Union City, California
What is the Water Quality in Union City, California?
Compared to other US cities, Union City water quality ranks in the middle range for contamination excluding Lead.
Most of their 20 contaminants have cancer-causing attributes.
- Chloroform is at very high levels: 35x health guidelines.
- Haloacetic acids (HAA5) are at extremely high levels: 333x health guidelines.
- Haloacetic acids (HAA9) are at extremely high levels: 209x health guidelines.
- These are both byproducts of the chlorine treatment process most water supplies go through.
Let’s look closer at what’s in Union City water.
What’s in Union City water?
Here are the top 4 chemical compounds in Union City water and what health issues they can potentially cause:
- Bromate – Potential effect: Cancer
- Haloacetic acids – Potential effect: Cancer
- Hexavalent Chromium – Potential effect: Cancer
- Total trihalomethanes – Potential effect: Cancer
These are four of the 20 contaminants analyzed by the Environmental Working Group (ewg.org).
These 9 contaminants are rated as exceeding EWG Health Guidelines.
Does Union City water have Lead contamination?
Yes, Union City has lead in its water. The most recent Lead samples collected from 2016 through 2018 showed concentrations up to 5.7 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 Union City’s water come from?
Union City’s water comes from the Lower Alameda Creek watershed.
All 3 EPA assessed water sources in the Lower Alameda Creek watershed are in Impaired or Unknown condition. These include:
- Alameda Creek – Impaired
- Alameda Creek Quarry Ponds – Unknown
- Old Alameda Creek – Impaired
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 Union City’s water.
What Can You Do?
Information about water quality in Union City 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 some 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 80% of contaminants in your drinking water. (Berkey Light and Travel Berkey are the only types available in California.)
- Berkey filters can also remove up to 99.99% of Lead in Union City water.
- Brita can filter 8 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 16 of the 20 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:
- Haloacetic acids – chlorination byproduct*
- 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.unioncity.org/ to find contact information for your local officials.