Problems We Found In Riverside, California Drinking Water


Emma Schultz, M.S. | Scientific Contributor   
**Updated August 6, 2019 to include current data

We've aggregated the most current water quality test data from Riverside Public Utilities, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). We then cross reference these data with toxicity studies in scientific and medical literature, and supplementary internal data. The water filters that we sell in Riverside are optimized to remove detected contaminants.

Source Of Riverside Drinking Water

Riverside gets its drinking water entirely from groundwater sources. Water is pumped from the Bunker Hill and Riverside groundwater basins and is treated before being distributed to Riverside residents. It should be noted that “these sources are considered most vulnerable to historical contamination from industrial and agricultural operations” (see above link to the 2018 Water Quality Report).

High Levels Of Chromium 6 In Riverside Drinking Water

Chromium 6 is a highly toxic metal not currently regulated by the EPA. Riverside tap water has recently averaged a substantial 2200 parts per trillion for chromium 6. For reference, these levels are nearly 110 times higher than the concentration determined to have a negligible impact on cancer risk. For a bit of context, the state of California tried to set a state Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) of 20 parts per trillion for chromium 6. After municipalities were unable to comply with the interim MCL, a lawsuit resulted in the withdrawal of the 20 parts per trillion standard. 

Arsenic In Riverside Drinking Water

Arsenic is a cancer-causing toxic heavy metal, that can also lead to other adverse health effects. Arsenic originates in the source water. While Riverside is in compliance with EPA water quality standards, it should be understood that EPA’s standard balances toxicity against the costs of removing arsenic from drinking water. Riverside’s most recent tap water quality report listed average arsenic concentrations of 1 parts per billion, with a maximum concentration of 2.9 parts per billion. We strongly recommend that tap water with more than 1 part per billion be treated to remove arsenic, particularly if there are children in the home.  

Lead In Riverside Drinking Water

Lead enters Riverside's tap water through older lead service pipes and lead-containing plumbing. When corrosion control measures fail (such as what recently happened in Flint, Michigan), lead leaches into drinking water, and can reach unsafe levels. EPACDC, and American Academy of Pediatrics all acknowledge that there is no safe level of lead for children. In addition, federal regulations cannot take into account levels measured at an individual tap.  

Disinfection Byproducts (DBPs) In Riverside Drinking Water

DBPs are halogenated emerging contaminants that occur when chlorine-based disinfectants are added to the water supply and then combine with naturally-occurring organic matter. Although these chemicals are not yet well-regulated, EPA has stated that they have been linked to an increased risk of bladder cancer, as well as kidney, liver, and central nervous system problems.

Use Of Chlorine In Riverside Tap Water

As is common practice in the United States, Riverside adds chlorine to its water to protect consumers against waterborne illness. While not considered harmful per se, many people find that removing chlorine from their drinking water greatly improves the overall taste and odor. When Riverside's water is filtered, we expect that you will notice an immediate improvement in taste.    

Still Have Questions About Riverside'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 Riverside 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 Riverside 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.

Please Share This Riverside Water Quality Article On Social Media With Anyone You Think Would Benefit From The Information!

Recommended Articles For You
5 Things About Chromium 6 Contamination In Drinking Water
Why Does EPA Allow Toxic Chemicals In Drinking Water?
What Do I Need To Know About Disinfection Byproducts?
What Should I Know About Lead Contamination And Lead Poisoning?

Previous Post Next Post