Topic: Drinking Water


Drinking Water

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

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

Photo of drinking water filling a glass over the kitchen sink. 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.

Water from natural sources is treated for microorganisms, bacteria, toxic chemicals, viruses and fecal matter. Drinking raw, untreated water can cause gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea, vomiting or fever.

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.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

‘Stockton is not Flint’

This city [Stockton] is a long way from Flint, Michigan — in distance and in drinking water.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Stockton water now being treated with chloramines

Water treated with chloramine disinfectant is coursing through north Stockton pipes, city officials confirmed Thursday.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Not all are affected by Stockton drinking water change

The question of who will receive water with chloramines is a bit more complicated than it sounds. That’s because Stockton is served by two drinking-water plants, in addition to groundwater wells.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Stockton mayor calls for town hall to review water treatment (with audio)

Mayor Anthony Silva says he personally doesn’t like the idea of adding chemicals to Stockton’s drinking water. This is what he wrote in a facebook post over the weekend:

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Activist’s involvement makes chloramines plan suddenly controversial

Over several years, the plan to put chloramines in north Stockton’s drinking water was vetted in public by the City Council and by a citizen oversight group. … But it was a Facebook post late Saturday by renowned environmental activist Erin Brockovich that turned a mostly non-controversial issue into a firestorm of public outrage.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Agency begins review of Nestle water permit

The U.S. Forest Service said officials have started assessing the renewal of a 1978 permit that Nestle has long been using to pipe water out of the San Bernardino National Forest to produce Arrowhead brand bottled water.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Groups seek fast ruling in suit to halt Nestle water use

Three environmental groups who sued the U.S. Forest Service in federal court to keep Nestle from piping water out of a national forest filed a motion Monday to get a fast ruling in the case.

Aquafornia news Marin Independent Journal

Anti-fluoridation forces to gather signatures to get issue on Marin ballot

Backers of a Marin anti-fluoridation initiative plan to set up tables at the Sunrise Center in Corte Madera on Friday afternoon to begin collecting signatures to put the issue on the ballot.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

San Joaquin Valley cities slapped for cancer-causing agent in tap water

With attention focused on hot-button water-related topics – drought, groundwater, fish requirements, sinking earth, fallowed fields, domestic wells going dry – here’s one you probably haven’t lost sleep over: chromium 6.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

State orders California firm to stop tapping Sierra springs

Armed with evidence captured by surveillance cameras, California regulators have ordered a business to stop tapping Sierra Nevada spring water that is later bottled and sold in stores, officials said Wednesday.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Resident group files suit over Mount Shasta water bottling plant

Neighbors and activists in Mount Shasta have been pressing Crystal Geyser Water Co. for months to conduct a full environmental review before opening a bottling plant just outside the small Northern California town.

Aquafornia news BBC News

Bug-killing book pages clean murky drinking water

The “drinkable book” combines treated paper with printed information on how and why water should be filtered. Its pages contain nanoparticles of silver or copper, which kill bacteria in the water as it passes through.

Aquafornia news Eureka Times-Standard

State assessing contaminated water infiltration to Scotia drinking water

State agencies are currently assessing potential impacts to Scotia’s drinking water system after three separate incidents at the Humboldt Redwood Company sawmill caused water contaminated with woody materials to infiltrate into the town’s drinking water system on the Eel River.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Review of Nestle water permit neglected for decades

High in the San Bernardino Mountains, on a steep slope covered with brush and ferns, a bunker-like stone structure protrudes from the mountainside. Behind its locked metal doors, water is collected from wells and flows into a pipe to fill bottles of Arrowhead 100% Mountain Spring Water.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Study finds contaminants in California public-water supplies

Nearly one-fifth of the raw groundwater used for public drinking water systems in California contains excessive levels of potentially toxic contaminants, according to a decade-long U.S. Geological Survey study that provides one of the first comprehensive looks at the health of California’s public water supply and groundwater.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Drought disaster in East Porterville turns to budding health crisis

Nearly a year and a half after East Porterville’s first dry well was reported, residents and experts say not having running water and breathing increasingly dusty air is worsening their pre-existing health issues and contributing to the development of new ones.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Fracking poses risks to drinking water, EPA says, but hasn’t caused ’systemic’ damage

The Environmental Protection Agency, in a draft report numbering more than 900 pages, said that while fracking operations “have not led to widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water resources, there are potential vulnerabilities in the water lifecycle that could impact drinking water.”

Aquafornia news McClatchy Washington, D.C., Bureau

Oil industry raves about EPA fracking study; environmentalists call it suspect

Oil industry supporters rejoiced Thursday when a newly released draft of an Environmental Protection Agency report found no evidence that hydraulic fracturing does widespread damage to drinking water.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

EPA: No widespread harm to drinking water from fracking

Hydraulic fracturing to drill for oil and natural gas has not caused widespread harm to drinking water in the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency said Thursday in a report that also warned of potential contamination of water supplies if safeguards are not maintained.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

California concerns grow over oilfield operations near water

California regulators on Monday expanded their list of thousands of state-permitted oil and gas wells where below-ground injections may be contaminating drinking-water reserves.

Aquafornia news The New York Times

Water flowing from toilet to tap may be hard to swallow

Water spilled out of a spigot, sparklingly clear, into a plastic cup. Just 45 minutes earlier, it was effluent, piped over from Orange County’s wastewater treatment plant next door.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

East Bay residents to get steady diet of foul water

The acrid tap water that flowed for several days last month into thousands of East Bay homes, prompting a flurry of complaints about its bad taste and smell, will be making an extended comeback starting next week — perhaps through the year, or longer.

Aquafornia news Bay Area News Group

Taste, smell of water is about to change for EBMUD customers

The high-quality taste of drinking water for 1.3 million East Bay residents is going to change — and possibly worsen for the rest of the drought.

Aquafornia news Bay Area News Group

State begins Delta salinity barrier to protect water supplies in drought

The state has begun building an emergency salinity barrier in the Delta to keep seawater from fouling drinking water supplies for 25 million people.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

US lowers fluoride in water; too much causing splotchy teeth

The government is lowering the recommended amount of fluoride in drinking water because some kids are getting too much, causing white splotches on their teeth.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Critics take aim at Nestlé bottled water plant in Sacramento

As Californians face deepening cuts in water usage because of the drought, critics are raising concerns about tens of millions of gallons of Sacramento municipal water being tapped by a local plant that bottles and resells it at a profit.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

US Forest Service investigates expired permit Nestle uses to draw water out of California for bottled water

The U.S. Forest Service is investigating an expired permit that Nestle has been using to draw water out of a national forest in Southern California for its bottled water business. 

Aquafornia news Riverside Press-Enterprise

$140 million project means more water in drought

With the Inland housing market on the rebound and California in the fourth year of a punishing drought, local water officials need a reliable source of fresh drinking water now and in the future.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Sour water — a new normal in the East Bay?

East Bay residents first noticed a bitter taste in their tap water on Saturday. … It turns out the taste, and a foul odor associated with it, comes from algae in the Pardee Reservoir, which supplies most of the drinking water for East Bay Municipal Utility District customers.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

What’s in the water that comes from Los Angeles taps?

Every city, suburb and rural community has specific contaminants of concern.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

What is … the process of bottling water in California? (video)

Video: Reporter Ian James and photographer/illustrator Richard Lui explain how spring water is bottled in California … 

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Proposed office to help poor communities get clean drinking water

The emergency drought relief bill proposed for California would create a new state office.

Aquafornia news Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)

Blog: The Forest Service needs better policies before giving water away to bottling companies

National forests support some of the most pristine groundwater and springs in the country – at least that’s what the most successful water bottling companies advertise. Current policies leave these springs exposed to exploitation, especially during droughts, which are becoming more intense. … According to an article in the Desert Sun, the Forest Service has not investigated how pumping water from Strawberry Creek will affect the environment or downstream water users or required reporting of water use.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Lawmakers see issues in bottled water, expired permits

Some lawmakers are raising questions about the impacts of bottled water companies on water supplies in California after a Desert Sun investigation found little government oversight of the amounts of water being tapped or the effects on the environment.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Bottling water without scrutiny

Miles from the nearest paved road in the San Bernardino National Forest, two sounds fill a rocky canyon: a babbling stream and the hissing of water flowing through a stainless steel pipe. From wells that tap into springs high on the mountainside, water gushes down through the pipe to a roadside tank. 

Aquafornia news The New York Times

New York’s fluoridation fuss, 50 years later

In two days, the city’s Board of Estimate would hold a hearing on one of the most contentious issues of the Cold War: whether to begin fluoridation of New York’s drinking water, which the Board of Health had urged more than a year earlier to fight cavities.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

New bill aims to bring cleaner water to east valley

Assembly Bill 434, introduced this week by state Assemblyman Eduardo Garcia, would authorize point-of-use filtration systems as a way to help solve the elevated levels of arsenic in the Coachella Valley.

Aquafornia news Santa Rosa Press Democrat

Sonoma council split on fluoride

A divided Sonoma City Council is going to continue its discussion in March on whether to publicly oppose adding fluoride to the county’s drinking water.

Aquafornia news Santa Rosa Press Democrat

Sonoma council to take up fluoridation issue Wednesday

Sonoma city officials could consider joining Cotati in opposing fluoridation of the county’s drinking water.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Water from Desert Hot Springs bottled for competition

Desert Hot Springs has regularly been a top contender over the years, winning honors in the competition seven times since 1997, including two gold medals.

Aquafornia news The Bakersfield Californian

Coalition brings clean drinking water to rural Kern County

Clean drinking water is something many Americans take for granted, but in areas such as south Kern County access to safe water is not guaranteed. A new program called Agua4All is attempting to address that.

Aquafornia news NBC Southern California

Families worry over foul-smelling tap water (with video)

Families in a Southern California neighborhood worried by black and foul-smelling water pouring from their faucets, toilets and showers say their water company is not doing enough to fix the problem.

Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

Butte County seeks help dealing with oil train derailments

An ever-growing number of trains carrying a particularly volatile form of light crude oil through the Feather River Canyon has a worried Butte County asking for help and training to deal with a potential catastrophic derailment. … John Scott of Butte Valley claimed a derailment that spilled the light crude into the Feather River would end up polluting the water in Lake Oroville.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Blog: San Joaquin Valley’s poor towns need public help to drink healthy water, breathe clean air, EPA leader says

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency sees a connection between cleaning up the air and water and helping the economy grow, says Gina McCarthy, who leads the federal government’s environmental guardian. … The EPA leader said federal and state officials are working together to provide money for drinking-water fixes in the Valley.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Fountains for schools lacking access to clean water

The private health foundation, California Endowment says 120 schools in California’s Central Valley will receive water-purification stations.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Blog: Chef Jamie Oliver launches clean water initiative

The California Endowment, a private health foundation, is launching an initiative to install new water filtration stations in communities and schools around the state as a “healthy alternative.”

Aquafornia news U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Blog: Protecting your drinking water for 40 years

As I traveled across the country this year, there’s one thing I could count on everywhere I went: tap water that’s safe to drink. Drinking water is essential for healthy families, thriving communities, and strong local economies. And this month we’re proud to celebrate an important milestone as December 16, 2014 marks the 40th anniversary of the Safe Drinking Water Act.

Aquafornia news Davis Enterprise

Commentary: Cloudy — yet safe — tap water adds to negative health effects

Cloudy tap water may have a greater effect on California’s rural immigrants than merely leaving behind a bad taste, according to a new policy brief released by the Center for Poverty Research at UC Davis.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Commentary: California drinking water plan can do more

This week we celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act knowing more Americans enjoy safe drinking water than ever before. Nowhere can you find more protective drinking water regulations than in California.

Aquafornia news Santa Rosa Press Democrat

Sonoma County approves more money for work on fluoride plan

Sonoma County supervisors on Tuesday approved a trio of actions aimed at improving dental health in Sonoma County, including a contract to complete a study on fluoridation of the county’s drinking water.

Aquafornia news Santa Rosa Press Democrat

New studies seek to bolster case for fluoride in Sonoma County’s water supply

Despite heated opposition, Sonoma County health officials are building their case that adding fluoride to public water supplies is the most effective way to prevent tooth decay and reduce costs of dental care for the greatest number of Sonoma County residents — a strategy some fluoridation proponents said could translate into broader political support of the additive.

Aquafornia news San Gabriel Valley Tribune

Commentary: Tapped out — one woman’s crusade to save the drinking fountain

When’s the last time you bent to sip from the little arc of pipe-warm water produced by a public drinking fountain?


Colorado River Facts Slide Card

This card includes information about the Colorado River, who uses the river, how the river’s water is divided and other pertinent facts about this vital resource for the Southwest. Beautifully illustrated with color photographs.


A Climate of Change: Water Adaptation Strategies

This 25-minute documentary-style DVD, developed in partnership with the California Department of Water Resources, provides an excellent overview of climate change and how it is already affecting California. The DVD also explains what scientists anticipate in the future related to sea level rise and precipitation/runoff changes and explores the efforts that are underway to plan and adapt to climate.


Stormwater Management: Turning Runoff into a Resource

20-minute DVD that explains the problem with polluted stormwater, and steps that can be taken to help prevent such pollution and turn what is often viewed as a “nuisance” into a water resource through various activities.


Drinking Water: Quenching the Public Thirst (60-minute DVD)

Many Californians don’t realize that when they turn on the faucet, the water that flows out could come from a source close to home or one hundreds of miles away. Most people take their water for granted; not thinking about the elaborate systems and testing that go into delivering clean, plentiful water to households throughout the state. Where drinking water comes from, how it’s treated, and what people can do to protect its quality are highlighted in this 2007 PBS documentary narrated by actress Wendie Malick. 


Drinking Water: Quenching the Public Thirst (30-minute DVD)

A 30-minute version of the 2007 PBS documentary Drinking Water: Quenching the Public Thirst. This DVD is ideal for showing at community forums and speaking engagements to help the public understand the complex issues surrounding the elaborate systems and testing that go into delivering clean, plentiful water to households throughout the state.


Protecting Drinking Water on Tribal Lands

This 30-minute DVD explains the importance of developing a source water assessment program (SWAP) for tribal lands and by profiling three tribes that have created SWAPs. Funded by a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the video complements the Foundation’s 109-page workbook, Protecting Drinking Water: A Workbook for Tribes, which includes a step-by-step work plan for Tribes interested in developing a protection plan for their drinking water.


Groundwater Quality: Managing the Resource

This 15-minute video explains in an easy-to-understand manner the importance of groundwater, defines technical terms, describes sources of groundwater contamination and outlines steps communities can take to protect underground aquifers. Includes extensive computer graphics that illustrate these groundwater concepts. The short running times makes it ideal for presentations and community group meetings. Available on VHS and DVD.

Maps & Posters

Carson River Basin Map
Published 2006

A companion to the Truckee River Basin Map poster, this 24×36 inch poster, suitable for framing, explores the Carson River, and its link to the Truckee River. The map includes Lahontan Dam and Reservoir, the Carson Sink, and the farming areas in the basin. Map text discusses the region’s hydrology and geography, the Newlands Project, land and water use within the basin and wetlands. Development of the map was funded by a grant from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Mid-Pacific Region, Lahontan Basin Area Office.

Maps & Posters

Truckee River Basin Map
Published 2005

This beautiful 24×36 inch poster, suitable for framing, displays the rivers, lakes and reservoirs, irrigated farmland, urban areas and Indian reservations within the Truckee River Basin, including the Newlands Project, Pyramid Lake and Lake Tahoe. Map text explains the issues surrounding the use of the Truckee-Carson rivers, Lake Tahoe water quality improvement efforts, fishery restoration and the effort to reach compromise solutions to many of these issues. 

Maps & Posters

Nevada Water Map
Published 2004

This 24×36 inch poster, suitable for framing, illustrates the water resources available for Nevada cities, agriculture and the environment. It features natural and manmade water resources throughout the state, including the Truckee and Carson rivers, Lake Tahoe, Pyramid Lake and the course of the Colorado River that forms the state’s eastern boundary.

Maps & Posters

Water Cycle Poster

Water as a renewable resource is depicted in this 18×24 inch poster. Water is renewed again and again by the natural hydrologic cycle where water evaporates, transpires from plants, rises to form clouds, and returns to the earth as precipitation. Excellent for elementary school classroom use.


Layperson’s Guide to Water Recycling
Updated 2013

As the state’s population continues to grow and traditional water supplies grow tighter, there is increased interest in reusing treated wastewater for a variety of activities, including irrigation of crops, parks and golf courses, groundwater recharge and industrial uses.


Layperson’s Guide to Integrated Regional Water Management
Published 2013

The 24-page Layperson’s Guide to Integrated Regional Water Management (IRWM) is an in-depth, easy-to-understand publication that provides background information on the principles of IRWM, its funding history and how it differs from the traditional water management approach.


Layperson’s Guide to Groundwater
Updated 2017

The 28-page Layperson’s Guide to Groundwater is an in-depth, easy-to-understand publication that provides background and perspective on groundwater. The guide explains what groundwater is – not an underground network of rivers and lakes! – and the history of its use in California.


Layperson’s Guide to California Water
Updated 2015

The 24-page Layperson’s Guide to California Water provides an excellent overview of the history of water development and use in California. It includes sections on flood management; the state, federal and Colorado River delivery systems; Delta issues; water rights; environmental issues; water quality; and options for stretching the water supply such as water marketing and conjunctive use.


Layperson’s Guide to the Delta
Updated 2010

The 24-page Layperson’s Guide to the Delta explores the competing uses and demands on California’s Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Included in the guide are sections on the history of the Delta, its role in the state’s water system, and its many complex and competing issues with sections on water quality, levees, salinity and agricultural drainage, and water distribution.

Aquapedia background

Water Treatment

Water Treatment

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

Today, significant technological developments in water treatment, including monitoring and assessment, help ensure a drinking water supply of high quality. The source of water and its initial condition prior to being treated usually determines the water treatment process. [See also Water Recycling.]

Aquapedia background

Surface Water Treatment

A tremendous amount of time and technology is expended to make surface water safe to drink. Surface water undergoes many processes before it reaches a consumer’s tap.

Aquapedia background

Safe Drinking Water Act

Safe Drinking Water Act

The federal Safe Drinking Water Act sets standards for drinking water quality in the United States.

Launched in 1974 and administered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Safe Drinking Water Act oversees states, communities, and water suppliers who implement the drinking water standards at the local level.

The act’s regulations apply to every public water system in the United States but do not include private wells serving less than 25 people.

According to the EPA, there are more than 160,000 public water systems in the United States.

Western Water Magazine

Nitrate and the Struggle for Clean Drinking Water
March/April 2013

This printed issue of Western Water discusses the problems of nitrate-contaminated water in small disadvantaged communities and possible solutions.

Western Water Magazine

Preserving Quantity and Quality: Groundwater Management in California
May/June 2011

This printed issue of Western Water examines groundwater management and the extent to which stakeholders believe more efforts are needed to preserve and restore the resource.

Western Water Magazine

Pervasive and Persistent: Constituents of Growing Concern
January/February 2011

This printed issue of Western Water, based on presentations at the November 3-4, 2010 Water Quality Conference in Ontario, Calif., looks at constituents of emerging concerns (CECs) – what is known, what is yet to be determined and the potential regulatory impacts on drinking water quality.

Western Water Magazine

Desalination: A Drought Proof Supply?
July/August 2009

This printed issue of Western Water examines desalination – an issue that is marked by great optimism and controversy – and the expected role it might play as an alternative water supply strategy.

Western Water Magazine

Small Water Systems, Big Challenges
May/June 2008

This printed copy of Western Water examines the challenges facing small water systems, including drought preparedness, limited operating expenses and the hurdles of complying with costlier regulations. Much of the article is based on presentations at the November 2007 Small Systems Conference sponsored by the Water Education Foundation and the California Department of Water Resources.

Western Water Magazine

From Source to Tap: Protecting California’s Drinking Water
November/December 2006

This issue of Western Water looks at some of the issues facing drinking water providers, such as compliance with increasingly stringent treatment requirements, the need to improve source water quality and the mission of continually informing consumers about the quality of water they receive.

Western Water Magazine

Pharmaceuticals & Personal Care Products: An Rx for Water Quality Problems?
July/August 2004

This issue of Western Water examines PPCPs – what they are, where they come from and whether the potential exists for them to become a water quality problem. With the continued emphasis on water quality and the fact that many water systems in the West are characterized by flows dominated by effluent contributions, PPCPs seem likely to capture interest for the foreseeable future.

Western Water Magazine

Confronting a Legacy of Contamination: Perchlorate
May/June 2003

This issue of Western Water examines the problem of perchlorate contamination and its ramifications on all facets of water delivery, from the extensive cleanup costs to the search for alternative water supplies. In addition to discussing the threat posed by high levels of perchlorate in drinking water, the article presents examples of areas hard hit by contamination and analyzes the potential impacts of forthcoming drinking water standards for perchlorate.

Western Water Magazine

Managing the Colorado River
November/December 1999

Drawn from a special stakeholder symposium held in September 1999 in Keystone, Colorado, this issue explores how we got to where we are today on the Colorado River; an era in which the traditional water development of the past has given way to a more collaborative approach that tries to protect the environment while stretching available water supplies.