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Is Santa Barbara Tap Water Safe To Drink?

Yes! Generally Safe to Drink*

LAST UPDATED: 12:53 pm, April 8, 2021

Table of Contents

Can You Drink Tap Water in Santa Barbara?

Yes, tap water is drinkable.

Tap Safe includes data from many publicly available sources, including the WHO (World Health Organization), CDC (Center for Disease Control), and user submitted databases, but unfortunately there's not enough data about Santa Barbara.

To see user submitted ratings of the water quality for Mexico, see the "User Submitted Ratings" box on this page.


We have all heard the horror stories about the contaminants that are present in tap water in Santa Barbara, California. In fact, I was shocked when I read an article in the Wall Street Journal, which cited Santa Barbara as one of the 10 worst cities in America for tap water quality. It is absolutely appalling to think that there are traces of such poisons as lead and other metals in our drinking water. In this article I will address some of the problems that are associated with using tap water in Santa Barbara.

There are many different types of contaminants that are present in our tap water here in Santa Barbara. Some of the most common ones are Chlormine, Cryptosporidium, Giardia and Cryptosporidium. These are only a few of the thousands of different contaminants that are present in our drinking water. The problem is that these types of contaminants do not show up on the government report which is required for each individual water provider. So it is up to us to

The estimated price of bottled water

$3.67 in USD (1.5-liter)


Santa Barbara tap water
  • Drinking Water Pollution and Inaccessibility 36% Low
  • Water Pollution 54% Moderate
  • Drinking Water Quality and Accessibility 64% High
  • Water Quality 46% Moderate

The above data is comprised of subjective, user submitted opinions about the water quality and pollution in Santa Barbara, measured on a scale from 0% (lowest) to 100% (highest).

Related FAQS


City of Santa Barbara Water Department

EWG's drinking water quality report shows results of tests conducted by the water utility and provided to the Environmental Working Group by the California State Water Resources Control Board, as well as information from the U.S. EPA Enforcement and Compliance History database (ECHO). For the latest quarter assessed by the U.S. EPA (January 2019 - March 2019), tap water provided by this water utility was in compliance with federal health-based drinking water standards.

Utility details

  • Serves: 92371
  • Data available: 2012-2017
  • Data Source: Surface water
  • Total: 29

Contaminants That Exceed Guidelines

  • Arsenic
  • Bromate
  • Bromodichloromethane
  • Bromoform
  • Chloroform
  • Chromium (hexavalent)
  • Dibromochloromethane
  • Dichloroacetic acid
  • Nitrate
  • Nitrate and nitrite
  • Radon
  • Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs)
  • Trichloroacetic acid
  • Uranium

Other Detected Contaminants

  • 1%2C4-Dioxane
  • Aluminum
  • Barium
  • Bromide
  • Bromochloroacetic acid
  • Chlorate
  • Chromium (total)
  • Dibromoacetic acid
  • Fluoride
  • Haloacetic acids (HAA5)
  • Manganese
  • Molybdenum
  • Monobromoacetic acid
  • Strontium
  • Vanadium


Always take extra precautions, the water may be safe to drink when it leaves the sewage treatment plant but it may pick up pollutants during its way to your tap. We advise that you ask locals or hotel staff about the water quality. Also, note that different cities have different water mineral contents.

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