Problems We Found With Sacramento's Drinking Water


Kezia Snipe  |  Hydroviv Research Analyst

***Updated to include most current water quality data

For Hydroviv’s assessment of Sacramento drinking water, we analyzed the most recent water quality test data from the Sacramento Suburban Water District, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as well as samples that we collect and analyze. Our Water Nerds then research scientific and medical literature to help determine susceptibilities in your water. The water filters we build for people in Sacramento are optimized to remove the following contaminants.

Source Of Sacramento Drinking Water

Sacramento is split into four service areas: (1) Arden Park Vista, Northgate, and Southwest Tract, (2) Hood, East Walnut Grove, and Delta Estates (3) Laguna, Vineyard, Country Creek Estates, and Grantline (4) Mather, Sunrise, and Anatolia. All four of these sources draw water from local groundwater wells, as well as supplementary surface water treated by the San Juan Water District (SJWD) and the City of Sacramento. Click here if you'd like more information on where your water comes from.

Arsenic In Sacramento Drinking Water

Arsenic is a toxic metal that is known to cause cancer and other adverse health issues. Unlike lead, which distributes into water from plumbing, arsenic comes from the source water itself. The levels in Sacramento While the average arsenic concentrations are low in Sacramento, there were groundwater samples that reached 4 parts per billion. Arsenic levels in Sacramento range from 3.7 to 9.9 parts per billion. These levels are extremely close to the federal standard of 10 parts per billion, which takes into account the cost of removing arsenic from municipal systems. This means that the 10 part per billion threshold does not fully take into account public health . We highly recommend that anyone with more than 1 part per billion take steps to remove arsenic from their water, especially if they have children.

Extremely High Levels Of Chromium 6 In Sacramento Drinking Water

Sacramento's drinking and tap water has some of the highest levels of chromium 6 among major US cities. Chromium 6 is a highly toxic metal that is not currently regulated by the EPA. In recent years, Sacramento tap water has averaged around 4000 parts per trillion for Chromium 6 (in all four service areas), with concentrations reaching over 8000 parts per trillion. For the sake of perspective, the average levels are a staggering 200 times HIGHER than the concentration determined to have negligible impact on cancer risk

Lead Levels In Sacramento Tap Water

Lead enters into a Sacramento consumer’s drinking and 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 the drinking water and can reach toxic levels. Recent sampling for lead in Atlanta found that roughly 10% of samples were above 7.8 parts per billion. While the regulatory limit is 15 ppb, both the EPA and CDC recognize that there is no such thing as a safe level of lead.

Disinfection Byproducts (DBPs) Levels In Sacramento's 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 Sacramento Tap 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 Sacramento, but our filters provide broad protection against a wide range of contaminants.

If you’re interested in learning more about water filters that have been optimized for Sacramento 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 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 and not salespeople (we don't have any salespeople).

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