5) – Potential effect: Cancer
- Haloacetic acids (HAA9) – Potential effect: Cancer
- Total trihalomethanes – Potential effect: Cancer
These are four of the 12 contaminants analyzed by the Environmental Working Group (ewg.org).
These 4 contaminants are rated as exceeding EWG Health Guidelines.
Does Sarasota have Lead contamination?
Yes, Sarasota has lead in its water. The most recent Lead samples collected in 2016 showed concentrations up to 1.3 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 filtered out.
See the What Can You Do? section below to learn how to filter out contaminants.
Where does Sarasota’s water come from?
Sarasota’s water comes from the Roberts Bay Frontal watershed.
10 of the 12 assessed water sources in the Roberts Bay Frontal watershed are in Impaired or Unknown condition. These include:
- Bowlees Creek
- Direct Runoff to Bay
- Hudson Bayou Tidal
- Roberts Bay
- Sarasota Coastal Drainage
- Wares Creek
- Whitaker Bayou (Tidal)
Ideally, a water source would be rated in Good condition. Gap Creek and Whitaker Bayou are in Good condition.
Learn more from How’s My Waterway
See below for what you can do to improve Sarasota’s water.
What Can You Do?
Information about water quality in Sarasota 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 77% of contaminants in your drinking water.
- To filter out 10 of the 12 contaminants in your whole house, consider a Reverse Osmosis water filtration system for your home.
- These are more expensive than pitchers to purchase, but are more effective.
- They have the benefit of filtering out heavy hitters like:
- Chromium (hexavalent)
- Chromium (total)
- Haloacetic acids (HAA5)
- Haloacetic acids (HAA9)
- Total trihalomethanes
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.sarasotafl.gov/ to find contact information for your local officials.