Problems We Found With Buffalo Drinking Water


Emma Schultz, M.S.  |  Scientific Contributor
**Updated May 30, 2021 to include current data

Our Water Nerds have updated our assessment of Buffalo's drinking water to include the most recent available data. We used information from Buffalo WaterU.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as well as from samples that we collect and analyze. We're then able to cross reference these data with toxicity studies in scientific and medical literature. The custom water filters that we sell in Buffalo are optimized to remove present contaminants.

Source Of Buffalo Drinking Water

Buffalo’s gets its tap water from Lake Erie. Despite its size, Lake Erie is a very shallow lake, and has a water detention time of only 2.6 years. This quick turnaround time for water replenishment helps to explain the success of cleanup efforts following the heavy pollution of Lake Erie in the 1960s and 1970s. Buffalo’s city water intake is located upstream of the Niagara River in the Emerald Channel, and flows through a mile-long tunnel before reaching a pumping station. Water then proceeds to underground basins for treating and filtering, before being stored in a 28 million gallon clearwell.

Lead In Buffalo Drinking Water

Lead enters into a consumer’s tap water through old lead service pipes and lead-containing plumbing. When corrosion control measures fail (such as recently happened in Flint, Michigan), lead leaches into the drinking water and can reach toxic levels. According to the most recent report, the 90th percentile detected was 2.7 parts per billion. While the regulatory limit is 15 parts per billion, both the EPACDC, and the American Academy of Pediatrics all recognize that there is no such thing as a safe level of lead. Of course, federal regulations cannot take into account levels measured at an individual tap.

Chromium 6 In Buffalo Drinking Water

Chromium 6 is a highly toxic metal not regulated by the EPA. The city of Buffalo’s tap water recently averaged 100 parts per trillion for chromium 6. These levels are 4 times higher than the concentration determined to have a negligible impact on cancer risk.

Use Of Chlorine In Buffalo Tap Water

Like many cities in the United States, Buffalo adds chlorine to its drinking and tap water supply to keep consumers safe from waterborne illness. While not considered overtly harmful, many people find that when they remove the chlorine from their tap water, they notice an improvement in taste and odor. When you choose to filter your tap water, we believe you will notice an immediate taste enhancement.

Still Have Questions About Buffalo’s Tap Water?

Hydroviv is a water filtration company that uses water quality data to optimize water filters for each city’s water. The chemicals that we list above are what we consider to be “points of emphasis” so we can build the best water filter for Buffalo tap water, but all of our home water filtration systems provide broad protection against other contaminants commonly found in drinking water (e.g. VOCs, heavy metals [including lead], pharmaceuticals, solvents, pesticides, mercury).

If you’re interested in learning more about water filters that have been optimized for Buffalo tap water, feel free to visit, reach out by email ( or through our live chat. We also frequently post water-related news on Twitter or Facebook.

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