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City Tap Water Quality

How polluted is our city’s tap water?

On July 26, 2017 the Environmental Working Group (EWG) released a new national Tap Water Database where you can find out the water quality in your zip code. This is “the most complete source available on the quality of U.S. drinking water, aggregating and analyzing data from almost 50,000 public water systems in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.”

EWG’s drinking water quality report shows results of tests conducted by the water utility and provided by the California State Water Resources Control Board, as well as information from the U.S. EPA Enforcement and Compliance History database (ECHO).

EWG’s new database has allowed most Americans to finally get a full picture of the different contaminants detected in their drinking water, and how these levels compare to the levels scientists deem safe.

Click here for the Tap Water Quality results by each community in Shasta County.

City of Redding Tap Water Quality

Water sources for Redding include surface water from the Sacramento River and Whiskeytown Reservoir, which makes up 70% of the treated water supply; groundwater from the Redding Groundwater Basin makes up 30% of the treated water supply.

“For the latest quarter assessed by the EPA (January to March 2017), City of Redding CA tap water provided by this water utility was in compliance with federal health-based drinking water standards.” However, the EWG analysis shows Redding has 8 contaminants detected above health guidelines and 9 other detected contaminants (Chlorate, Chromium, Dibromochloromethane, Haloacetic acids HAA5, Manganese, Molybdenum, Nitrate, Strontium and Vanadium.)

  • Arsenic – is a potent carcinogen and common contaminant in drinking water that causes thousands of cases of cancer each year in the U.S. The City of Redding has 9.25 ppb, just within the legal limit of 10.0 ppb, but well above the national average of 1.33 ppb.
  • Trihalomethanes – are cancer-causing contaminants that form during water treatment with chlorine and other disinfectants. The health guideline of 0.8 ppb for trihalomethanes was defined by the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment as a draft public health goal, the level of drinking water contaminant that does not pose a significant health risk. This health guideline protects against cancer. The City of Redding level is 16.7 ppb. The total trihalomethanes group includes four chemicals: chloroform, bromodichloromethane, dibromochloromethane and bromoform.
    • Bromodichloromethane – is one of the total trihalomethanes (TTHMs) formed when chlorine or other disinfectants are used to treat drinking water. Bromodichloromethane and other disinfection byproducts increase the risk of cancer and may cause problems during pregnancy. The City of Redding’s level of at 1.51 ppb is above the the health guideline of 0.4 ppb for bromodichloromethane, defined by the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment as a one-in-a-million lifetime risk of cancer.
    • Chloroform – is another one of the total trihalomethanes (TTHMs) formed when chlorine or other disinfectants are used to treat drinking water. Chloroform and other disinfection byproducts increase the risk of cancer and may cause problems during pregnancy. Redding water has 15.1 ppb and while it does not exceed the Federal limit, it is well above State and National averages and the Health Guideline of 1 ppb for chloroform, defined by the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment as a one-in-a-million lifetime risk of cancer.
  • Chromium (hexavalent) – is a carcinogen that commonly contaminates American drinking water. Chromium (hexavalent) in drinking water may be due to industrial pollution or natural occurrences in mineral deposits and groundwater. City of Redding 2010-2015 level of 0.165 ppb is above the Health Guideline of .02 ppb, but well below the state and national averages.
  • Dichloroacetic acid – is one of the group of five haloacetic acids regulated by federal standards, is formed when chlorine or other disinfectants are used to treat drinking water. Haloacetic acids and other disinfection byproducts increase the risk of cancer and may cause problems during pregnancy. City of Redding 2015 average level of 7.18 ppb is well above the Health Guideline of 0.7 ppb, as well as the State and National average levels.
  • Trichloroacetic acid – is one of the group of five haloacetic acids regulated by federal standards, is formed when chlorine or other disinfectants are used to treat drinking water. Haloacetic acids and other disinfection byproducts increase the risk of cancer and may cause problems during pregnancy. The health guideline of 0.5 ppb for trichloroacetic acid was defined by the Environmental Protection Agency as a one-in-a-million lifetime risk of cancer. Values greater than one-in-a-million cancer risk level can result in increased cancer cases above one in a million people. City of Redding 2015 level was 12.4 ppb.
  • Radium-228  – was detected in City of Redding Water. Radiological contaminants leach into water from certain minerals and from mining. Drinking water contamination with radioactive substances increases the risk of cancer and may harm fetal development.

Since the release of EWG’s National Tap Water Database just over a week ago, this question has been popping up a lot: “What now? Should I switch over to bottled water?”

“Bottled water may seem like an easy fix to the problem, but this is far from true. In reality, bottled water may simply be filtered tap water, yet it can cost hundreds of times more than water coming from our taps.” Check out EWG’s Top 5 Reasons to Choose Filters Over Bottled Water for our full list of reasons to skip bottled water and instead opt for a home water filtration system.

Also, when you’re ready, be sure to check out EWG’s Water Filter Guide to find the right filter for yourself and your family.

Disclaimer

Redding Voice is not be responsible for any errors or omissions contained at this Website, and reserve the right to make changes without notice. Accordingly, all OEHHA, EWG, USEPA and any third party information is provided “AS IS.” We provide no warranty, either expressed or implied, as the accuracy, reliability, or completeness of furnished data. Do your own research and interpretation and make your personal health decisions accordingly.


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