Problems We Found In San Jose's Drinking Water – Hydroviv

Problems We Found In San Jose's Drinking Water

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Problems We Found In San Jose's Drinking Water

Kezia Snipe | Hydroviv Research Analyst

For Hydroviv’s assessment of San Jose tap water, we aggregated water quality test data from the San Jose Water Company, the water provider for the California 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 we work with our colleagues at EPA and CDC to look at upcoming regulatory changes.  The water filters that we offer at Hydroviv provide broad protection against a wide range of contaminants, but we allocate extra capacity in the cartridge to the things listed below for orders coming in from San Jose.

Source Of San Jose Drinking Water

San Jose Water Company provides water from three major sources. The first is groundwater, which is pumped from over 100 wells that draw water from the Santa Clara Groundwater Sub-Basin. The second source is local mountain surface water, which is collected in a watershed and treated at local treatment plants. The third source, imported surface water, is provided by the Santa Clara Valley Water District. A majority of imported water originates as Sierra snowmelt and travels through state and federal water projects before treatment at a Santa Clara Water Valley District plant. 

Lead In San Jose 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 San Jose are 4.5 parts per billion. Though the city is in compliance with very loose 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.  For reference the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that any taps with over 1 ppb lead be immediately remediated if children are drinking from the tap.

Extremely High Chromium 6 Levels In San Jose Drinking Water

Chromium 6 is an extremely toxic metal that is not currently regulated by the EPA. In recent years, San Jose tap water has averaged 1300 parts per trillion for Chromium 6.   These are among the highest levels in the US, and are 65 times higher than the concentration determined to have negligible impact on cancer risk

Disinfection Byproducts (DBPs) In San Jose 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.

Chlorine In San Jose Drinking Water

Like most other large municipalities in the U.S., San Jose injects its water with chlorine to protect against waterborne illness. While not typically considered to be harmful on its own, many people find that removing chlorine from drinking water greatly enhances its taste and odor. 

Still Have Questions About San Jose Tap Water?

Hydroviv is a water filtration company that uses water quality data to optimize water filters for each city’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 San Jose 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 San Jose tap water, feel free to visit www.hydroviv.com, reach out by email (hello@hydroviv.com) or through our live chat.  We also frequently post water-related news on Twitter or Facebook.

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  • Kezia Snipe