Problems We Found With Gilbert's Drinking Water


Emma Schultz, M.S.  |  Scientific Contributor

For our Gilbert water quality report, we aggregated water quality test data from the City of Gilbert’s Water Quality Division, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as well as from samples that we collect and analyze. We cross reference these data with toxicity studies in the scientific and medical literature, and look at upcoming regulatory changes. The water filters that we sell in Gilbert are optimized with these issues in mind.

Source Of Gilbert Drinking Water

Gilbert’s drinking water is both groundwater- and surface water-sourced. Surface water originates from the Salt River Project, with dams and reservoirs located on the Salt River and Verde River watersheds; and from the Central Arizona Project, drawing water from the Colorado River via Lake Havasu in a canal. All surface water is directed to one of Gilbert’s two water treatment plants, either the North Water Treatment Plant or the Santan Vista Water Treatment Plant. The Santan Vista plant is working to double its water production capabilities, which should be finished by early 2018. Groundwater is pumped as needed from 17 wells located throughout Gilbert, with ion exchange or adsorptive media used at some wells to reduce inorganic contaminant concentrations. In 2016, SRP provided 49% of the water used, while groundwater supplied 28% and CAP 23%.

Arsenic In Gilbert Drinking Water

Arsenic is a dangerous heavy metal known to cause cancer, among other health problems. Arsenic originates in source water. While the city of Gilbert's water report is in compliance with EPA water quality standards, consumers should take note that the EPA's standard balances toxicity against the costs of removing arsenic from drinking water; the standard is therefore quite high. The city of Gilbert's most recent water report listed average arsenic concentrations ranging from 3.2-9.1 parts per billion, with an average concentration of 6.43 ppb. Although this is a not an EPA violation, we strongly advocate that tap water with more than 1 part per billion be treated to remove arsenic, especially if there are children in the home.

Lead In Gilbert Drinking Water

Lead enters consumer 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 drinking water and can reach toxic levels. Recent analysis for lead in Gilbert found a 90th percentile concentration of 1.33 ppb, with an upper range limit of 2.9 ppb. While the Action Level is 15 ppb, both the EPA and CDC recognize that there is no such thing as a safe level of lead. In addition, federal regulations cannot possibly take into account levels measured at an individual tap.

Very High Levels Of Chromium 6 In Gilbert Drinking Water

Chromium 6 is a highly toxic metal that, while monitored, is not regulated by the EPA. Gilbert’s tap water recently averaged 5900 parts per trillion for chromium 6. These average levels are a staggering 295 times higher than the concentration determined to have a negligible impact on cancer risk.

Disinfection Byproducts (DBPs) In Gilbert 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 well regulated, the EPA has stated that they are associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer, as well as kidney, liver, and central nervous system problems. DBPs in Gilbert’s tap water had a 2016 local running annual average of 48.0089 parts per billion. It should be noted that levels of Total Trihalomethanes ranged as high as 110 ppb, while the EPA’s Maximum Residual Disinfectant Level is only 80 ppb. While over the MRDL, this is not an EPA violation since local running annual averages are used for comparison.

Use Of Chlorine In Gilbert Tap Water

Like most cities in the United States, Gilbert adds chlorine to its water supply to keep consumers safe from waterborne pathogens. While not considered harmful in low concentrations, many people find that removing the chlorine from their water supply results in a taste and odor improvement. When you choose to filter your tap water, we believe you will notice an immediate taste enhancement.

Still Have Questions About Gilbert’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 Gilbert tap water, but all of our water filters 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 Gilbert 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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