What is the Water Quality in Watsonville, California?
Compared to other US cities over 50,000, Watsonville water quality ranks in the middle range for contamination excluding Lead.
Most of their 23 contaminants have cancer-causing attributes. Arsenic is at extremely high levels: 113x health guidelines.
Let’s look closer at what’s in Watsonville water.
What’s in Watsonville water?
Here are the top 7 chemical compounds in your water and what health issues they can potentially cause:
- Arsenic – Potential effect: Cancer
- Bromodichloromethane – Potential effect: Cancer
- Chloroform – Potential effect: Cancer
- Hexavalent Chromium – Potential effect: Cancer
- Haloacetic acids (HAA5) – Potential effect: Cancer
- Radium – Potential effect: Cancer
- Total trihalomethanes – Potential effect: Cancer
These are seven of the 23 contaminants analyzed by the Environmental Working Group (ewg.org).
14 of these contaminants are rated as exceeding EWG Health Guidelines.
Does Watsonville have Lead contamination?
No, Watsonville does not currently have lead in its water. The most recent Lead samples collected from 2014 through 2016 showed concentrations of 0.0 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 Watsonville’s water come from?
Watsonville’s water comes from the Watsonville Slough Frontal watershed.
All 6 water sources in the Watsonville Slough Frontal watershed are in Impaired condition. These include:
- Beach Road Ditch
- Gallighan Slough
- Hanson Slough
- Harkins Slough
- Struve Slough
- Watsonville Slough
Ideally, a water source would be rated in Good condition.
Learn more from How’s My Waterway
See below for what you can do to improve Watsonville’s water.
Conclusion – What Can You Do?
Information about water quality in Watsonville can be surprising and downright scary.
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.
- Use Berkey filters with activated carbon to filter out at least 85.7% of contaminants in your drinking water. (Berkey Light and Travel Berkey are the only types available in California.)
- To filter out 20 of the 23 contaminants in your whole house, consider a whole house water filtration system for your home.
- These are typically more expensive than pitchers to purchase, but can be more effective.
- They have the benefit of filtering out heavy hitters like:
- Chromium (hexavalent)
- Haloacetic acids – HAA5 and HAA9
- Total trihalomethanes – byproduct of chlorination
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://cityofwatsonville.org/ to find contact information for your local officials.