Problems We Found In Bakersfield Drinking Water


Analies Dyjak, M.A.  |  Hydroviv Research Analyst
**Updated May 14, 2021 to include most current data

Our Water Nerds have updated our assessment of Bakersfield, California drinking water. To do this, our teams looks at water quality test data from California Water Service, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as well as from samples that we collect and analyze. Our Water Nerds then compare these data with toxicity studies in the scientific and medical literature. Hydroviv's custom water filters are built to remove contaminants in Bakersfield drinking water.

Source Of Bakersfield Drinking Water

California Water uses a combination of local groundwater produced by 77 active wells, surface water from the Kern River (treated with municipal scale membrane filtration), and treated water purchased from the Kern County Water Agency.

Arsenic Detected In Bakersfield Drinking Water

Arsenic is a toxic metal that is known to cause cancer and other health issues. Unlike lead, which distributes into water from plumbing, arsenic comes from the source water itself. The most recent Bakersfield water quality report reported an average arsenic concentration at non-detectable amounts while some taps reached as high as 16 parts per billion. Because Bakersfield's water contains arsenic, EPA requires the municipality to make the following disclosure in the Consumer Confidence Report (CCR):

"... drinking water meets the federal and state standards for arsenic, it does contain low levels of arsenic. The arsenic standards balance the current understanding of arsenic’s possible health effects against the costs of removing arsenic from drinking water. The EPA continues to research the health effects of low levels of arsenic, which is a mineral known to cause cancer in humans at high concentrations and is linked to other health effects, such as skin damage and circulatory problems."

We highly recommend that anyone with more than 1 part per billion take steps to remove arsenic from their water, especially homes with children.

High Levels Of Chromium 6 In Bakersfield Drinking Water

Chromium 6 (also known as hexavalent chromium) is a highly toxic metal that is not regulated by the EPA. In recent years, tap water in Bakersfield has averaged 587 parts per trillion for chromium 6. For the sake of perspective, these levels are 30 times higher than the concentration determined to have negligible impact on cancer risk

Volatile Organic Compounds Detected In Bakersfield Tap Water

Volatile Organic Comounds (VOCs) are a class of chemicals that can enter the water supply from runoff and industrial discharge. Bakersfield's drinking water tested positive for low levels of Dibromochloropropane, 1,2-Dichloroethylene, 1,2-Dichloropropane, Tetrachloroethylene, and Trichloroethylene.

Disinfection Byproducts (DBPs) In Bakersfield Drinking Water

DBPs are a category of emerging contaminants that form when chlorine-based disinfectants react with naturally-occurring organic matter. Although these chemicals are not currently regulated very well, the EPA has admitted that they are associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer, as well as kidney, liver, and central nervous system problems. Bakersfield's water quality has relatively high levels of the two regulated classes of disinfection byproducts (trihalomethanes & haloacetic acids).

Chlorine In Bakersfield Drinking Water

Like many other municipalities in the United States, Bakersfield's drinking water is injected with chlorine, which is typically used to protect against waterborne illness. Chlorine is not typically considered to be harmful on its own but many find that removing chlorine from drinking water greatly enhances its taste and odor.

Still Have Questions About Bakersfield Tap Water?

Hydroviv is a water filtration company that uses water quality data to optimize water filters for each customer's water. The contaminants that we list above are what we consider to be major “points of emphasis” that we use to build water filters that are built specifically for Bakersfield, but our filters provide broad protection against a wide range of contaminants.

If you’re interested in learning more about water filters that have been optimized for Bakersfield tap water, or just have questions about water quality in general, feel free to visit, reach out by email ( or through our live chat. We also frequently post water-related news on Twitter or Facebook. We pride ourselves in being a reputable source of information on water quality, and your questions will be answered by scientists, not salespeople (we don't have any salespeople).

Please Share This Bakersfield Drinking Water Article On Social Media With Anyone You Think Would Benefit From The Information!

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