Utica, New York

Utica, New York Utica, New York

What is the Water Quality in Utica, New York?

Compared to other US cities, Utica water quality ranks in the middle range for contamination excluding Lead.

Most of their 21 contaminants have cancer-causing attributes.

  • Chloroform is at extremely high levels: 106x health guidelines.
  • Haloacetic acids (HAA5) are at extremely high levels: 166x health guidelines.
  • Haloacetic acids (HAA9) are at extremely high levels: 274x health guidelines.
    • HAA5 and HAA9 are byproducts of chlorine treatment, a common method of disinfecting water supplies. These can be filtered out with a carbon filter. See below.

Let’s look closer at what’s in Utica water.

What’s in Utica 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 (HAA5) – Potential effect: Cancer
  4. Haloacetic acids (HAA9) – Potential effect: Cancer
  5. Total trihalomethanes – Potential effect: Cancer

These are five of the 21 contaminants analyzed by the Environmental Working Group (ewg.org).

7 of these contaminants are rated as exceeding EWG Health Guidelines.

Does Utica have Lead contamination?

Yes, Utica has lead in its water. The most recent Lead samples collected from 2016 through 2018 showed concentrations up to 13.0 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 Utica’s water come from?

Utica’s water comes from the Crane Creek – Mohawk River watershed.

All 8 assessed water sources in the Crane Creek – Mohawk River watershed are in Impaired or Unknown condition. These include:

  • Ballou, Nail Creeks and tributaries – Impaired
  • Marcy Reservoir – Uknown
  • Minor tributaries to Mohawk River – Unknown
  • Mohawk River (main stem) – Impaired
  • North Utica Reservoir – Unknown
  • NYS Barge Canal (portion 7) – Unknown

Ideally, a water source would be rated in Good condition.

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

  1. Aquatic Life
  2. Fish and Shellfish Consumption
  3. Recreation

Learn more from How’s My Waterway

See below for what you can do to improve Utica’s water.

Conclusion – What Can You Do?

Information about water quality in Utica can be surprising.

But there’s no reason to lose hope. There are things you can do in your home as well as things you can do at a community level.

In Your Home:
Take Control of Your Water with Berkey Filters

  • Use Berkey filters with activated carbon to filter out at least 84% of contaminants in your drinking water.
    • Berkey filters can also remove up to 99.99% of Lead in Utica water.
    • Brita can filter 10 of 21 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 17 of the 21 contaminants in your whole house, consider a Reverse Osmosis Pentair 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
      • Bromodichloromethane
      • Chloroform
      • Dibromochloromethane
      • Dicholoroacetic acid
      • Fluoride
      • Haloacetic acids (HAA5 and HAA9)
      • Hexavalent chromium
      • Nitrate
      • Nitrite
      • Strontium
      • Total trihalomethanes – byproduct of chlorination*
      • 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: http://www.cityofutica.com/ to find contact information for your local officials.

Water Quality in Other New York Cities

New York Water Quality Page

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