Pharmaceuticals in Water

You may have heard news reports about trace amounts of pharmaceuticals in some water sources throughout the country. According to the California Regional Water Quality Control Board’s Santa Ana Region, at the levels detected, a person would have to drink more than 4.4 million gallons of treated municipal effluent to accidentally ingest the equivalent of one over-the-counter headache tablet.

More research needs to be done to determine whether such miniscule amounts of these substances in water can affect public health or cause ecological harm, but in the meantime, Cal Water encourages you to take unused medicines to your doctor, pharmacy, or local take-back program to keep them out of water supplies.