Topic: Drinking Water

Overview

Drinking Water

Finding and maintaining a clean water supply for drinking and other uses has been a constant challenge throughout human history.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

San Francisco officials to test tap water across the city after Sunset District pesticide scare

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.

Aquafornia news NPR

Wednesday’s Top of the Scroll: ‘You just don’t touch that tap water unless absolutely necessary’

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.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Board members who gave Compton residents brown water are fighting to keep their jobs

A Compton water district that could be abolished for delivering brown water is waging an eleventh-hour campaign for its survival. The push comes after legislation sailed through the state Assembly and Senate last month that would dismantle the Sativa Los Angeles County Water District’s five-member elected board of directors and install a new general manager by year’s end.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Water tax fails in California Legislature

An effort to impose a “voluntary” water tax on residents to pay for safe drinking water projects died in the Legislature on Friday. Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon said “a piecemeal funding approach” to the problem “won’t work.”

Aquafornia news CALmatters

Friday’s Top of the Scroll: Is help on the way for Californians whose tap water is tainted?

Karen Lewis knows about water problems. The 67-year-old lives in Compton, where the water coming out of her tap is tinged brown by manganese, a metal similar to iron, from old pipes. The water is supplied by the troubled Sativa Los Angeles County Water District. … Now, in the wake of the state’s prolonged drought and the notorious water crisis in Flint, Mich., a number of new solutions have been proposed in California, including a consumer water fee that people could decline to pay.

Aquafornia news The Orange County Register

Is your drinking water dangerous? In some parts of California, it could be.

Five years ago, California became the first state in the nation to recognize the human right to safe, clean, affordable and accessible water. Today, we look at how the state is working to ensure that right and where the biggest concerns for Californians are.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Tuesday’s Top of the Scroll: Legislative fights still hanging; Dirty water protests

Families across California unhappy about the condition of their drinking water will hold protests at the Capitol each day until the end of session. They are calling on the Legislature to pass Senate Bills 844 and 845.

Aquafornia news NPR

Beer, drinking water and fish: Tiny plastic is everywhere

Plastic trash is littering the land and fouling rivers and oceans. But what we can see is only a small fraction of what’s out there. Since modern plastic was first mass-produced, 8 billion tons have been manufactured. And when it’s thrown away, it doesn’t just disappear. Much of it crumbles into small pieces.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Monday’s Top of the Scroll: Few California school districts have tested water for lead, even though it’s free

As students head back to class across California this month, many will sip water from school fountains or faucets that could contain high levels of lead. That’s because two-thirds of the state’s 1,026 school districts have not taken advantage of a free state testing program to determine whether the toxic metal is coming out of the taps and, if so, whether it exceeds federal standards.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Toxins turning up in dozens of public water systems

Lauren Woeher wonders if her 16-month-old daughter has been harmed by tap water contaminated with toxic industrial compounds used in products like nonstick cookware, carpets and fast-food wrappers. … Tim Hagey, manager of a local water utility, recalls how he used to assure people that the local public water was safe. That was before testing showed it had some of the highest levels of the toxic compounds of any public water system in the U.S.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Navy failed to alert San Francisco to tainted shipyard water, documents show

The U.S. Navy knew as far back as 1993 that the tap water at its former shipyard in San Francisco contained dangerous amounts of lead, but didn’t tell local officials, visitors or people who worked there, including hundreds of police employees stationed at the site since 1997.

Aquafornia news NPR

Which water is best for health? Hint: Don’t discount the tap.

You can buy water with electrolytes, minerals or completely “purified.” You can buy it with the pH changed to make it alkaline. You can purify your own tap water or even add nutrients back into it. … As it turns out, scientists say that most tap water in the U.S. is just as good as the water in bottles or streaming out of a filter.

Aquafornia news Circle of Blue

More evidence of nitrate cancer risk in drinking water

The U.S. drinking water standard for nitrate was set decades ago at a level to prevent infant deaths. But recent research suggests that the standard, decided in 1991, is out of date. Scientists are accumulating evidence that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s nitrate limit may need to be lowered because it does not account for potential long-term health damage, including the risk of cancer, that harms people into their adult years.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Friday’s Top of the Scroll: Flint water crisis prompts call for more federal oversight

A federal watchdog is calling on the Environmental Protection Agency to strengthen its oversight of state drinking water systems nationally and respond more quickly to public health emergencies such as the lead-in-the water crisis in Flint, Michigan.

Related Article: 

Aquafornia news Associated Press

US prosecutors: Water company illegally dumped toxic waste

The California company that sells Crystal Geyser bottled water has been charged with illegally disposing of arsenic-tainted wastewater, federal prosecutors said Thursday. The charges don’t allege that CG Roxane LLC sold tainted water, but that it illegally shipped and disposed of the toxic waste filtered from well water.

Vexed by Salt And Nitrates In Central Valley Groundwater, Regulators Turn To Unusual Coalition For Solutions
WESTERN WATER SPOTLIGHT: Left unaddressed, salts and nitrates could render farmland unsuitable for crops and family well water undrinkable

An evaporation pond in Kings County, in the central San Joaquin Valley, with salt encrusted on the soil. More than a decade in the making, an ambitious plan to deal with the vexing problem of salt and nitrates in the soils that seep into key groundwater basins of the Central Valley is moving toward implementation. But its authors are not who you might expect.

An unusual collaboration of agricultural interests, cities, water agencies and environmental justice advocates collaborated for years to find common ground to address a set of problems that have rendered family wells undrinkable and some soil virtually unusable for farming.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Agency that delivered brown, smelly water to customers should be dissolved, board rules

Residents of working-class neighborhoods in Compton and Willowbrook have long fought an uphill battle against their local water district, which over the years has been accused of mismanagement, nepotism, bad service and, most recently, sending brown, smelly water through their taps. Still, Sativa Los Angeles County Water District managed to stay in business.

Aquafornia news Circle of Blue

Regulators will soon know a lot more about algal toxins in US drinking water

Authorities in Salem, Oregon, lifted a drinking water advisory on July 3 that had been in place for children and the elderly since Memorial Day weekend, when algal toxins were discovered in the city’s water system. How many other water systems are at risk from the toxin-producing scum that grows in rivers and lakes, particularly in the warmer months?

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Customers sue embattled Compton water district over discolored water

Frustrated by discolored drinking water pouring from their taps, four Compton residents filed a class-action lawsuit late Monday against their water provider, Sativa Los Angeles County Water District. … It comes days before a crucial decision by county oversight officials on whether to dissolve the small public water district.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Abolishing a water district isn’t easy — even when it’s accused of nepotism, mismanagement and delivering brown water

For its litany of problems, it’s been hard to kill the tiny Sativa Los Angeles County Water District. … Across California, there are about 3,000 water agencies, remnants of an archaic system that until about two decades ago allowed anyone with a water source that could serve 15 or more people to seek a permit to create a community water system. 

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Bottled water tab at a California prison has hit $46,000 a month

California’s corrections department is spending $46,000 a month to buy bottled water for inmates and staff at a prison in Tracy where it opened a state-of-the-art water treatment plant eight years ago.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Thursday’s Top of the Scroll: Nestlé granted new three-year water permit in California

The U.S. Forest Service has granted Nestle a new three-year permit to continue operating its bottled water pipeline in the San Bernardino National Forest.  The agency announced the decision Wednesday, saying the permit has been offered to the company “with measures to improve the watershed’s health” along Strawberry Creek.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

US allows Nestle to keep taking water from California forest

U.S. officials offered Nestle, the maker of Arrowhead bottled water, a three-year permit on Wednesday to keep taking millions of gallons of water from a national forest in Southern California — but with new restrictions designed to keep a creek flowing for other uses.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Official for Compton water district is suspended after reports of fake supporters at town hall

The general manager of a small public agency under fire for delivering brown, smelly water to parts of Compton and Willowbrook has been placed on administrative leave effective immediately, the water district board’s attorney announced Thursday night.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Brown, smelly water sparks concerns and allegations of a political ruse

Residents of Compton have complained about brown, smelly water coming out of their taps for more than a year. And when officials began talking about dissolving the troubled local water district, the area’s congresswoman scheduled a town hall meeting so community members could weigh in.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Tuesday’s Top of the Scroll: ‘Water tax’ debate continues after California budget passage

The California budget doesn’t include it, but Gov. Jerry Brown is not done pushing for a new charge on water users, which would fund clean drinking water in rural areas of the state that currently have unsafe tap water.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

At a meeting about brown water pouring from taps, congresswoman says people were paid to speak out in favor of water district

At a town hall Monday, Congresswoman Nanette Diaz Barragán alleged that people were paid to pose as residents to speak out in support of an embattled water district, marking a strange twist in the ongoing controversy over discolored water pouring out of taps in Compton and Willowbrook.

Aquafornia news Water Deeply

Dozens of water systems consolidate in California’s farming heartland

In California’s San Joaquin Valley, one of the most productive farming regions in the nation, an estimated 150,000 people are stuck living with contaminated drinking water. … The good news: Help is available to many of these small community water systems, provided they can merge with a neighboring utility that has clean water.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Monday’s Top of the Scroll: California drinking water tax dies in budget compromise

A proposed tax on California’s drinking water, designed to clean up contaminated water for thousands of Californians, was abandoned by Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative leaders Friday as part of the compromise on the state budget. Lawmakers and Brown’s office scrapped the “Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Act,” which would have taxed residents 95 cents a month to raise millions for cleaning toxic wells.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Environmental groups, Forest Service settle Nestlé water permit lawsuit

In what conservation groups are calling a major win, environmental activists and the U.S. Forest Service have reached a settlement in a legal fight over the permit that allows Nestlé to pipe water out of the San Bernardino National Forest to bottle and sell it.

Aquafornia news The New York Times

The chemical industry scores a big win at EPA

The Trump administration, after heavy lobbying by the chemical industry, is scaling back the way the federal government determines health and safety risks associated with the most dangerous chemicals on the market, documents from the Environmental Protection Agency show.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Friday’s Top of the Scroll: 360,000 Californians have unsafe drinking water. Are you one of them?

An estimated 360,000 Californians are served by water systems with unsafe drinking water, according to a McClatchy analysis of data compiled by the State Water Resources Control Board. … Now, after years of half solutions, the state is considering its most comprehensive actions to date. Gov. Jerry Brown has asked the Legislature to enact a statewide tax on drinking water to fix wells and treatment systems in distressed communities. 

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Straws. Bottle caps. Polyester. These are the new targets of California’s environmental movement.

More than half a dozen bills aimed at plastic pollution were introduced in Sacramento this year alone — by both coastal legislators and more moderate inland colleagues who see the potential damage not just in oceans but also rivers, lakes and the state’s water supply. No one, they said, wants to drink a glass of water and wonder if they’re also downing a glass of plastic.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Wednesday’s Top of the Scroll: Pruitt promises action on rising threat from contaminants in water systems

Soaring numbers of water systems around the country are testing positive for a dangerous class of chemicals widely used in items that include non-stick pans and firefighting foam, regulators and scientists said Tuesday. The warnings, and promises by Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt of official action to confront the related health risks, came in a summit with small-town and state officials increasingly confronting water systems contaminated by the toxic substances.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Nestlé bottled water controversy becomes campaign issue in California race

The controversy over Nestlé’s bottled water operation in the San Bernardino National Forest has prompted a review of the company’s federal permit, a lawsuit and an investigation by California regulators. Now, Nestlé’s continued piping of water out of the San Bernardino Mountains has become an issue in a congressional campaign.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

A California volcano once obliterated a forest and propelled ash 280 miles. Experts say it offers a warning.

Lassen Peak had been rumbling for days. Glowing hot rocks bounded down the slopes. Lava was welling up into a freshly created crater. Then, on this day 103 years ago, it exploded in a way California would never forget.

Aquafornia news Merced Sun-Star

Is your drinking water clean in Merced County?

Advocates gathered in Merced, and similar demonstrations were held around the state, according to advocates, to get elected officials to support Senate Bill 623, which aims to provide a stable source of funding to implement California’s Human Rights to Water, Assembly Bill 685 from 2012.

Aquafornia news The San Diego Union-Tribune

San Diego fighting alone for $400,000 to cover water testing for lead at schools

San Diego is the only city in California seeking state reimbursement for testing the toxic lead levels in water at local schools, which has cost the city’s water agency more than $400,000. … The requirement, which came in response to a national outcry over lead in drinking water at schools in Michigan, immediately prompted complaints from water agencies that it was an unfunded mandate by the state.

Aquafornia news Water Deeply

California considers charge on utility bills to create safe water fund

Gaps in funding for water treatment are a major problem in California. Water providers operate independently, relying virtually entirely on customer fees to cover costs. For agencies with scale, money and access to quality water sources, this model works well. But absent those resources, contamination persists for years without resolution.

Aquafornia news Water Deeply

After deadly wildfire, a new problem for Santa Rosa: contaminated water

When a wildfire leveled a whole neighborhood in Santa Rosa, California, in October, it was just the first disaster for this Wine Country city. A second disaster is now unfolding after chemical contamination was detected in the city’s drinking water following the fire.

Aquafornia news Marin Independent Journal

Marin school fountain closed amid lead contamination tests

Testing is in progress at schools throughout Marin for lead in drinking water, and one fountain has been shut down because of contamination. The testing is being conducted in accordance with Assembly Bill 746. It requires campuses built before Jan. 1, 2010, to receive the testing for lead contamination by July 2019.

One Year In, A New State Policymaker Assesses the Salton Sea, Federal Relations and California’s Thorny Water Issues
WESTERN WATER Q&A: State Water Board member Joaquin Esquivel

State Water Resources Control Board member E. Joaquin EsquivelJoaquin Esquivel learned that life is what happens when you make plans. Esquivel, who holds the public member slot at the State Water Resources Control Board in Sacramento, had just closed purchase on a house in Washington D.C. with his partner when he was tapped by Gov. Jerry Brown a year ago to fill the Board vacancy.

Esquivel, 35, had spent a decade in Washington, first in several capacities with then Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., and then as assistant secretary for federal water policy at the California Natural Resources Agency. As a member of the State Water Board, he shares with four other members the difficult task of ensuring balance to all the uses of California’s water. 

Aquafornia news Western Water

Researchers aim to give homeless a voice in Southern California watershed

A new study could help water agencies find solutions to the vexing challenges the homeless face in gaining access to clean water for drinking and sanitation. The Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority (SAWPA) in Southern California has embarked on a comprehensive and collaborative effort aimed at assessing strengths and needs as it relates to water services for people (including the homeless) within its 2,840 square-mile area that extends from the San Bernardino Mountains to the Orange County coast.

Researchers Aim to Give Homeless a Voice in Southern California Watershed
NOTEBOOK: Assessment of homeless water challenges part of UC Irvine study of community water needs

Homeless encampment near Angel StadiumA new study could help water agencies find solutions to the vexing challenges the homeless face in gaining access to clean water for drinking and sanitation.

The Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority (SAWPA) in Southern California has embarked on a comprehensive and collaborative effort aimed at assessing strengths and needs as it relates to water services for people (including the homeless) within its 2,840 square-mile area that extends from the San Bernardino Mountains to the Orange County coast.

Aquafornia news Ventura County Star

Most California schools OK for lead levels in drinking water; thousands yet to be tested

Less than 1 percent of recent drinking water samples at California’s public schools showed elevated lead levels. But thousands more campuses still need to be tested, state officials said last week. A new law, AB 746, took effect in January requiring those tests at public schools over the next 16 months.

Aquafornia news Visalia Times-Delta

East Porterville gets water, some regret it

Norma Sanchez took a quick break from watering her East Porterville front yard, bent the garden hose and reflected on years of being without reliable water.  Now, she has water, pressure and along with it problems with the new delivery system residents waited so long to get.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Friday’s Top of the Scroll: California AG launches environmental justice unit focused on poorer communities

Besides challenging federal deregulation, the Bureau of Environmental Justice will prioritize pollution cases that threaten public health, [California Attorney General Xavier] Becerra said. The attorneys will seek to compel businesses and government agencies to clean contaminated drinking water, reduce exposure to lead and other toxins and prevent illegal waste discharges in communities burdened disproportionately by pollution.

Aquafornia news San Bernardino Sun

Nestlé takes issue with state report on water extractions in San Bernardino Mountains

With the comment period now over, state officials have begun their review of 30 separate filings in response to an investigation of Nestlé’s withdrawal of millions of gallons annually from springs in the San Bernardino National Forest for its Arrowhead Mountain Spring Water brand of bottled water.

Aquafornia news Eureka Times-Standard

Seven cities, districts support Mercer-Fraser cannabis project appeal

Seven cities and community services districts have backed the Humboldt Bay Municipal Water District’s appeal of a controversial Mercer-Fraser Company project that seeks to build a cannabis manufacturing facility along the Mad River near Glendale.

Aquafornia news The New York Times

Here are the places that struggle to meet the rules on safe drinking water

To ensure that tap water in the United States is safe to drink, the federal government has been steadily tightening the health standards for the nation’s water supplies for decades. But over and over again, local water systems around the country have failed to meet these requirements.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Nestlé says it’s entitled to keep bottling water from national forest

Nestlé is disputing the findings of an investigation by California water regulators, arguing the company is entitled to keep piping water out of the San Bernardino National Forest — even more water than it has been bottling and selling in the past few years.

Aquafornia news The Porterville Recorder

Phase II of East Porterville water project complete

A partnership of state and local agencies working to help homeowners affected by California’s multi-year drought finished connecting 755 homes to a safe, reliable, permanent water supply. All households participating in the East Porterville Water Supply Project have now been connected to the City of Porterville’s municipal water system.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Attorneys general sue Trump administration over water rule

Eleven Democratic state attorneys general on Tuesday sued President Donald Trump’s administration over its decision to delay implementation of an Obama-era rule that would have expanded the number of wetlands and small waterways protected by the Clean Water Act.

Aquafornia news San Bernardino Sun

State gives Nestlé, environmentalists and individuals more time to comment about water withdrawals

The deadline for filing comments about the State Water Resources Control Board’s controversial ‘Report of Investigation’ for Nestlé’s water mining in the San Bernardino Mountains has been extended to Feb. 9, from Thursday, Jan. 25, allowing environmental groups, individuals and Nestlé more time to perfect arguments in an effort to shape the direction of the final report.

Aquafornia news Water Deeply

Tuesday’s Top of the Scroll: California’s proposed budget reveals water, climate priorities

Fro California Governor Jerry Brown and his administration, 2017 was a water year to remember, and one that would figure into the drafting of the state’s 2018-19 budget, which was released early this month. The $190 billion proposed spending plan names California’s drought and the “extreme natural events of 2017” as determining factors in how the cash was divvied up.

Aquafornia news Eureka Times-Standard

Pot project prompts drinking water contamination concerns

The governing board for Humboldt County’s main water supplier is set to decide Wednesday whether to appeal the construction of a Glendale cannabis edibles and concentrates manufacturing facility that would be located near one of its drinking water pumps on the Mad River.

Aquafornia news Reuters

Trump’s EPA aims to replace Obama-era climate, water regulations in 2018

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will replace Obama-era carbon and clean water regulations and open up a national debate on climate change in 2018, part of a list of priorities for the year that also includes fighting lead contamination in public drinking water.

Aquafornia news The Washington Post

‘Raw water’ is the latest health craze. Here’s why drinking it may be a bad idea.

Hold your canteen under a natural spring and you’ll come away with crystal clear water, potentially brimming with beneficial bacteria as well as minerals from the earth. … But by shunning recommended water safety practices, experts warn, raw water purveyors may also be selling things you don’t want to drink — dangerous bacteria, viruses and parasites that can make you sick.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Nestlé warned it lacks rights to some California water

Nestle, which sells Arrowhead bottled water, may have to stop taking millions of gallons of water from Southern California’s San Bernardino National Forest because state regulators concluded it lacks valid permits. The State Water Resources Control Board notified the company on Wednesday that an investigation concluded it doesn’t have proper rights to about three-quarters of the water it withdraws for bottling.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Nestlé appears to be taking too much water from California forest, regulators say

California water regulators told Nestlé that the company doesn’t appear to have valid water rights for all of the water it’s been piping out of the San Bernardino National Forest and selling as bottled water. Regulators at the State Water Resources Control Board notified Nestlé of their findings following a 20-month investigation, recommending the company limit its use of water from the namesake source of Arrowhead 100% Mountain Spring Water unless it can show it has valid rights for all of the water it’s been taking. 

Aquafornia news Circle of Blue

UN expert connects U.S. water and sanitation struggles to poverty

As Congress debated a tax cut that would transfer an enormous amount of wealth from America’s poor and middle classes to its rich, a United Nations expert was visiting people already pushed over the edge by poverty.  … [Philip] Alston’s findings also reflect how the widening gap between rich and poor in the United States worsens the country’s challenges for drinking water access, sanitation, and health.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

EPA chief defends spending on travel and soundproof booth

Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt on Thursday defended his frequent taxpayer-funded travel and his purchase of a custom soundproof communications booth for his office, saying both were justified. Pruitt made his first appearance before a House oversight subcommittee responsible for environmental issues since his confirmation to lead EPA in February.

Aquafornia news The New York Times

Instead of that $5 water bottle at airports, filling stations

Remember the days when you could just bring a bottle of water from home to the plane? The days before airport security, which allows you to carry liquids only in containers of 3.4 ounces or less? Until recently, your only options were a fountain, probably with low water pressure, or a $5 bottle of water from the cafe near your gate.

Aquafornia news Circle of Blue

Tuesday’s Top of the Scroll: Congress passes defense spending bill that includes perfluorinated chemicals health study

Recognizing widespread public concern over drinking water contamination, Congress approved a five-year, $7-million study of the human health consequences of perfluorinated compounds, a class of chemicals that came to national prominence in the last two years amid detection in the water of hundreds of communities, households, and military bases.

Aquafornia news KCRA Channel 3

Lead, arsenic, copper found in drinking water at some NorCal schools

Water tests at school drinking fountains across Northern California found dangerous levels of lead and other metals, prompting school officials to shut down the fountains. However, thousands of schools across California have not participated in a state-funded program to test their drinking water, according to an investigation by KCRA 3.

Aquafornia news Water Deeply

Stanford study probes psychological resistance to recycled water

Stanford researchers have found that Californians’ views on recycled water depend heavily on how that water is eventually used. The study, which appeared in the August 2017 issue of Water and Environment Journal, revealed that psychological resistance to using treated effluent can be reduced, to some extent, by explaining the treatment process to people and informing them of an existing program in Orange County.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Wednesday’s Top of the Scroll: Extreme level of lead at San Francisco school gym fountain, among 30 taps failing test

A growing list of schools across the state are posting high levels of lead flowing out of faucets after the water crisis in Flint, Mich. — in which corrosion of pipes led to leaching of lead into the city water supply — led California officials to push for testing, especially in schools.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Friday’s Top of the Scroll: Lead contamination found in water at Oakland schools

Children at an Oakland elementary school have been exposed to water with lead levels four times higher than allowed under federal guidelines, test results obtained Thursday by The Chronicle show. … The district began testing school taps in August in advance of new state requirements, but the results have not been well-publicized. 

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Next to Nestlé’s bottled water pipeline, a creek trickles

At the end of an unpaved road that snakes through the San Bernardino National Forest, you come to Strawberry Creek, which flows down from the mountains through a rocky canyon. Head upstream and you’ll clamber over boulders and through the brush until you arrive at a fork in the creek.

Aquafornia news Santa Rosa Press Democrat

Water north of Santa Rosa may not be drinkable for days amid Tubbs Fire

Residents in the Larkfield area north of Santa Rosa were urged not to drink tap water there for the foreseeable future, as the devastating Tubbs fire ravaging the region has damaged storage tanks and a pumping station, officials said Monday.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

FDA reversed its position on Nestlé bottled water, documents show

The federal government has strict rules about water that can be bottled and sold as “spring water,” and regulators recently changed their position on whether the water that Nestlé pipes out of the San Bernardino National Forest meets those requirements. 

Aquafornia news The Guardian

Nestlé pays $200 a year to bottle water near Flint—where water is undrinkable

Despite having endured lead-laden tap water for years, Flint pays some of the highest water rates in the US. … But in a town [Evart] of only 1,503 people, there are a dozen wells pumping water from the underground aquifer.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Cow feces and an E. coli scare

Greg Loe didn’t have to look hard to figure out how E. coli probably got into this small town’s [Butte City] drinking water supply. In late May, a routine E. coli test came back positive.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

1,741 districts violated drinking water rules in 2016

Public drinking water systems in California violated state and federal regulations more than 4,700 times in 2016. This database contains every violation from that year.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Gatorade pays California $300,000, settles anti-water complaint

Just because drought-ravaged California has spent years urging residents to conserve water doesn’t mean it wants people to actually stop drinking the stuff. When a Gatorade cellphone game suggested doing just that state Attorney General Xavier Becerra filed a complaint accusing the popular thirst-quenching drink’s maker of false advertising.

Aquafornia news Circle of Blue

Deep drought stirred action on California’s right to water

Though the nation’s first state law to assure the human right to safe water and sanitation was enacted in California in 2012, not much happened immediately afterward. The law existed in a dormant state, like a seed waiting for a storm. The storm eventually came, but, as it happened, it was a lack of rain that brought the seed to flower.

Aquafornia news Circle of Blue

California’s clean-water-for-all experiment begins to deliver

Hundreds of thousands of California residents, perhaps as many as one million of the 39 million people in the state, do not have safe drinking water or toilet facilities.

Aquafornia news Reuters

Banned pesticides from illegal pot farms seep into California water

Toxic chemicals from illegal marijuana farms hidden deep in California’s forests are showing up in rivers and streams that feed the state’s water supply, prompting fears that humans and animals may be at risk, data reviewed by Reuters show.

Aquafornia news McClatchy Washington, D.C., Bureau

Billions are drinking water contaminated with plastic — and US has it the worst, study finds

If you drink tap water, you’re probably also ingesting potentially dangerous microscopic plastic fibers. And you’re not alone: That’s likely the case for billions of people across the world, according to a new study from Orb Media.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Nestlé faces questions about Arrowhead bottled water as officials investigate

Nestled in thick brush high in the San Bernardino Mountains, bunker-like structures protrude from the rocky slopes. Built with stone and concrete and secured with metal doors and padlocks, these vaults are connected to a series of stainless steel pipelines that run down the mountainside like veins.

Aquafornia news San Bernardino Sun

Environmental groups win documents related to Nestlé operations in San Bernardino National Forest

Environmental groups seeking to stop Swiss-based Nestlé from pumping millions of gallons of water from the San Bernardino National Forest, for little more than $500 a year, have prevailed in an effort to obtain documents from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Aquafornia news Water Deeply

California towns tackle nitrate pollution with local solutions

Porterville, California, a town of about 50,000 people, lies nestled at the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, near the gateways to Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks. It’s an idyllic setting, but in the nearby rural communities of East Porterville, Poplar, Terra Bella and Ducor, many residents get their drinking water from private wells that are rarely tested for contaminants.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Did McClellan Air Force Base poison their water? Lawsuits revive neighborhood fears

The [McClellan] Air Force has consistently denied that toxins have escaped the base boundaries and contaminated drinking water supplies, but a series of new lawsuits by two area water districts seeking $1.4 billion in damages has renewed concerns among some who spent years drinking water from area pipes and wells.

Aquafornia news Circle of Blue

Undermanned EPA delays action on lead in drinking water

Even after the Flint scandal reawakened the nation to the dangers posed by lead drinking water pipes, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency appears to be in no rush to strengthen federal health standards.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Trump administration kills push to ban bottled water in national parks

The Trump administration’s latest environmental rollback is an unusual one, but with a familiar feature: It benefits big business. The National Park Service announced Wednesday that, effective immediately, it will no longer allow parks to ban the sale of plastic water bottles, which have long been criticized for littering lakes and forests.

Aquafornia news CALmatters

Drinking lead—why California may force all schools to test their water

When a therapy dog refused to drink at a San Diego grade school, it was the first clue that something was wrong with the water. Tests revealed why the pup turned up its nose—the presence of polyvinyl chloride, the polymer in PVC pipes that degrade over time. But further analysis found something else that had gone undetected by the dog, the teachers and students of the San Diego Cooperative Charter School, and the school district: elevated levels of lead.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Billionaire helping to get funds for San Joaquin Valley clean water

Tom Steyer, the San Francisco billionaire and environmentalist, promised his support Tuesday for a proposed safe and affordable drinking water fund to help communities with contaminated water in the San Joaquin Valley. … Steyer met with about a dozen water advocates at the nonprofit Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability in downtown Fresno who urged him to throw his clout behind Senate Bill 623. 

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

McClellan base polluted drinking water supply, districts say

In a sweeping legal fight that could affect drinking water supplies for thousands of Sacramento-area residents, two water districts near the old McClellan Air Force Base are suing the federal government for $1.4 billion to clean up the cancer-causing chemical hexavalent chromium from the area’s groundwater supplies.

Aquafornia news Eureka Times-Standard

Local entities oppose funding sources for drinking water bill

A bill making its way through the state Legislature is seeking to improve quality and access to drinking water quality by creating a new state fund, but some local entities are opposing how the bill plans to raise money for this goal.

Aquafornia news Marin Independent Journal

Marin, other U.S. water supplies targeted by advocacy group over safety

Marin’s utilities were among nearly 50,000 public water systems examined in the nationwide study by the Washington, D.C.-based Environmental Working Group. The group acknowledged that Marin and other water suppliers meet government standards, but it says the water frequently contains contaminants in concentrations that exceed levels scientists say pose potential health risks over the course of a lifetime.

Aquafornia news CBS San Francisco Bay Area

‘Insidious’ drinking water carcinogen has California water customers facing rate hikes

More than one million people across 16 California counties have excessive levels of a potent carcinogen in their drinking water, and customers are now facing huge rate increases to help pay for water agencies’ compliance with newly-adopted standards. … Beginning January 2018, all drinking water in the state will be required to have TCP levels of no more that 5 parts per trillion (ppt).

Aquafornia news Water Deeply

Clean water plan for long-suffering San Joaquin Valley towns derailed

Fresh Sierra mountain snowmelt would make a better drink of water for rural Tulare County folk who currently rely on wells tainted by fertilizers, leaky septic systems and decades-old pesticide residues. Nobody argues with that here in California’s San Joaquin Valley. The problem is obtaining even a tiny fraction of the average 1.7 million acre-feet of Kings River snowmelt that heads mostly to farm fields each year.

Aquafornia news NBC Bay Area

State Water Board sets limit for cancer-causing chemical

California took its first step Tuesday toward addressing a dangerous, cancer-causing chemical that 1 million residents across the state could be drinking in harmful amounts. The State Water Resources Control Board voted unanimously to implement a maximum contaminant level in drinking water for a chemical known as 1,2,3-TCP, used primarily as a degreasing solvent and pesticide ingredient.

Aquafornia news Water Deeply

Getting to the roots of California’s drinking water crisis

If you ask Californians who live in communities with unsafe drinking water how bad things are, they will tell you in no uncertain terms that the situation is a crisis. But unlike the nation’s most visible water crisis in Flint, Michigan – where 98,000 people were drinking water tainted with high lead levels for two years before the full story came to light – California’s drinking water problems do not exist in one central location or involve one culprit contaminant. 

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Salinas Valley replacement water program expected to cost farmers $1 million in first year

It’s expected to cost area agri-businesses about $1 million to provide bottled water to lower-income Salinas Valley residents whose water supply has been contaminated by nitrates in the first year of a pilot program.

Aquafornia news NBC Bay Area

Break in California levee system could contaminate Bay Area drinking water supply (with video)

A five year survey released by the California Department of Water Resources reveals half of the levees that guard California cities from a major flood don’t meet modern standards, and if a levee were to break in the wrong place, it could cut off the drinking water supply to the Bay Area for months or even years.

Aquafornia news McClatchy Washington, D.C., Bureau

Effort to ban plastic water bottles in national parks would end under budget deal

At the behest of the International Bottled Water Association, Congress is preparing to approve a must-pass budget bill that includes language aimed at restoring the sale of water in disposable plastic bottles in all national parks. For nearly six years, national parks have had the option of banning bottled-water sales as a way to reduce plastic litter and waste management costs.

Aquafornia news KQED Public Media for Northern California

California proposes strict limit on toxic chemical in drinking water

California regulators are proposing a strict limit on a toxic man-made chemical that has contaminated water supplies throughout the state, particularly in its vast agricultural heartland. California would be the second state, after Hawaii, to establish a threshold for the former pesticide ingredient and industrial solvent known as TCP (1,2,3-trichloropropane) in drinking water.

Aquafornia news Desert Sun

Activists: ‘This is everyone in California’s water. And an international corporation is stealing it’

A little after 1 p.m. Sunday, a steady stream of cars began pulling off Highway 18 at Lake Gregory Drive, parking on the south side of the highway and their occupants darting across during breaks in traffic to take up their posts on a dirt lot next to Grotewolds Carpet Station.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Vacaville sued over ‘Erin Brockovich’ contaminant in water supply

The city of Vacaville is facing pressure to clean up its water supplies after an environmental group sued this week over the amount of chromium-6 in groundwater. … Vacaville is among several California cities that have been wrestling with the carcinogen since 2014, when the state adopted the nation’s first chromium-6 rules.

Aquafornia news Fresno Bee

EPA says Fresno water complies with federal lead rules

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has notified the city of Fresno that its water system continues to comply with state and federal rules over lead in the drinking water supply.

Aquafornia news Water Deeply

California set to regulate carcinogen in water for decades

Carlos Arias is asked by many residents in the small town of Del Rey, California, if the water is safe to drink. He is the district manager of Del Rey’s community services district, which is tasked with providing drinking water and other services to its 2,000 residents. … Del Rey, in Fresno County, is one of dozens of communities in the San Joaquin Valley with wells that contain 1,2,3-trichloropropane.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

San Francisco’s pure drinking water to get a new ingredient

San Francisco’s famously pure High Sierra water is about to be served with a twist. Starting next month, city water officials will begin adding local groundwater to the Yosemite supplies that have satiated the area’s thirst since the 1930s and made the clean, crisp water here the envy of the nation.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

After controversy, Stockton’s water safer

In the end, the much-maligned chloramines did their job. One year after the city of Stockton began treating the north side’s drinking water with the new chemical, levels of a cancer-causing byproduct have plummeted nearly 70 percent, on average, and are now well within federal standards.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

One year later, Erin Brockovich’s twin tunnels promise mostly empty

Erin Brockovich parachuted into Stockton one year ago to condemn the city’s use of a common method to treat the drinking water. But sitting on a stage before a raucous crowd of 1,200, in the heart of a region deeply opposed to Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed Delta tunnels, the celebrity activist won enthusiastic applause when she accepted a new challenge.

Western Water Gary Pitzer Gary Pitzer

Millions of Dollars Needed to Help Low-Income Ratepayers with Water Bills, State Water Board Told
Five million Californians have affordability issues

A statewide program that began under a 2015 law to help low-income people with their water bills would cost about $600 million annually, a public policy expert told the California State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) at a meeting last week.

Aquafornia news San Bernardino Sun

More than 100 attend Twin Peaks meeting on Nestle’s water withdrawals

More than 100 people, both from mountain communities and the valley below, attended a public meeting Sunday to discuss Nestle Waters North America’s controversial withdrawal of spring water from a remote canyon in the San Bernardino National Forest.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Bottled water proposal collides with opposition in California community

Nestled among the soaring peaks of the San Bernardino Mountains, the community of Forest Falls spreads out alongside Mill Creek, which cascades down from the rugged slopes and flows through a boulder-strewn canyon on its journey toward the valley below.

Aquafornia news Sacramento Bee

Sacramento State shuts off water fountains, sinks after high lead levels found

The high lead levels were found by students and professors working on a research project during their tests of 449 sinks and fountains on the campus over a three-day period earlier this month.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

California announces voluntary lead testing in schools

California schools can receive free lead testing for their drinking water under a new short-term initiative meant to address safety concerns. … The  initiative announced by the State Water Resources Control Board keeps lead testing at schools voluntary.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

California schools can now ask water supplier to test for lead on campus (with audio)

California schools can now ask their water supplier to test for lead on campus. … Flint, Michigan served as a warning to everyone on the dangers of lead in the water system.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Orange County children’s dental clinic closed after bacteria found in new water system

Orange County health officials have ordered the closure of a children’s dental office in Anaheim after lab tests found bacteria in its new internal water system, which had replaced a system blamed for an earlier outbreak of bacterial infections.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

California’s small water utilities struggle with safety

Californians relying on small water utilities to bring drinking water into their homes, or who work or go to school in places providing their own water, are far more likely to be exposed to lead, according to a new analysis of Environmental Protection Agency data by The Desert Sun and USA TODAY.

Aquafornia news San Bernardino Sun

Nestlé’s permit for taking water from San Bernardino Mountains challenged

Three environmental and community-based groups have given their notice of intent to appeal a federal court’s ruling allowing a subsidiary of Nestlé to continue to remove millions of gallons of water annually from the San Bernardino National Forest.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Twin tunnels: City of Stockton warns of harm to drinking water

Gov. Jerry Brown’s Delta tunnels could harm the quality of Stockton’s drinking water to the extent that water rates would need to be doubled or tripled, a city official testified on Thursday. … [Bob] Granberg’s brief testimony on Thursday came as the state board holds extensive hearings to determine if any water users with legal rights — including Stockton — would be harmed by the operation of the tunnels.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Discolored water: Testing of Fresno pipes underway at Virginia Tech

A university professor in Virginia is conducting tests on pipe and water samples from Fresno in search of solutions to discoloration and lead contamination issues in tap water in northeast Fresno.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Watchdog: EPA delayed for 7 months in Flint water crisis

The Environmental Protection Agency had sufficient authority and information to issue an emergency order to protect residents of Flint, Michigan, from lead-contaminated water as early as June 2015 — seven months before it declared an emergency, the EPA’s inspector general said Thursday.

Aquafornia news Water Deeply

How California is learning to love drinking recycled water

Would you rather drink a cup of recycled wastewater or advanced purified water? Actually, that’s a trick question – both terms are often used to talk about the same thing. 

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Nestle can keep piping water from national forest, despite permit that is 28 years out of date

A federal judge has ruled that a permit allowing Nestle to pipe water out of the San Bernardino National Forest is valid, despite the fact that the permit listed 1988 as the expiration date and was never renewed.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Fresno wants to pay two experts to tackle its rusty-water problem

The city of Fresno wants to hire two national experts on corrosion in municipal water systems to reduce the odds that discolored-water problems now plaguing northeast Fresno will repeat themselves when a new water treatment plant opens in 2018.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Too many California towns have arsenic in tap water, group says

An environmental group said Monday that 55,000 people statewide are at risk of drinking tap water contaminated with arsenic, and many of the communities are poor, mostly Latino towns in the San Joaquin Valley.

Aquapedia background

Potable Water

Potable water, also known as drinking water, comes from surface and ground sources and is treated to levels that that meet state and federal standards for consumption.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) National Primary Drinking Water Regulations establish maximum contaminant levels (MCLs) for various contaminants

Aquapedia background

Coliform Bacteria

Coliform Bacteria as Indices

Directly detecting harmful pathogens in water can be expensive, unreliable and incredibly complicated. Fortunately, certain organisms are known to consistently coexist with these harmful microbes which are substantially easier to detect and culture: coliform bacteria. These generally non-toxic organisms are frequently used as “indicator species,” or organisms whose presence demonstrates a particular feature of its surrounding environment.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

After years without water, taps are turned on in East Porterville

Tania Ramirez stepped into her family’s front yard Friday morning, leaned down toward a pipe protruding from the garden, and twisted a spigot. For the first time in three years, water came pouring out.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Wary residents hear Fresno’s update on water problems

A noted national expert in water-system engineering said Fresno still has considerable work ahead of it as it deals with persistent water problems in the northeast part of the city.

Aquafornia news NPR

Where lead lurks and why even small amounts matter (with audio)

Lead problems with the water in Flint, Mich., have prompted people across the country to ask whether they or their families have been exposed to the toxic metal in their drinking water, too.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Fresno water complaints were hidden from city officials, Mayor Ashley Swearengin says

A former Fresno water plant operator used a private email server and cell phone to hide complaints of discolored or tainted water from his bosses, city officials said Thursday. … The complaints also were not made public to the state, which is required under state law.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Fresno enlists experts to investigate northeast water concerns

Two recognized experts in drinking water contamination and water chemistry – including the professor who led the investigation into lead contamination in Flint, Mich. – are working with the city of Fresno to find solutions to the corrosion of galvanized residential plumbing in the northeast part of the city.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Study: Chemicals from firefighting foam in drinking water (with audio)

A study by UC Berkeley and Harvard University researchers finds a firefighting foam containing highly fluorinated chemicals is contaminating drinking water supplies around many of the nation’s military bases, airports and industrial sites.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Fresno advances ban on galvanized water pipes, tougher reporting rules

The city of Fresno is banning the use of galvanized pipe for plumbing in new construction and remodeling projects as signs point to the venerable material as a prime culprit in concerns over discoloration and lead contamination of water in homes across northeast Fresno.

Aquafornia news Washington Post

What we’re doing to the environment may be costing us our drinking water

The human footprint on the environment may have affected one of the Earth’s most precious resources – our drinking water– in a major way throughout the last century, according to new research.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Lee Brand wants loans, rebates to aid Fresno residents with tainted water

Fresno City Councilman Lee Brand, who is campaigning to be the city’s next mayor, is proposing two major policy initiatives after a large number of residents, almost exclusively in his northeast district, have complained about discolored and tainted water.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Fresno places water chief on administrative leave; probes reporting discrepancies

The chief of Fresno’s water operations has been placed on administrative leave over discrepancies in the reporting of water quality issues. … The action is related to an ongoing controversy over problems with discolored water in several hundred homes in northeast Fresno and issues of lead contamination in water coming from residents’ faucets in several dozen homes.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Wednesday’s Top of the Scroll: California to set legal limit on probable carcinogen in water (with audio)

The California State Water Resources Control Board will soon set a maximum contaminant level for 1,2,3 Trichloropropane, or 1,2,3 TCP.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Fresno broadens notifications for discolored-water investigation

The pounding of a jackhammer rattled through an otherwise quiet northeast Fresno neighborhood Monday morning as plumbers dug up one resident’s water line.

Aquafornia news Whittier Daily News

Toxic algae is blooming more often in lakes, reservoirs. Does that threaten drinking water?

In California, cyanotoxins have become more of a problem amid the drought and the same toxin that shut down Toledo’s water supply has been detected in lakes, reservoirs and streams across the state. But because standard treatment processes usually get rid of cyanotoxins, water officials say it’s unlikely a similar crisis would unfold here.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Sprouts subject of nationwide Nestle protest

Activists arguing that Nestle’s bottling of water from the San Bernardino National Forest is illegal due to a long-expired permit gathered Saturday at Sprouts Farmers Market locations across the U.S., including one in La Quinta, in order to protest the chain’s sale of Nestle Arrowhead Mountain Spring Water.

Aquafornia news Water Deeply

California eyes recycling wastewater for drinking

The state is currently investigating whether it is feasible to develop standards for direct potable reuse, which would allow treated wastewater to be sent direct to customers for drinking without first being stored in a reservoir or aquifer.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles County proposal to let landowners use hauled-in water worries environmentalists

Los Angeles County is considering a controversial plan to spur housing development in rural unincorporated areas by allowing property owners to haul in drinking water if no other source is available.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Capitol officials find lead in 2nd House office building

U.S. Capitol officials have found elevated levels of lead in the water at a second House office building.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Fresno searches for answers on discoloration, lead in water

A vocal and growing number of residents in northeast Fresno are convinced water from the city’s Surface Water Treatment Facility is primarily responsible for corrosion in their pipes, causing discolored water – and in several dozen instances, lead contamination – to flow from their household faucets. 

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Fresno expands investigation for lead, discoloration in city water

Fresno leaders will be sending direct-mail fliers this week to every water customer in the northeastern area of the city, substantially expanding the scope of an investigation into discolored water coming from faucets in hundreds of homes as well as lead contamination in about 40 homes.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Northeast Fresno water issues confound city, state investigators

Hundreds of homes in northeast Fresno have discolored water – and, in some cases, excessive levels of toxic lead – coming from their faucets. And while homeowners clamor for answers about why and what to do about it, those answers are in painfully short supply.

Aquafornia news ProPublica

The Dig: Investigating the safety of the water you drink

I’ve [T. Christian Miller] received a lot of questions about applying investigative reporting techniques to figuring out whether your water is safe — the stuff in your taps, the stuff in your rivers, the stuff at the beach. … The difficulty is partly due to the complexity of the topic. Water is not simple.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

New arguments added to case over Nestle’s water permit in San Bernardino Mountains

Because Nestle North American Waters did not provide requested information, its permit related to water withdrawals in the San Bernardino National Forest has lapsed, plaintiffs contend in a brief filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Riverside. 

Aquafornia news Siskiyou Daily News

Groundwater sales initiative gathers over 2,000 signatures in ballot bid

A ballot initiative created by a group of concerned citizens aims to alter groundwater management in Siskiyou County. Chapter 13 of the Siskiyou County Code governs the withdrawal and transport of groundwater, and section 3-13.301 does not allow the unpermitted transport of water from the county; however, “commercial water-bottling enterprises” are exempt from requiring such a permit. 

Aquafornia news Circle of Blue

Drinking water warning issued for nonstick chemical

Teflon and related brands Gore-Tex, Scotchgard, and Stainmaster — all prized for their water-repelling, stain-protecting, and mess-preventing attributes — seem to contain magical properties. … Last month, seven years after it issued the first health guidelines for PFOA/PFOS in drinking water, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency lowered the recommended level in drinking water to 0.07 parts per billion combined.

Aquafornia news San Bernardino County Sun

Federal judge wants more details before ruling in Nestle lawsuit

A federal judge Monday said he needed more information before he can determine if the government has erred in allowing Nestle to continuously withdraw millions of gallons of water annually from Strawberry Creek — 28 years after the company’s permit expired.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Tuesday’s Top of the Scroll: Activists protest Nestle bottling as court hears lawsuit

Activists who are challenging Nestle’s bottling of water from a national forest attended their first hearing in federal court on Monday, arguing the Forest Service has violated the law by allowing the company to continue piping out water using a permit that lists an expiration date of 1988.

Aquafornia news San Bernardino County Sun

State says it’s looking into Nestle water rights in San Bernardino Mountains

The state Water Resources Control Board has launched an investigation into Nestle’s water rights in the San Bernardino National Forest, adding a new layer of scrutiny to the growing public outcry into the water bottler’s operations during a drought.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Residents in Tulare County community open taps to clean water

Matheny Tract residents can finally open their taps to clean water. … In March, the State Water Resources Control Board ordered Tulare to merge its water system with Matheny Tract under a new law.

Aquafornia news Water Deeply

Nestle plans for healthy forest and water bottling

A recent article, “Behind the Lawsuit to Turn Off Spigot to Nestle,” showed one perspective on the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) process to renew Nestle Waters’ special-use permit to transport water through the forest. Here is another. First, Nestle Waters holds senior water rights dating back to the 1880s in the San Bernardino National Forest.

Aquafornia news The New York Times

The story behind EPA’s contaminated water revelation

Last week 5.2 million Americans learned that their drinking water is contaminated with man-made chemicals linked to cancer.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

California investigates Nestle water rights

Activists who are trying to block Nestle’s bottling of water from a national forest have questioned the company’s claim that it holds water rights dating to the 1800s. Now California regulators are conducting an investigation to get to the bottom of the dispute.

Aquafornia news KPCC Southern California Public Radio

Los Angeles DWP to investigate murky tap water in Watts (with audio)

In response to a number of community complaints and a request from a Los Angeles city councilman, the Department of Water and Power said Tuesday that it will investigate why murky brown water has been intermittently flowing from taps in and around Watts in recent months.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Students receive bottled water after South Los Angeles schools report murky tap water

Teachers handed out bottled water to hundreds of students at Grape Street Elementary School on Wednesday amid concerns about murky, discolored water flowing from taps and fountains at that school and four others in South Los Angeles.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Nestle: Forest Service shouldn’t infringe on water rights

Nestle is objecting to the U.S. Forest Service’s terms for issuing it a new permit to continue piping water out of a national forest, saying the agency is overstepping its authority and infringing on the company’s water rights.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Debate over Nestle water permit heats up

The U.S. Forest Service’s proposal to grant Nestle a new permit to continue piping water out of a national forest for bottling has drawn a flood of written comments from the public, including a petition with more than 280,000 names demanding the agency “turn off the spigot.” 

Aquafornia news BBC News

Tuesday’s Top of the Scroll: Nestle — Bottling water in drought-hit California

Nestle extracted 36 million gallons of water from a national forest in California last year to sell as bottled water, even as Californians were ordered to cut their water use because of a historic drought in the state.

Aquafornia news Voice of San Diego

After a rush to build costly water treatment plants, they’re now sitting unused

Over a decade ago, Southern California water officials rushed to build or expand treatment plants so they could keep up with the demand for drinkable water. That cost hundreds of millions of dollars.

Aquafornia news San Bernardino County Sun

Open house draws about 100 to learn about Nestle water study

The room contained about 100 people migrating from station to station, looking at poster boards and talking to specialists about fault lines, water drainage and other environmental concerns of Nestlé’s tap into a San Bernardino Mountains creek.

Aquafornia news Riverside Press-Enterprise

Blog: Fractured approach to bottled-water permit

Nestle is not paying for the water it takes out of the San Bernardino National Forest to sell as Arrowhead 100% Mountain Spring Water.

Aquafornia news Valley Public Radio NPR for Central California

New state law to bring arsenic-free drinking water to Tulare County community (with audio)

Many [Central] valley residents struggle to access drinking water—some don’t have enough, while others face contamination. Now, a new law allows the state to step in and help those in need.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Schools buying water filters even though fountains are fine

A growing distaste and distrust of tap water has prompted many school districts to spend thousands of taxpayer dollars on heavily marketed filters — some of which use a process that discards some water as waste — even though the schools say there’s nothing wrong with what’s currently flowing from their pipes.

Aquafornia news San Bernardino County Sun

Public input on Nestle water bottling operations sought Thursday

San Bernardino National Forest officials will host an open house Thursday to answer questions and discuss the process for environmental studies of Nestlé water bottling operations in a rugged canyon north of here.

Aquafornia news NPR

How do we get our drinking water in the U.S.?

Before you take a gulp of water, try to mentally trace where that water that just gushed out of your taps has been: How did it go from that weird-tasting raindrop to the clear, odorless water that is sitting in your glass now?

Aquafornia news The Guardian

The dubious science of Dr. Luke’s Core brand: inside the premium bottled water industry

You may have seen Core water in any number of music videos. … Manufacturers of premium bottled waters in the US bend over backwards to differentiate themselves.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

US water systems repeatedly exceed federal standard for lead

This railroad town promotes its ties to Abraham Lincoln, Ronald Reagan and the poet Carl Sandburg. But Galesburg’s long history also shows in a hidden way: Aging pipes have been leaking lead into the drinking water for decades.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Hazardous metal found in Coachella Valley’s Westside Elementary School water

Officials have detected levels of chromium-6 in the drinking water at Westside Elementary School [Coachella Valley] above the level deemed safe by the California Department of Public Health.

Aquafornia news Bay Area News Group

East Bay water district’s Delta deal raises eyebrows among environmentalists

In a deal stirring up new waves about the governor’s twin water tunnels plan through the Delta, a water supplier for 500,000 Contra Costa County residents has dropped its protest against the project in exchange for a new source of higher-quality water from the Sacramento River.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Water issue could cost Coachella millions of dollars

The presence of a metallic element that at high levels has been linked to kidney and liver damage in Coachella’s drinking water could cost the city millions of dollars a year as it works to comply with new state regulations.

Aquafornia news KPCC Southern California Public Radio

Los Angeles Unified declares 60 schools’ water fountains lead-safe in first phase of district-wide cleanup

[Los Angeles Unified School District] LAUSD’s effort to eliminate lead contamination in tens of thousands of school water fountains is complete at 60 schools, while District officials say it will take another year-and-a-half to finish the process on all 986 L.A. Unified campuses.

Aquafornia news Redding Record Searchlight

Group wants water bottling issue on Siskiyou ballot

A Siskiyou County group wants to put a measure on the November ballot that would require any business that wants to pump groundwater that would be exported from the county — including bottled water — would need an extraction permit.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

So far, so good on Stockton water quality

An initial round of testing for toxic lead in north Stockton’s drinking water has revealed levels far below federal standards and nowhere near what experts found in Flint, Michigan. … Environmental activist Erin Brockovich compared Stockton to Flint during her visit here in early February.

Aquafornia news Circle of Blue

Blog: Water affordability is a new civil rights movement in the United States

The cost of drinking water and sewer services in the United States, rising on average at twice the rate of inflation, is giving birth to a new civil rights movement, one based on access to water and sanitation for the poor.

Aquafornia news NPR

What makes water unsafe? Not the color, taste or smell: #WorldWaterDay

What is safe drinking water? Is it water that’s clear? Smells clean? Tastes good? Comes from a trusted source, like a well or a pipe?

Aquafornia news Riverside Press-Enterprise

Nestle’s bottled water operation under scrutiny

The Forest Service is conducting an environmental review of Nestle’s controversial bottled water operation in the San Bernardino Mountains, and could require the company to monitor the impacts of its withdrawals, officials said Friday, March 18.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

In Minneapolis, bellying up for … tap water

It’s a bar that serves nothing but tap water. For free. The concept, developed by two Minneapolis artists, started as pop-ups across the country, ranging from an event at a North Carolina artists’ space to a waterfront fundraiser in Chicago to a four-month run at an art museum in Arkansas.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Nestlé water source draws U.S. review

Nestlé’s bottled water division will have to go through a thorough environmental review of its long-expired permit to draw water from the San Bernardino Mountains for its Arrowhead brand, the U.S. Forest Service said Friday.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Thursday’s Top of the Scroll: Don’t drink the water — Lead found in California schools

For two years, the students at Orange Center Elementary School outside of Fresno have been told not to drink the water. … This week US Senator Barbara Boxer, a Rancho Mirage Democrat, introduced a bill to add lead-contaminated drinking water to the federal government’s definition of a disaster, allowing the Federal Emergency Management Agency and other federal agencies to become involved in the Flint response. 

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Monday’s Top of the Scroll: AP poll — Americans divided on safety of US drinking water

When it comes to water, only about half of Americans are very confident in the safety of what’s flowing from their tap, according to an Associated Press-GfK poll, which found that trust is even weaker among minorities and people with lower incomes.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Healdsburg school’s water was tainted by lead, town learns

Fears of lead contamination swept through the town of Healdsburg this week after parents and officials learned that water at an elementary school contained elevated levels of the toxic metal late last year.

Aquafornia news Santa Rosa Press Democrat

High levels of lead in Healdsburg Elementary water

High levels of lead have been discovered in drinking fountains at Healdsburg Elementary School’s main building, county school and public health officials said Wednesday. The lead contamination first was detected over Thanksgiving break.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Brockovich brings controversy

She received a hero’s welcome in Stockton, was lauded on social media and gave a passionate speech before a huge crowd. … But as good as she is at rallying the people, some critics say [Erin] Brockovich falls short when it comes to science.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Power of persuasion — Traveling consultant preaches against chloramines

The Tulsa City Council meeting was already an hour and a half old when out-of-town water consultant Bob Bowcock stepped to the podium and gave his spiel on the dangers of chloramines in the drinking water.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Erin Brockovich, Stockton ‘freak out’ over water treatment

Stockton is not the first city to attract controversy for the use of chloramines, with flare-ups in Vermont, Washington and San Luis Obispo County, among other places. … Federal, state and local authorities, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, all say chloramines are safe at levels used in drinking water.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Top doctor: Chloramines pose ‘very low risk’

San Joaquin County’s top health expert has no problem with the city of Stockton’s switch to chloramines to treat the drinking water. … His comments came one day after a town hall forum featuring environmental activist Erin Brockovich attracted more than 1,200 people to the Atherton Auditorium at San Joaquin Delta College.

Aquafornia news KCRA Sacramento

Stockton residents, Erin Brockovich voice concerns at meeting (with video)

Environmental activist Erin Brockovich is in Stockton to warn residents about adding chloramine to the water.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Fact check: How Stockton town hall claims stack up

Chloramines have a tendency to generate confusion as well as controversy.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Stockton water forum delivers mixed messages

Local water activists Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla and Bill Jennings spoke before [Bob] Bowcock and [Erin] Brockovich. Both suggested to the audience there are more significant issues facing Stockton and the region than chloramines, most notably the proposed Twin Tunnels project in the Delta.

Aquafornia news The San Diego Union-Tribune

Thursday’s Top of the Scroll: EPA announces $182 million for California water projects

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency officials were in Carlsbad on Wednesday to announce more than $182 million in federal funding that will be funneled to drinking water and wastewater infrastructure improvements throughout California.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Water rally scheduled before Stockton City Council meeting

The recent addition of chloramines to treat Stockton’s drinking water is not on Tuesday night’s City Council meeting agenda, but a rally on the hot-button issue is scheduled nonetheless late in the afternoon outside City Hall.

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