Union City, New Jersey
What is the Water Quality in Union City, New Jersey?
[Updated: June 10, 2023]
Compared to other US cities, Union City water quality ranks in the high range for contamination excluding Lead.
Most of their 33 contaminants have cancer-causing attributes.
- Arsenic is at extremely high levels: 123x health guidelines.
- Chloroform is at extremely high levels: 40x health guidelines.
- Haloacetic acids (HAA5) are at extremely high levels: 284x health guidelines.
- Haloacetic acids (HAA9) are at extremely high levels: 639x health guidelines.
- These are both byproducts of the chlorine treatment process most water supplies go through.
- PFOS is at high levels: 7.8x health guidelines.
- This is considered a “forever chemical” by the EPA and is being studied extensively.
Let’s look closer at what’s in Union City water.
What’s in Union City 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 33 contaminants analyzed by the Environmental Working Group (ewg.org).
15 of these contaminants are rated as exceeding EWG Health Guidelines.
Does Union City have Lead contamination?
Yes, Union City has lead in its water. The most recent Lead samples collected in 2019 showed concentrations up to 215.0 parts per billion.
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 Union City’s water come from?
Union City’s water comes from the East River – Hudson River watershed.
12 of 13 EPA assessed water sources in the East River – Hudson River watershed are in Impaired or Unknown condition. These include:
- East River (lower)
- Harlem Meer
- Harlem River
- Hudson River – multiple sections
- Newtown Creek and tidal tributaries
- The Lake in Central Park
- Upper New York Bay
Ideally, a water source would be rated in Good condition. Central Park Reservoir is 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.
- Test Your Water using Varify Home Test Kits or similar.
- To Remove Lead and Other Contaminants In Your Home:
- Use Activated Carbon filters to remove most contaminants in your drinking water.
- To filter out even more 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
- Hexavalent chromium
- Total trihalomethanes – byproduct of chlorination*
- Our recommendation: APEC Reverse Osmosis Systems
*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.ucnj.com/ to find contact information for your local officials.