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3 Various Bakersfield Water Contaminants

You have probably wondered, “is tap water safe in Bakersfield, CA?” In the following sections, we’ll break down five potential examples of Bakersfield water contamination and provide potential solutions. 

#1 1,2,3 – TCP

1,2,3,-Trichloropropane (1,2,3 – TCP) is a highly regulated, toxic chemical that can infiltrate water supplies around the country.1 It’s a man-made chemical commonly used in:

  • Degreasers and cleaning solutions
  • Pesticides and fertilizers
  • Industrial and hazardous waste cleaning products

In a 2009 study, the EPA discovered that 1,2,3 – TCP can cause cancer in laboratory animals, and the study extrapolated that it could potentially cause cancer in humans. 

While the California Water Board established a regulatory maximum concentration of 0.005 micrograms per liter for statewide water treatment facilities, you may still be worried about your home or business water supply. 

#2 Nitrates

Nitrates are common compounds that regularly appear in drinking water.2 They form as a result of a chemical reaction between nitrogen and oxygen or nitrogen and ozone. 

While all living things need some level of nitrogen and nitrates to survive, too much can cause significant health concerns, especially for children, infants, and pregnant people. 

The CDC recognizes a few potential causes of nitrate contamination in local drinking water supplies:

  • Improper well construction
  • Runoff from chemical fertilizers
  • Inappropriate disposal of human, plant, and animal waste and remains
  • Industrial waste
  • Septic system chemicals

Luckily, you can easily remove nitrates from your home or business water supply by treating it via one of the following methods:

  • Distillation 
  • Reverse osmosis

While municipal water suppliers do treat and filter water, which removes some nitrate content, it’s important to note that mechanical filters (like activated charcoal filters often found in countertop filter pitchers) and chemical disinfection (with chlorine, a common water treatment chemical) do not effectively remove nitrates. 

Reverse Osmosis Systems starting at only $25/mo. Try before you buy!

#3 Arsenic

Arsenic in your water supply is a pressing concern. Some water experts hypothesize that arsenic—a naturally occurring substance found in rocks and soil—can leach out of certain rock formations when groundwater levels are significantly low.3

During different conditions, water regulations are often in place to prevent the groundwater level from getting low enough to expose arsenic-rich rock formations (among other reasons). However, arsenic can still get into your drinking water via:

  • Mining, industrial, or agricultural runoff
  • Fertilizers and insect killers used in gardens and large-scale farming operations
  • Improperly-placed wells

Just as with nitrates, water boiling and other common water treatment methods don’t remove arsenic solids from drinking water. Nonetheless, you can reduce the total dissolved solids of potential arsenic contamination using:

  • Reverse osmosis
  • Filtration
  • Distillation

#4 Calcium and Magnesium

Calcium and magnesium are perfectly healthy in small quantities, but when a high concentration of these elements are dissolved in your water supply, they can cause hard water—water that leaves stains, leads to soap scum buildup, and impacts the effectiveness of soap.4

While the other impacts of hard water can be irritating, hard water staining is one of the most persistent impacts of water with high levels of calcium and magnesium. Hard water stains are difficult to remove, and they can damage plumbing fixtures. Furthermore, as they build up in water pipes, they reduce efficiency. Mineral accumulation could eventually cause pipe bursts and leaks. 

A Bakersfield water softener is an excellent solution to hard water in your home, business, industrial facility, or farm. You’ll notice a significant reduction in hard water stains, your soap scum buildup will decrease, and your hands will feel less slimy after you wash your hands in softened water. 

#5 Biological Contaminants

Biological contaminants are also a concern for Bakersfield residents—along with people everywhere. (After all, we all drink water.) 

While they’re often naturally occurring, some biological contaminants can also have negative effects on your health.5

Biological contaminants can be further categorized as one of the following:

  • Bacteria – Toxic bacterial strains can infiltrate local water supplies. One particularly concerning example is E. coli.
  • Viruses – Viruses including hepatitis A, norovirus, and rotavirus can be waterborne.
  • Protozoa – Protozoa are small and naturally occurring, but they can cause infections like Toxoplasma gondii.
  • Parasites – Small organisms like Cryptosporidium and Giardia can cause significant illnesses. While treatable, these infections can be hazardous to your health.

Local water suppliers treat and filter water to remove a significant portion of these organisms, but contaminations can still occur. Homeowners and businesses should take care to supply their families, workers, and operations with the cleanest water possible to prevent illness and product contamination. 

Rayne Water Conditioning: Bringing Clean Water to Homes and Businesses Since 1928

It’s important to remember that mandatory water restrictions and common contaminants don’t just impact residential water users—businesses and agricultural operations must also abide by rules and take care to monitor their water supply for potentially harmful substances.

No one understands the pursuit of clean water better than Rayne Water. We’re not just a residential water service provider—we started in the commercial sector in 1928, and we’ve been servicing business owners with pride ever since. 

For clean and compliant water, look no further than Rayne Water Conditioning. If you’re ready to make the switch to safer water, contact us for a free consultation.

Find a location near you!



  1. California Water Boards. 1,2,3,-Trichloropropane. 
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nitrate. 
  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Arsenic. 
  4. US Department of the Interior. Hardness of Water. 
  5. US Environmental Protection Agency. Types of Drinking Water Contaminants. 
  6. The City of Bakersfield. Water Restrictions Mandated for City Water Customers.
  7. Water Education Foundation. Potable Water. 
  8. US Department of Energy. Best Management Practice  #14: Alternative Water Sources. 
  9. University of California Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Converting to a Low-Water Landscape: A How-To.