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Is San Diego Tap Water Safe To Drink in 2023?

To put it simply, yes, your water is safe to drink. However, there are solutions to your San Diego tap water safer and cleaner. Everyone deserves to have clean, safe, drinkable water in their home. What could be in your tap water to make it unsafe to drink? If your tap water is not safe to drink, how can you make it safe? Let’s dive into potential tap water issues and their solutions.

Contaminants in San Diego Water Exceeding Environmental Working Group Guidelines

It is important to regularly test your water to identify contaminants and take the proper steps to get them removed. Culligan is proud to offer FREE water tests to help get you started on your journey to cleaner, safer water.

The EWG reports the following contaminants and how much they exceed their guidelines by parts per billion:

  • Arsenic: 23x
  • Bromate 5.9x
  • Bromodichloromethane: 161x
  • Bromoform: 13x
  • Chlorite: 5.5x
  • Chloroform: 16x
  • Chromium (hexavalent): 2.1x
  • Dibromoacetic Acid: 89x
  • Dibromochloromethane: 125x
  • Dichloroacetic Acid: 22x
  • Haloacetic Acids (HAA5): 96x
  • Haloacetic Acids (HAA9): 302x
  • Radium: 7.9x
  • Total Trihalomethanes (TTHMs): 241x
  • Trichloroacetic Acid: 14x
  • Uranium: 4.2x

Other Contaminants found in San Diego’s Tap Water

While the following contaminants do not exceed EWG guidelines, they are still present in San Diego’s tap water:

  • Barium
  • Bromide
  • Bromochloromethane
  • Chlorate
  • Chlorodifluoromethane
  • Chromium (total)
  • Fluoride
  • Manganese
  • Molybdenum
  • Monobromoacetic Acid
  • Monochloroacetic
  • Nitrate
  • Strontium
  • Vanadium

Depending on the contaminant and the level of exposure, these contaminants can affect San Diego residents in many ways. The short-term effects range from skin irritation and nausea to vomiting and diarrhea. The long-term effects can lead to much more serious concerns such as organ damage and cancer. While these contaminants are not “good” for anyone, they are even more harmful to infants, children, and pregnant women.

E. Coli In San Diego Tap Water

Escherichia coli (E. coli) can enter tap water systems through various pathways, primarily due to contamination of the water sources or inadequate water treatment processes. Common entry points include surface water, such as rivers and lakes, where E. coli can infiltrate through fecal contamination from wildlife, agricultural runoff, or sewage discharges. Groundwater can also be affected through the infiltration of contaminated surface water or from septic systems, leaking sewer pipes, and agricultural activities.

Sewage and wastewater overflows pose another risk, as malfunctions in treatment plants or system overflows can introduce E. coli into water supplies. Inadequate water treatment is a significant factor, where insufficient or ineffective treatment processes may fail to remove or kill bacteria like E. coli. This can occur if treatment facilities are not properly maintained or if they lack adequate disinfection methods.

In 2023, an advisory to boil water was issued to customers of California American Water in the San Diego area due to e. coli bacteria found in the drinking water supply. The advisory effected over 17,000 water customers. The San Diego County Department of Environmental Health ordered restaurants in the affected area to immediately cease operations. In addition, several school districts were closed due to the advisory.

How Can I Make Sure My Drinking Water Is Safe?

You can check your water quality report to view what contaminants are in your water and their levels. Regular water testing can help ensure your family’s safety against these harmful contaminants by seeing exactly what is in your water.

Is Bottled Water The Best Way To Drink Water?

It is common to assume that if your tap water is not safe to drink, bottled water is the next best option. Drinking bottled water carries its list of concerns.

• Environmental impact: A single water bottle takes 450 years to decompose, making them a large contributor to plastic pollution. Bottled water requires a significant amount of energy to produce and transport, contributing to greenhouse gases.

• Health and quality concerns: It is common to see bottled water marketed as a “safer” or “better tasting” alternative to tap water. Chemicals and contaminants are what you are trying to avoid by drinking bottled water; however, upon closer inspection of some labels, you may find that they contain contaminants such as microplastics and other chemicals.

• Cost: Bottled water is around 3,000 percent more expensive per gallon than tap water. Bottled water costs an average of $0.64 per gallon, while tap water costs $0.02 per gallon. While there are circumstances where bottled water may be the best choice for drinking water, there are significant environmental, health, and economic concerns associated with its use. It is often better to use a reusable bottle filled with filtered water.

How To Make Your San Diego Tap Water Safe To Drink

There are a few ways to filter and treat your tap water to ensure it is safe for consumption. The first step to safer water is to schedule a free water test to identify exactly what contaminants are in your home’s tap water. Once the contaminants are identified, your Culligan Man will recommend the right system for your water.

Reverse Osmosis Filter Systems provide a sophisticated multi-stage filtration that can remove 97% of all the dissolved minerals from your water.

Whole House Water Filters remove disinfection byproducts and pesticides from tap water.

Water Softeners offer a solution to hard water caused by high levels of magnesium and calcium.

Having safe drinking water is something every household needs. By scheduling a free at-home water test with Culligan, you can receive a detailed report of all the contaminants in your home’s tap water and a recommendation for solutions. You will have safer, drinkable tap water before you know it!