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San Jose is close to Silicon Valley, several architectural landscapes, and offers a stellar historical district. If you live in the area, you might be interested to learn about the San Jose water quality. Is San Jose tap water safe to drink? Most people will tell you that San Jose drinking water isn’t dangerous. While San Jose does have a few serious contaminants floating around in it, there are some things that you need to be aware of. If you’re curious about the quality of San Jose tap water, keep reading!

Where Does San Jose Tap Water Come From?

San Jose tap water comes from three main sources. First, groundwater is pumped from more than 100 wells around the Santa Clara Groundwater sub-basin. Next, local mountain surface water is collected and treated with all other San Jose tap water. Finally, surface water is imported from the Santa Clara Valley water District. This water is a product of Sierra snowmelt and is treated locally after traveling through federal and state water projects to get to San Jose.


Can you Drink San Jose Tap Water?

San Jose tap water goes through a cleaning process like every other city. While many contaminants are removed in the treatment process, other contaminants arise as a result of cleaning the water. Others form or collect from the treatment plant in the pipes on the way into your home. So, while the water may pass water testing in the treatment plant, there are still pollutants in your water. For example, there are lead pipes that pass water from treatment center to homes in San Jose. This can cause lead to get in the water, which can lead to a number of unfortunate health concerns.  One of the best ways to avoid these pollutants is with a water filter.

Not only will a water filter help to remove lead, it can take away any unnecessary smells in your water and can even improve the overall taste of your water, too. A water filter is an easy way to improve the water in your home and to ensure that the water is consistently safer to use and drink for everyone in your family.


What’s in the Water: Is San Jose Tap Water Safe to Drink?

The San Jose water quality is acceptable according to the standards set by the EPA. However, it should be noted that San Jose water has had lead appear in water testing. Even though standard requirements are met, even the EPA acknowledges that there is not a safe level where lead is concerned. With this in mind, you should definitely opt for protection and use a water filter when using San Jose tap water.

All in all, water testing has revealed 27 contaminants in the San Jose drinking water. 18 of the contaminants are detectable in small amounts. The remaining nine contaminants however are considered to be present enough that they surpass health guidelines.

As with many of these contaminants, the risk of all of the nine contaminants that are in higher amounts is cancer. These pollutants include:

  • Bromodichloromethane
  • Bromoform
  • Chloroform
  • Chromium (hexavalent)
  • Dibromochloromethane
  • Dichloroacetic acid
  • Radiological contaminants
  • Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs)
  • Trichloroacetic acid


The other 18 toxins in San Jose drinking water include:

  • 1,1,1-Trichloroethane – A solvent that can cause damage to the circulatory or nervous systems.
  • 1,4-Dioxane – A solvent and carcinogen caused by industrial runoff
  • Aluminum – This metal can lead to the impairment of brain development in children
  • Barium – A mineral that can contribute to causes for hypertension or cardiovascular disease
  • Bromochloromethane – As a byproduct of disinfection this can increase the risk for cancer
  • Chlorate – Another result of disinfection that can lead to impairments in thyroid functioning
  • Chromium (total) – This is generally in tap water due to industrial usage.
  • Dibromoacetic acid – As one of five haloacetic acids, this can cause problems during pregnancy and increase the risk of cancer. Additional haloacetic acids that are present include monobromoacetic acid and monochloroacetic acid
  • Fluoride –Fluoride is regularly added to water, but it can occur naturally
  • Haloacetic acids (HAA5) – The group of five acids, some of which have been listed, are a byproduct of disinfection and can cause cancer.
  • Manganese – This common element, often found in water, can impair the attention span or memory of children.
  • Molybdenum – Gout-like symptoms can occur with too much exposure from this naturally occurring metal
  • Nitrate – This is a fertilizer chemical. It can cause cancer and oxygen deprivation in infants.
  • Nitrate and Nitrite – A product of urban runoff, these toxins can cause oxygen deprivation in young children and can increase the odds of cancer.
  • Strontium – This metal forms to your bones and can increase the chance of bone cancer
  • Vanadium – This metal, while commonly found in water, can be toxic to pregnant women and children in higher doses.


Water Filter Recommendations

There really isn’t a question as to whether or not you need a water filter. Is San Jose tap water safe to drink? Even after being properly treated there are a variety of chemicals still in the water. Not only that, but there is a chance of exposure to lead, as well. So, while the San Jose drinking water may pass EPA standards, the only way you’re truly going to be safe is by using a water filter. On the plus side, choosing a water filter won’t take long and they are generally affordable. Not only that, but once you set it up, you can enjoy safe San Jose tap water without worries!

If you own your own home, a good choice for water filtration is a whole house water filter. On the other hand, if you don’t own your own home or don’t want water filtration to occur on every faucet, there are other options. Some top choices include faucet water filters, countertop water filters, and water filter pitchers. Some of our top picks in water filters include:

Hopefully this answered the question of whether or not it’s safe to drink San Jose tap water. For utmost safety we recommend using a water filter, which will make your San Jose drinking water even better. If you have any questions, make sure to ask them in the comments!