Problems We Found In Long Beach's Drinking Water
Kezia Snipe | Hydroviv Research Analyst
For Hydroviv’s assessment of tap water in Long Beach, CA, we aggregated water quality test data from Long Beach Water, the city’s water provider and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). We cross reference these data with toxicity studies in the scientific and medical literature, and delve into upcoming regulatory changes. The water filters that we offer at Hydroviv are optimized with these figures in mind.
Source Of Long Beach Drinking Water
Approximately 65 percent of the potable water serving Long Beach was supplied by groundwater, and the remaining 35 percent was supplied through purchased imported surface water. The groundwater is pumped from active wells around the Long Beach and Lakewood area. Two major aqueducts supply the surface waters feeding five regional treatment plants. Colorado River water, which has the higher mineral content of the two supplies, is brought into southern California through the 242-mile long Colorado River Aqueduct. This aqueduct originates at Lake Havasu and terminates in southern California at Lake Mathews. State Project water is conveyed through the California Aqueduct.
Arsenic In Long Beach 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. Long Beach is in compliance with the EPA’s water quality standards but it is very important to point out that EPA’s standard balances the toxicity against the costs of removing arsenic from drinking water. The most recent tap water quality report reported an average arsenic concentration up to 2.1 parts per billion for for the city. Hydroviv recommends that anyone with more than 1 part per billion take steps to remove arsenic from their water, especially if they have children.
Lead In Long Beach Drinking Water
Lead enters tap water through older lead service pipes and lead-containing plumbing. When corrosion control measures put in place by the municipality fail (like what recently happened in Flint, Michigan), lead leaches into the drinking water, and can reach dangerous levels. Currently, 10% of samples analyzed for lead in Long Beach are 5 parts per billion. Though in compliance with federal regulations, EPA and CDC both acknowledge that there is no safe level of lead, and federal regulations do not take into account levels measured at an individual tap. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that any taps used to serve children have lead levels no higher than 1 part per billion.
Chromium 6 In Long Beach Drinking Water
Chromium 6 is a highly toxic metal that is not regulated by the EPA. In recent years, Long Beach’s tap water has averaged 56 parts per trillion for Chromium 6. While they are in compliance with nonexistent federal and very loose state regulations, these levels are 3 times higher than the concentration determined the State of California to have negligible impact on cancer risk.
Disinfection Byproducts (DBPs) In Long Beach 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.
Still Have Questions About Long Beach Drinking 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 Long Beach, but all of our our filters provide broad protection against a wide range of contaminants (including lead).
If you’re interested in learning more about water filters that have been optimized for Long Beach tap water, or just have questions about water quality in general, feel free to visit www.hydroviv.com, reach out by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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).
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- Kezia Snipe