Problems We Found With St. Petersburg, Florida Drinking Water


Emma Schultz, M.S.  |  Scientific Contributor
**Updated May 30, 2021 to include current data

Our Water Nerds have updated our assessment of St. Petersburg drinking water to include the most current data. To do this, we aggregated water quality test data Water Resources Department, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as well as from samples that we collect and analyze. Our team is then able to cross reference these data with toxicity studies in scientific literature. The water filters that we sell in St. Petersburg are optimized with this information in mind. 

Source Of St. Petersburg Drinking Water

The City of St. Petersburg gets drinking water from a mix of groundwater and surface water sources. St. Petersburg is part of Tampa Bay Water, along with six other regional members. Groundwater originates from eleven well fields from the Floridan aquifer. Surface-based water comes from the Alafia River, the Hillsborough River, the C. W. Bill Young Regional Reservoir, and the Tampa Bypass Canal. 

Lead In St. Petersburg Drinking Water

Lead enters into St. Petersburg consumer's tap water through old lead service pipes and lead-containing plumbing. When corrosion control measures fail (as recently witnessed in Flint, Michigan), lead leaches into the drinking water, reaching toxic levels. Recent analysis for lead in St. Petersburg found an average of 1.6 parts per billion. EPACDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics all recognize that there is no safe level of lead for children. Federal regulations cannot possibly take into account levels measured at an individual tap.

Chromium 6 In St. Petersburg Drinking Water

Chromium 6 is a highly toxic metal that is not regulated by the EPA. St. Petersburg’s tap water recently averaged 82 parts per trillion for chromium 6. These levels are 4 times higher than the concentration determined to have a negligible impact on cancer risk.

Use Of Chloramine In St. Petersburg Tap Water

While most cities use chlorine as the primary disinfectant, St. Petersburg’s water is disinfected with chloramine, which is made by combining chlorine and ammonia. Chloramine is the frequent issue when customers report a “bad taste” in their tap water, and unlike chlorine will not fade away if left in the fridge overnight. The recent chloramine running annual average for St. Petersburg was 3.81 parts per million, with samples ranging as high as 6.6 ppm; the maximum residual disinfectant level, in comparison, is only 4.0 ppm. Most one-size-fits-all water filters use filtration media that don’t adequately remove chloramine, but the filters that Hydroviv builds for St. Petersburg use special filtration media that are purpose-built to remove chloramine as well.

Still Have Questions About St. Petersburg’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 St. Petersburg 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 St. Petersburg 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.

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