Problems We Found In Pasadena's Drinking Water


Kezia Snipe  |  Hydroviv Research Analyst

For Hydroviv’s assessment of Pasadena's city water quality, we aggregated water quality test data from Pasadena Water and Power, the city’s water provider 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 the scientific and medical literature, and delve into upcoming regulatory changes. The water filters that we offer at Hydroviv are optimized with these numbers in mind.

Sources Of Pasadena Drinking Water

In 2016, PWP produced 26,890 acre-feet or 8.8 billion gallons of water, to serve approximately 166,000 consumers in Pasadena, portions of the unincorporated areas of Altadena, East Pasadena, and San Gabriel. During the year, nearly 40 percent of the water supply was pumped from local groundwater, whereas 60 percent came from imported surface water purchased from the Metropolitan Water District (MWD). Less than 1 percent was purchased from neighboring water agencies that combine surface water and groundwater.

Lead In Pasadena Drinking Water

Lead enters Pasadena's city 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, Michigan), lead leaches into the drinking water, and can reach dangerous levels. Currently,10% of samples analyzed for lead in Pasadena are 1.7 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.

Very High Chromium 6 Levels In Pasadena Drinking Water

Pasadena's water quality was reported with very high levels of Chromium 6. Chromium 6 is a highly toxic metal that is not currently regulated by the EPA. In recent years, the city’s tap water has averaged a concerning 1900 parts per trillion for Chromium 6. For a bit of perspective, these levels are 95 times HIGHER than the concentration determined to have negligible impact on cancer risk.

Disinfection Byproducts (DBPs) In Pasadena 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 Pasadena 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 Pasadena, 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 Pasadena 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 onTwitter 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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