Vanadium is a contaminant that is found in the water in a number of communities in the United States, including parts of Los Angeles. It’s an unregulated contaminant that does not necessarily post a public health risk, but is being watched, as per the UCMR guidelines.

Basic Information

Vanadium is a element (symbol V, number 23). It’s a silver-grey metal that is not often found in nature, but is instead isolated from surrounding materials in an chemical process. Vanadium is a popular steel additive, and is used in titanium manufacturing as well. Vanadium compounds (it’s rarely used on its own) are considered toxic, though it’s not clear that vanadium is a carcinogen.

Vanadium in Drinking Water

Vanadium can enter the drinking water supply naturally or through industrial uses. It’s a prolific material that can even appear (in very small doses) in pills like vitamins. It’s not currently a regulated material in drinking water — like lead is — but is being tracked by the EPA’s UCMR3 and UCMR4 guidelines.

Home filtering does not currently focus on removing vanadium from tap water but home water filters are generally quite effective at removing metals so vanadium should be largely removed from fully filtered water.