San Diego joined 119 other California cities on Monday by banning polystyrene food and beverage containers, which have been blamed for poisoning fish and other marine life and damaging the health of people who eat seafood. … Nearly all national and regional restaurant chains long ago stopped using polystyrene, commonly called Styrofoam, in response to lobbying by environmental groups and backlash from customers concerned that foam isn’t biodegradable.
Orange County health officials barred ocean water-contact sports in Sunset Aquatic Marina and Portofino Cove in Huntington Beach due to a 1,000-gallon sewage spill on Sunday, Oct. 14. The contaminants originated from a sewer line blockage in Anaheim, according to a news release from the Orange County Health Care Agency’s Environmental Health division.
Hemet has filed a federal lawsuit against Dow Chemical and Shell Oil seeking reimbursement for the cost of removing a cancer-causing chemical from the city’s water wells. According to its Sept. 21 suit, the contaminated wells have been tainted by TCP, a “highly toxic substance” used until the 1980s to fumigate soil where crops were grown.
Blue whales, the largest animals known to ever exist, weigh as much as 300,000 pounds — equal to the weight of plastic waste that ends up in the ocean every nine minutes. That statistic helped inspire the Monterey Bay Aquarium to commission a pair of artists to create an 82-foot-long blue whale sculpture, which will be on display at Crissy Field in San Francisco starting Saturday, using hand-recycled plastic trash.
Heavy equipment is digging a deep hole in the parking lot at Montgomery and Huntoon streets in downtown Oroville, trying to undo a bit of dangerous history. The location was the site of a manufactured gas plant that operated from 1876 to 1926, according to PG&E.
A San Francisco woman who tested her tap water with a store-bought kit and got a positive reading for pesticides, then posted the results to social media, has prompted the city to step up water testing not just near her home in the Sunset District but across the city. Officials at the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission insisted Tuesday, for the second day in a row, that municipal supplies are safe to drink.
San Francisco water officials said Monday night they’re testing drinking water in the city’s Sunset District after receiving a report from a customer who said her water “tasted funny.” Officials with the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission said the tests are “out of an abundance of caution” and that they have no evidence of water quality issues.
South Sudan’s ongoing civil war, which has flared since December 2013, continues to devastate water and sanitation access. In many areas, residents rely entirely on unimproved water sources, including rivers, swamps, and unprotected wells, many of which are shared with animals. Residents elsewhere in the country also report limited or no access to latrines.
The Department of Water Resources (DWR) today [Oct. 5] removed a caution advisory that had been in effect since August 17 at Pyramid Lake in Los Angeles County. Water contact is allowed, but all recreational users should always avoid contact with blue-green algae. DWR lifted the caution advisory after detecting a reduced amount of microcystins for a second consecutive week at Pyramid Lake.
A law signed by Gov. Jerry Brown will expand California’s requirement to test water in schools for lead to day care centers and pre-schools that serve nearly 600,000 children. The law marks the first time California’s day care centers have been required to test for lead in water. Only two other states require both K-12 schools and day care centers to do such testing.
A price tag has been calculated for keeping Chico’s trash out of nearby rivers and streams: $5.4 million, plus $122,000 a year. The city is being required by the State Water Resources Control Board to implement a plan to capture the trash that washes into the city storm drain system, to keep it out of waterways.
In the early years of the nuclear age, scientists at UC Davis began studying the impact of radiation on beagles in a laboratory complex a mile south of the main campus. The lab and an adjacent landfill became a Superfund site, a toxic stew of chemicals, contaminated soils and dangerous metals such as hexavalent chromium and strontium-90.
The biggest ticket item on California’s November ballot, tucked between the governor’s race and local elections, is an $8.9 billion bond to help modernize California’s sprawling waterworks. The measure, which was authored by a former state water director, would fund scores of projects, from shiny new desalination plants to upgrades of old dams and aqueducts to restoration of tainted watersheds, including San Francisco Bay.
Americans across the country, from [BarbiAnn] Maynard’s home in rural Appalachia to urban areas like Flint, Mich., or Compton, Calif., are facing a lack of clean, reliable drinking water. At the heart of the problems is a water system in crisis: aging, crumbling infrastructure and a lack of funds to pay for upgrading it.
From The Sacramento Bee, in a commentary by Linda S. Adams and Karen L. Hathaway:
As early as next month, the State Water Resources Control Board could take up the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board’s recommendation for the maximum level of copper particulates allowed in Marina del Rey, one of the largest man-made harbors in the world.