Problems We Found In Oakland's Drinking Water
Kezia Snipe | Hydroviv Research Analyst
For Hydroviv’s assessment of Oakland's tap water quality, we aggregated water quality test data from East Bay Municipal Utility District, the water provider for the city and 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 scientific and medical literature, and look at upcoming regulatory changes. The water filters that we offer at Hydroviv are optimized with these numbers in mind.
Source Of Oakland Drinking Water
Almost all of Oakland’s water comes from the 577-square mile watershed of the Mokelumne River on the western slope of the Sierra Nevada. This area is mostly national forest, EBMUD-owned lands and other undeveloped lands little affected by human activity. The Mokelumne watershed collects snowmelt from Alpine, Amador and Calaveras counties, which flows into Pardee Reservoir near the town of Valley Springs. Three large aqueducts carry water 90 miles from Pardee Reservoir to the East Bay.
Lead In Oakland 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 happened in Flint), lead drains into the drinking water, and can reach dangerous levels. Currently, 10% of samples analyzed for lead in Oakland is 5 parts per billion. Though Oakland's water quality is within compliance with federal regulations, the EPA and CDC have both acknowledged 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 Oakland Drinking Water
Chromium 6 is an extremely toxic metal that is not currently regulated by the EPA. In recent years, Oakland's tap water quality averaged 54 parts per trillion. For the sake of perspective, these levels are nearly 3 times higher than the concentration determined to have negligible impact on cancer risk.
Disinfection Byproducts (DBPs) In Oakland 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 Oakland 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 Oakland, 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 Oakland 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