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Problems We Found In Huntington Beach's Drinking Water

Analies Dyjak @ Friday, September 22, 2017 at 10:29 am -0400

Kezia Snipe  |  Hydroviv Research Analyst
**Updated July 18, 2019 to include current data

Hydroviv’s Water Nerds have updated our assessment of Huntington Beach water to include the most current available data. We look at information from quality test data from the Huntington Beach Utilities Division, 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 look at upcoming regulatory changes. The water filters that we build for users in Huntington Beach are optimized with these data in mind. 

Source Of Huntington Beach Drinking Water

Huntington Beach drinking water is a blend of groundwater provided by Orange County Water District, water imported from Northern California, and water from the Colorado River by the Municipal Water District of Orange County (MWDOC). 77% of Huntington Beach water comes from groundwater sources, and 23% is imported surface water from the Colorado River. Groundwater comes from a natural underground aquifer that is replenished with water from the Santa Ana River, local rainfall, Orange County Water District’s Groundwater Replenishment System, and imported water. The groundwater basin is 350 square miles and lies beneath north and central Orange County from Irvine to the Los Angeles County border and from Yorba Linda to the Pacific Ocean.

The State of California last performed a Source Water Assessment in 2002, and they found that the surface water sources are most vulnerable to runoff from increased urbanization and other types of runoff. The groundwater sources are considered most vulnerable to pollution from: dry cleaners, electrical/electronic manufacturing, gas stations, known contaminant plumes, metal plating, finishing, or fabricating, military installations and plastics/synthetics producers.

Arsenic In Huntington Beach Drinking Water

Arsenic is a toxic heavy metal that is known to cause cancer and other health issues. Unlike lead, which distributes into water from plumbing, arsenic comes from the source water itself. While Huntington Beach is in compliance with EPA water quality standards, it’s important to point out that EPA’s standard balances the toxicity against the costs of removing arsenic from drinking water. The most recent tap water quality report for Huntington Beach reported an average arsenic concentration up to 2 parts per billion. We strongly recommend that anyone with more than 1 part per billion take steps to remove arsenic from their water, especially if they have children.

Chromium 6 In Huntington Beach Drinking Water

Chromium 6 is a highly toxic metal that is not currently regulated by the EPA. In recent years, Huntington Beach tap water has averaged 105 parts per trillion for Chromium 6. To put it in perspective, these levels are 5 times higher than the concentration determined to have negligible impact on cancer risk.

Disinfection Byproducts (DBPs) In Huntington Beach 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 website on disinfection byproducts discloses that exposure to high levels of disinfection byproducts are associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer, as well as kidney, liver, and central nervous system problems.

Chlorine and Chloramine In Huntington Beach Drinking Water

Like many other municipalities in the United States, Huntington Beach treats its water with chlorine to protect against waterborne illness. Huntington Beach also imports water from MWDOC, which disinfects the water with chloramines. While these two disinfectants are not typically considered to be harmful on its own (unless you are a dialysis patient), many people find that removing chlorine and chloramine from drinking water greatly improves its taste and odor.

Still Have Questions About Huntington Beach 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 Huntington Beach, 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 Huntington Beach tap water, or just have questions about water quality in general, 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. 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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