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Can You Drink Water From the Tap in California?

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Published in Health Articles

Just this May 2021, 41 out of 58 California counties faced a drought emergency. These state of emergencies impacted over 37 million Californians residing in these counties.

Unfortunately, droughts aren’t the only dangers affecting tap water in California. There’s also the potential of contaminants in the state’s drinking water supplies.

So, does that mean you should avoid drinking tap water in California? What are those contaminants anyway, and how dangerous are they?

We’ll address all those questions in this guide, so be sure to keep reading.

Why Is It Bad to Drink Tap Water in California?

For one, because many chemicals and bacteria often contaminate drinking water in California.

Arsenic is a perfect example, the long-term exposure to which can lead to various cancers. For instance, it can raise one’s risk for cancers of the bladder and the skin. Other studies have linked it to cancers of the digestive tract, kidney, liver, and lung.

There’s also nitrate (NO3) and nitrite (NO2), consisting of nitrogen and oxygen atoms. When ingested, nitrates can turn into nitrite, which can then turn into nitrosamines. Nitrosamines, in turn, can also raise one’s risk for cancers.

Moreover, researchers have found a link between nitrate and blue baby syndrome. In fetuses, high levels of nitrate can also lead to congenital disabilities.

Radioactive elements, such as radium and uranium, can also be in your public water supply. Oral exposure to radium may cause tumors in the bone, head, and nasal passages. On the other hand, uranium may lead to lymphatic and hematopoietic tumors and lung cancer.

All those potential contaminants can make it unsafe to drink tap water in California.

How Bad is the Contamination?

A group of researchers studied 2,737 public water systems across the Golden State. They looked at the contaminant levels reported by these systems from 2011 to 2015. Moreover, they noted that these facilities supplied 98% of the state’s residents.

According to the researchers, close to 500 of those systems were high-risk. This category means the drinking water they supply had an additional cancer risk. The risk would stem from drinking water from those supplies throughout a lifetime.

All in all, the high-risk systems have the potential of causing up to 4,860 cancer diagnoses.

When Is Tap Water Safe to Drink in California?

You might want to test your drinking water quality before you start drinking from the tap again. Be sure to have the test done by a lab certified by the Environmental Lab Accreditation Program. This way, you can be sure that the lab carries out tests that meet stringent standards.

If the test reveals you have safe water, then, by all means, you can drink it. However, if it’s not, it’s an excellent time to consider investing in a home water filtration system. BerkeyCleanWater, iSpring, and Apex are a few home water filter brands you might want to check out.

Don’t Risk It: Test Your Water Quality or Invest in a Filter

Not all sources of tap water in California are dangerous, but the fact remains that many are. So, for your peace of mind, consider getting your water quality tested. If it’s safe, then great, but if not, don’t risk it, and instead, consider getting a home filter.

Looking for more valuable home and health tips like this? Please feel free to browse our latest informative blog posts then!

 

 

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